Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between a Dolphin Swim and a Dolphin Tour?
DOLPHINS SWIMS – Are done on a casual basis – each excursion ranges between 2 and 2.5 hours, and includes snorkeling over one of our shallow reefs, in-water swim facilitation with the dolphins, and seasonal whale shark and humpback whale sightings. Launches are run daily and subject to group size and sea conditions.
DOLPHIN TOURS – cater for those wanting more time on the water with our beautiful finned friends. These tours are simply three or four of our casual dolphin excursions set in a package. You receive these tours at a discounted rate, but the package excludes all the extras that come with the Dolphin Retreats.
What time do we launch?
Early morning is usually the best time to launch, as the wind tends to pick up throughout the day. We like to be on the ocean as early as possible to ensure you have the best possible experience.
What requirements do we need to swim with the dolphins or what experience is needed?
You need to be able to swim and use snorkelling gear, if you have never snorkelled before then please book a snorkelling course But you can add snorkelling course booked at the centre – R150 per person for 1 hr gear provided.
What is your policy regarding rough seas?
It’s very difficult to spot dolphins when the sea is too choppy. Big swell can also make it difficult, as the dolphins tend to travel inshore close to the big waves where we cannot reach them. Safety and comfort of all on board the boat is our priority and we won’t take you out in conditions that are not suitable.
Do you cater for people with special needs?
Yes, we do. Please contact us for further details and to make necessary arrangements.
Can I swim with dolphins if I'm pregnant?
Yes, you can up until 6 months, weather conditions permitting.
What size are the groups that we go out with?
Minimum is 6 people and max is 12 per trip. If you are doing a full dolphin retreat minimum number is 4. We limit the groups to 12 to ensure you have the best experience possible.
Will we be allowed to touch the dolphins?
No, these are wild dolphins and it forms part of the Dolphin Centre regulated code of conduct that no touching is allowed. They come close enough so there is no need to touch them.
What are the age groups of participants?
Children as young as one year have joined us as well as elderly people up to the age of 80 (weather conditions permitting).
What can we expect to see on our trip?
All year round you will see our friendly pods of bottlenose dolphins. Humpback whales give us spectacular surface shows from July to November and Whale sharks glide along our backline in the summer months. If you’re lucky, you could possibly spot our rare indopacific humpback dolphins.
What about sharks?
We vary rarely ever spot any sharks on our dolphin excursions and it is most unlikely that we will see one. If by any chance we do see sharks it would be small reef sharks which are not a worry at all. Don’t let this be any deterrent to your desire to swim with the dolphins.
Can we feed the dolphins?
No, these are pods of wild dolphins that are perfectly capable of sourcing and catching their own food, so no feeding is permitted. We simply observe and interact with them as naturally as possible.
What equipment do you provide?
We provide masks, fins and snorkels. We do not provide wetsuits as we generally find that they are not necessary due to the warm temperature of the water.
What should I bring along?
Sunblock, bottle of water if needed and a towel. In winter we recommend a warm top or windbreaker. For those who really feel the cold you might want to bring along a scarf or a beanie. Ladies please try to avoid loose bikini bottoms and boob tubes. In summer you may want to wear a rash vest and board shorts over costumes for sun protection and general comfort.
If I can’t swim at all can I still go on the boat?
Yes absolutely – viewing the dolphins from the boat is an awesome experience, and the sightings are up close.
What can I do to prevent seasickness?
If you know you are prone to getting seasick please bring along some motion sickness medication. The trick is to take one the night before your ocean experience and one the morning of the trip about an hour before departure. Sea sick tablets are available at the pharmacy in the village square or you could try natural remedies such as ginger capsules or ginger tea before your launch.
Can I bring a camera along on my swim?
You are more than welcome to bring along your own camera (if you have one with a waterproof casing). Cameras that don’t have a waterproof casing are brought along at your own risk. Please ensure that you put your camera into a bag for safety. Our only request is that you make sure the flash is off for all underwater footage of the dolphins.
Happy snaps are posted on Facebook for no charge.
People with their own cameras, please remember no flash and no extendable camera mount (selfie sticks)
Is there risk of Malaria in Ponta?
This area is considered very low risk and it is not necessary to take prophylactics. However, we do recommend you use mosquito repellent in the evenings as a precaution (natural remedies include citronella oils or candles). To date we have had no recorded cases of any malaria in Ponta do Ouro itself for the last 16 years.
Do you provide accommodation?
Yes. we do. Please see our website for details.