Surrounded by the vast ocean, Mauritius is situated in the South Western part of the Indian Ocean giving all its holidaymakers a marvelous island experience in a tropical climate. Here you will be able to immerse yourself in an exceptional outdoor experience with the amazing cetacean such as the cheerful dolphins and huge whales swimming on the coasts of the Island.
Swimming alongside lively dolphins in the cobalt blue waters can be a very fun experience where you where you can enjoy a pleasant feeling of serenity, beauty and freedom at the same time. The island is a safe resting haven for the migratory Bottlenose and Spinner Dolphins where they can rest and sleep before going to the deep sea for their fishing. You will most likely see them around the West Coast of Mauritius, precisely at the Tamarin Bay or Le Morne Peninsula. Enjoy the crystal clear waters whilst snorkelling and swimming with the remarkable dolphins. Don’t forget to bring a camera along so you can take pictures.
Besides the dolphins, you might have the privilege to see Humpback and Sperm whales especially in the deep waters of the West Coast of Mauritius. These gigantic beautiful creatures migrate to Mauritius in order to enjoy the warmer temperature.
There are many excursion trips organized across the island where you can actually get up close with the dolphins and enjoy beautiful sightings of the whales.
Dolphins In Mauritius
Mauritius has a pretty temperate climate which is why the island is mostly visited by amazing cetacean species to rest or reproduce. One of the most liked creatures; the cheerful, playful and graceful dolphins, live in pods of around twenty individuals or more. You can always spot them swimming casually around the West Coast of Mauritius in Tamarin on their way to the deep sea off the coast of Le Morne Peninsula in the early mornings. You will encounter two distinct types of dolphins in the Mauritian waters, notably the Bottlenose and Spinner dolphins.
Throughout observation, these dolphins do not like to share the same spot and this is why you will most probably not see them together. Apparently if the Spinner dolphins are around and the Bottlenose dolphins arrive, the Spinners will leave the bay, heading to the open sea.
The scientific name of Spinner Dolphins is Stenella longirostris, and this kind of cetacean is considered to be the most playful of the dolphin species.
The Spinner dolphin is small in nature and is found in offshore tropical waters like Mauritius.
These dolphins are dark gray, with darker patches in the tailstock, back and throat. Usually it has a creamy-white patch on the belly though this varies considerably. The beak is distinctively long and thin, with a dark tip. The fins too are lengthy, for dolphins of this size. Adults have varied in sizes from 1.29 m to 2.35 cm and weigh between 23 kg to 78 kg. Their longevity is unknown. There are several types of this kind of dolphin, but the most abundant type in the Mauritian waters is the Hawaiian form with a distinct tricolor pattern on the body and long black rostrum or beak. They grow to less than 2.50 m and can weigh up to 78 kg.
In Mauritius, the Spinner dolphins use mostly the bay areas of the West Coast such as Point Moyenne, Tamarin and Black River for socializing and resting during the morning hours. They live in large groups of up to 100 members. Famous for their acrobatic moves, you will enjoy seeing them play together, as the morning is their time of celebration and training. Calves, who are generally about 1 feet long and weigh not more than 3 kg can also be seen hopping in and out of the waters. They tend to move away from the coast in the late afternoon to feed on squid and small fish in deeper waters.
The very well known dolphin species, the Bottlenose Dolphin, comes from the genus Tursiops consisting of three species notably the common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus), Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Aduncus), and Burrunan Dolphin (Tursiops Australis). These dolphins tend to inhabit warm and temperate seas worldwide with Mauritius being one of the regions.
They are considered as the biggest amongst the different species of dolphins with a weight of up to 650kg and a length of up to 3.66 m. Very gentle and quiet, they are the easiest to swim with and are famous for their intelligence and willingness to approach humans. Bottlenose Dolphins live in groups called pods that typically have 15 dolphins, but it is also possible to find groups of over 100 or even occasionally over 1000 dolphins. Their diet consists mainly of small fish.
In Mauritius, the Indo-Pacific and common Bottlenose Dolphins live in groups of 2 to 15 members and can be observed from early morning until 11:30 a.m. Sometimes, with a bit of luck, they may be spotted in the afternoon, swimming in the middle of the crystal clear lagoon, in a depth of 1.5 m.
