Basking in a tropical sun, Mauritius offers various activities that will keep you entertained during your holidays. This island is brimming with lush, natural beauty, white sandy beaches and acres of palm and coconut trees. Mauritius is also known for its nautical activities. Indeed, with a turquoise lagoon and crystal clear waters, the island is perfect for water sports, diving and snorkelling. It is also famous for dolphin and whale watching activities.
Carried out in the safest environment with conservation and marine wildlife welfare in mind, several tour operators offer a full day or half day packages. The best place to spot these mammals is the West coast of the island. While dolphins are quite easy to find, it is advisable to get an early start to maximise your chances of spotting whales.
Agencies from all over Mauritius offer speedboat trips that will take you to where whales and dolphins tend to frolic. “Le Transporteur” agency, for example, offers private trips where you can rent the whole speedboat for your friends and yourself. This boat departs from Grand Bay and will take you to the lagoon of Black River to see the mammals. Afterwards, it will bring you to the Morne Brabant Bay to admire the famous Crystal Rock from up close. The Crystal Rock is actually a natural rock formation that rises above the ocean, offering the perfect platform for a high dive into the water.
Afterwards, the boat will take you to Benitier Islands, a small islet not far from the West coast of Mauritius. You will be able to enjoy a light lunch on the beach. On the way back, you will have the chance to enjoy a refreshing swim with the dolphins. Before the trip, there is a briefing about the species that you will encounter as well as security measures. You will also receive tips on how to swim with wild dolphins without scaring them away. Life jackets and snorkelling equipment are provided at no additional charge.
If you don’t mind paying a little extra, it is well worth the price to rent a catamaran to enhance your Whale & Dolphin watching experience. Most operators offer morning-only, half-day or full day packages. In the majority of cases, it is also possible to book your catamaran trip through your hotel or villa. The Preskil Beach hotel, for example, offers a wide range of dolphin-watching trips, along with other types of catamaran excursions such as Full Day Cruises, Sunset & Dinner cruises and even Overnight cruises. In fact, to increase your chances of spotting whales, go for an overnight cruise and wake up to the gentle whale songs as they frolic around the catamaran in the early hours.
Dolphin-watching from a catamaran is quite the unique experience. Most agencies will offer activities on board such as the famous Mauritian sega dance and songs. Lunch is normally served on board of the catamaran after you’ve enjoyed a nice swim with the dolphins. Most of the time, tourists will be able to tuck into a barbeque lunch of grilled seafood, chicken, sausages as well as an assortment of salads. Open bars are often the norm with catamarans.
One of the most popular cruise companies in Mauritius, Oceane Cruises specializes in catamaran trips as well as whale and dolphin watching. With 28 years of experience, Oceane Cruises has a fleet of 9 catamarans and 2 speedboats. You can customise your Whale & Dolphin watching tours or choose from a plethora of pre-existing adventures including Sunset Cruises. If you want to maximize your chance at seeing those glorious sea mammals though, it’s best to opt for an early morning boat trip. If you want, you can even rent the entire boat for your family and yourself at an extra fee.
Along with whale and dolphin watching in Mauritius, Oceane Cruises offers themed cruises such as “Adventure”, “Culture”, “Eco-Tours”, “Tailor Made” and “Serenity” tours. These tours depart from either the West or the East coast of the island, depending on where you’re staying. A whale and dolphin watching trip can cost you between 1000 MUR and 1500 MUR.
A firmly established tour agency on the island, Mauritius Attractions specializes in dolphin and whale watching tours, giving you the chance to see the marine mammal right in their natural habitat, with no cages or enclosures. Best of all, you’ll even get the chance to dive in and swim with the dolphins if you want. The trip normally starts from Tamarin, on the West Coast of Mauritius and is carried out in a speedboat that can accommodate up to 10 persons. Upon request, Mauritius Attractions can even arrange for your transportation back to your hotel.
As the boat gently pulls away from shore, you’ll enjoy a continental breakfast on the boat. A briefing is also carried out during which you will be provided with some handy tips as to how to maximize your chances of spotting whales and dolphins. These trips normally cost between 3000 and 3500 MUR.
While JPH Charters is known for its luxury big game fishing charters, this agency also offers whale and dolphin watching expeditions. With a fleet of world-class fishing boats, this company can even combine its dolphin discovery tours with other types of adventures. For example, one of JPH Charter’s most popular package includes a full day of activities that includes swimming with the dolphins, swimming and even a trip to the small islet of Benitier where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. This expedition starts at 7am and ends at 2.30pm and costs around 17,000 MUR per person. If you want a cheaper option, you can only book the whale and dolphin swimming expedition which costs between 1700 and 2000 MUR per person.
Want to find other activities? Check out what you can do in Mauritius here.
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