Zanzibar Dolphin Adventures Tanzania offers a few pods of dolphin that have their respective territories around Zanzibar and that can be spotted close to shore. With a little luck, you might even spot them off the coast of Stone Town.
The most popular dolphin spotting location in Zanzibar though, is undoubtedly Kizimkazi, where you could see both bottlenose and humpback dolphins. The north-east of Mnemba Island is another decent dolphin-watching spot, and either of these could afford you the incredible sight of hundreds of spinner dolphins putting on one of their famous acrobatic displays in which they launch into the air and spin around.
Dolphins of Kizimkazi
The village of Kizimkazi is located in the far south of Zanzibar Island. The shallow coastal waters around Kizimkazi are a favorite hangout for dolphins who come here for the reliable food supply, to nurse their calves, rest and socialize. Several bottlenose pods (of up to 150 individuals) stay at Kizimkazi all year-round.
There are about 50, rather more shy humpback dolphins that put in an appearance here, although their schedule is a little more erratic. Although dolphin-spotting is a popular activity, sightings aren’t guaranteed and actually managing to swim with dolphins is a rare occurrence.
Dolphin trips last two to three hours and the best time of year to see these extraordinary mammals is between October and February.
Zanzibar Dolphin Day Tours/ Trips Itinerary
Zanzibar Dolphin Tour will take you to one of the earlier capital of the Island (Kizimkazi) where traces of an Old Shirazi settlement (probably a fort) may be seen in an enclosure surrounded by a wall near the seashore.
Near the walled enclosure is an ancient mosque where an inscription records that the mosque was built in A. H. 500 (A. D. 1107) by a Sheikh Seyyid Abi Amran, who appears to have been a local ruler. Out-side the mosque is a well and graves of Sheriffs (descendants of the Prophet).
You will then proceed to a small fishing village where you will be taken for a boat ride (in a motorized local boat) in search of dolphins (85% chances). Lunch will be served at Kizimkazi Zanzibar.
Zanzibar Dolphin Tour is a full day excursion using locally made traditional sailing dhows of between 8 to 10 meters in length. The dhows are finished to the very highest standards and fitted with outboard engines, marine VHF radios, gas inflatable life jackets, sunshade, boarding ladder, waterproof bags and first aid kit. They also have public liability and marine insurance.
Zanzibar Dolphin Tour starts at the fishing village of Fumba, 30 minutes drive from Stone Town. Fumba is situated in the southwest corner of the island and is an ideal starting point to explore Menai Bay, designated a Conservation Area. The bay has a number of beautiful uninhabited islands and sandbanks and is frequented by humpback and bottle nose dolphins.
On arrival at Fumba, we get a briefing on the day and a life jacket demo. We then board the dhows and set off to explore the bay to find the dolphins.
We are lucky enough to see dolphins on at least 85% of our trips. Later in the morning we stop on a sandbank where we set up sunshades and fit the clients with snorkeling equipment. We have a large range of sizes and good quality equipment. Guides, who can safely lead the snorkeling session and show points of interest, accompany the clients.
For beginners or those who are not confident swimmers, we have inflatable snorkeling vests and our guides can give tuition. After snorkeling we offer fresh green coconuts before we move to our desert island restaurant for lunch. During the morning our catering boat has gone on ahead to prepare a delicious barbecue lunch, which is served on teak picnic tables set up beneath the shade of some tamarind trees.
Lunch is a traditional Zanzibar buffet and includes grilled fish, slipper lobster, squid, chicken, rice, tamarind and coriander sauces which are all served hot from the grill. A gastronomic fruit tasting follows with a selection of between 10 to 15 different tropical fruits.
Cold drinks are available throughout the day and include mineral water, sodas and beer. Coffee and Amarula liqueur are also served after lunch. Later, we also offer the chance to sail in an “ngalawa” with our experienced crew. When the tide allows we visit a beautiful mangrove lagoon where it is possible to swim through the mangrove forest. We return to Fumba by sail and arrive back at 5.30 p.m. in time to see the colorful African sunset.
Note: Zanzibar Dolphin Tour advises clients that there are no formal changing facilities at Fumba so please wear your swimming things under your clothes. Toilets are available on the desert island. We also advise clients to bring waterproof shoes for boarding the dhows and to bring towels, sunscreen and a spare T-shirt for snorkeling.