Dolphin protection in Mauritius - Here are the rules to follow!
Swimming with dolphins in the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean is certainly one of the favourite activities of travellers. Both children and adults want to realize their dream by enjoying a memorable encounter with the dolphins, however it is now a strictly regulated activity. With an increasing number of companies offering dolphin tours, our delphinid friends are often disturbed or even literally assaulted in their natural environment.
Here are some rules to follow to protect dolphins during an encounter in Mauritius:
As a symbol of grace and intelligence, our dolphins are one of the most fabulous sea creatures. They love the ideal temperature of our lagoon where they can warm up. The best place to spot these magnificent marine mammals is on the authentic west coast of Mauritius, in the bay of Tamarin extending all the way to Le Morne Peninsula.
You may come across the Long Beaked dolphins which owe their name to their long and thin beaks. Early in the morning, these cetaceans love to take advantage of our lagoons to play and rest, and in the afternoon, they venture out to seek their food. Dark grey in colour, these mammals often live and move in large groups of 10 to 100 and sometimes up to 200 specially in the morning.
The second most popular type of dolphin in Mauritius is the Bottlenose dolphin also known as the "blower". Grey in colour and measuring 2 to 4 metres long, these dolphins live in smaller groups, and during the breeding period the males and females live separately. Compared to the Long Beaked, the "Blowers" are less fearful of humans which makes it easier to approach them.
Every morning, the west coast of our island is blessed with the visit of these two species of Delphinidae. You will certainly have the chance to watch them while enjoying one of our cruises on board the Harris Wilson II, which departs from Tamarin Bay early in the morning and heads towards Le Morne - a UNESCO world heritage site.
Croisières Australes is committed to the protection of aquatic animals and does not allow swimming with dolphins. As recommended by the Mauritius Tourism Act, it is important that your skipper, irrespective of the tour company you choose, not only inform you but above all follows the code of conduct issued by the Tourism Authority:
- Approaching the dolphins on the site shall always be done in parallel with the group of dolphins and the speed shall be reduced.
- During dolphin observation, the engines shall be put on neutral.
- It is strictly forbidden to approach dolphins within 50 meters.
- It is strictly prohibited to obstruct the dolphin's path when arriving in front of or behind them.
- It is strictly prohibited to make noises with the intention of attracting the attention of dolphins or feeding or throwing other objects at them.
- It is strictly forbidden to try to hold on to dolphins when swimming.
If you happen to meet dolphins during a trip in Mauritius, here are our tips to be respectful of them:
- Dolphins are very sensitive to noise, it is essential to be quiet.
- If they approach or pass under you, let them come and do not try to touch them as this can frighten them and make them vulnerable to man.
- Avoid splashing, jumping into the water noisily or flipping backwards.
- Also avoid trying to dive, dolphins don't like to be caught off guard.
- Photographers, don’t use the flash as it can frighten them
To embark on this unique experience, Croisières Australes invites you aboard its famous catamaran Harris Wilson II. You will have the chance to meet these wonderful marine mammals in one of the most beautiful lagoons of Mauritius. As a simple presence can disturb their peacefulness, we count on you to minimize our impact and protect them while admiring this beautiful show.