Swimming With Dolphins The Authentic Way
Lets face it, swimming with dolphins is on everyone’s bucket list. It’s never really ideal to swim with dolphins in captivity. Not only is it unfair, but it just seems too artificial. As a diver, I knew I had access to dolphins in their natural habitats. The last place I expected that to be was in Hurgarda, Egypt.
Although this site is best experienced while SCUBA diving, its just as open to snorkelers!
Before travelling to Hurgarda, I’d read about Dolphin sightings online. Naturally I expected their appearances to be few and far between. So to avoid disappointment, I kept my hopes at bay, and set off to enjoy a week of diving at the various Red Sea dive sites.
The great thing about Hurgarda is, you’ll often find a good deal offering cheap flights and well priced hotels, which means there’s no need to spend excessive amounts of time and money swimming with Dolphins elsewhere in the world. To swim with dolphins in the Red Sea, SCUBA Hurgarda is highly recommended.
The morning after my arrival I was picked up and taken to the dive centre where I collected my gear before heading to the boat. The first days diving was great, but by day two, we were told we were heading to a dive site with a 90% chance of swimming with Dolphins. By now it was a little more difficult to manage our expectations.
As the boat approached the site, slicing through the calm transparent waves, we suddenly heard cheers and commotion from the front of the boat.With no further ado, we ran out to investigate. To my astonishment there was a charming bottlenose dolphin putting on an incredible welcome show for its audience, almost as if to invite us into the water. We stood watching for several minutes, ecstatic as she jumped and flipped mid-air.
It didn’t take long before every diver on the boat was squeezing into their wetsuits, myself included. In no time at all, we were all kitted up, buddy checks complete, gathering on the entry platform at the back of the boat. All we needed now was the green light from the captain. Two divers at a time, we stepped into the abyss, hoping to reunite with the dolphin.
Once we had descended to 15-20m, we began executing the dive as planned, following the reef as it towered over our left flank. At this point, I decided to fiddle with some of the settings on my GoPro, which naturally took my gaze away from my surroundings.
As I glanced back up again, to my surprise, there she was, hovering right in front of me. My heart began to race as I filled with joy. Needless to say, we spent the next 50 minutes playing with this most playful of creatures. With total class, she danced before us.
I’d read and heard a lot about Dolphins, so I knew they were sociable creatures, but experiencing this first hand was simply phenomenal. Looking into the eyes of this gracious creature was like looking into the eyes of a fellow human; they were filled with character, intelligence and depth. What a wonderful creature.
Later that week there were a further two encounters with dolphins. On one of which we encountered a mother and daughter effortlessly swimming in perfect unison. I have since returned to SCUBA Hurgarda and have been lucky enough to have done it all over again. If you want tropical waters, great weather and a good chance of swimming with wild dolphins, Hurgarda is the place.
The great thing is, with snorkelling available, you don’t even have to be a diver, although it certainly enhances the experience!
- Don’t get your hopes up. Nature makes no promises, but the rewards of swimming with wild dolphins are immense.
- Contact SCUBA Hurgarda ahead of time to arrange transfers.
- The closest hotel to SCUBA Hurgarda is Triton Empire, but its not the best hotel in the area. (refer to trip advisor)
- Avoid swimming with dolphins in captivity. Its unethical and shouldn’t be supported.
- Don’t take our word for it. (Check SCUBA Hurgarda out on Trip Advisor)
- The Hilton Plaza hotel is a good place to stay. With a private beach and a good distance from the dive centre, its a great option.