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
The scientific name is Tursiops Truncatus. This kind of dolphin species is often confused with the Indo Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin due to the similar physical appearance. The Common Bottlenose can go up to 3.8m, has a darker colour and a shorter beak. In Mauritius they are seen several times along the west coast in groups of 5 to more than 50 dolphins. They do not usually stay in waters less than 50m deep. They are considered as opportunistic feeders and their groups greatly vary in size, depending on their preferred habitat.
Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin
The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins are grey in colour and which fades ventrally. You can see spots on the stomach of older animals. They tend to grow up to 2.5- 2.6 meters and weigh between 180-230 kg.They can live up to 40 years or more.
In Mauritius this type of dolphin can be seen along the coast, behind the reef line, and is usually seen in small groups of up to 6 individuals. They generally feed on the reef and bottom dwelling fish, squid and octopus.
Dolphin Excursions In Mauritius
There is an eclectic range of packages that you can choose from, according to your preferences- ranging from budget to luxurious packages. You will also be able to swim alongside the dolphins with a group of people or privately. Whether you wish to go on a catamaran cruise while visiting a virgin islet, the dolphin interaction is possible! This is a fantastic way to learn more about these playful and mischievous marine creatures without disturbing their natural habitat.
Normally, there are charters that leave early morning mostly at 08h00 when there is the greatest concentrations of dolphins. It is worth the early wakeup call where you can actually witness the sensational spectacle of the dolphins swimming. If you prefer, there are excursions lasting a minimum of 2 hours and also include breakfast and lunch.
Generally, the boats used in these excursions are well packed with all the required equipment to swim with the dolphins. You will have masks, snorkels, flippers, and life jackets. Most of the boat trips have only a small number of participants; this is so as to avoid scaring the Mauritian dolphins, making your experience even more unforgettable. Once you have observed them you will be able to put on your equipment and swim with the dolphins while keeping a certain distance in order not to scare them away.
List of interesting packages you can book:
Swim with the dolphins – 2.5 Hours
Catamaran Cruise – See Dolphins + Visit Benitiers Island + Lunch
Dolphins – Chamarel – Safari Bird Park – 1 Day Package
Swim With Dolphins & Whale Watching
Shared – The Blue Marine Discovery Quest
Exclusive-Private Swim With Dolphins – 2.5 Hours
Exclusive Swim With Dolphins + Visit Benitiers Island + Lunch
Exclusive-Private Swim With Dolphins & Whale Watching
Exclusive Package of Dolphins Swimming, Beach Club & Quad drive
Blue Marine Discovery Quest
Whales In Mauritius
Mauritius with its tropical temperature serves as an ideal destination for humpback, sperm and pilot whales to reproduce in temperate water. This is a way to marvel at nature’s beauty and power where you could actually spot these playful giants slapping their tails or even come to the surface, in a breath-taking breach.
These beautiful marine beasts prefer to swim near the coasts of Mauritius, especially in deep waters of the West Coast of the island. The whale watching will require you to go further out to the deep sea on a speed boat. The experience of watching these kinds of cetaceans cannot be described with words. The sight is simply breathtaking!
There are three kinds of whales that can be sighted in the Mauritian waters, notably the humpback, sperm and pilot whales. These whales migrate to the tropical seas during the austral winter in order to mate and give birth before returning to the Antarctic Ocean. You can easily spot the whales and calves from the month of July to November in the coastal region of Mauritius.
The scientific name of the Humpback whales is Megaptera Novaeangliae. It is a species of the baleen whale- one of the larger species where the adults range in length from 12-16 meters and can weigh about 36 tons.
These enormous marine creatures are about the size of a school bus and are very well known for their haunting and melodic songs and for breaching the water with amazing acrobatic abilities.
As their name suggests, this species has a hump in front of the dorsal fin. Their body is generally black on the back with some varying amounts of white on their flippers and underside. The flippers are very long compared to any of its fellow species. Amazingly, they can live up to 50 years. Another interesting fact about this type of whale is that the male produces a complex song that can last for 10 to 20 minutes which they repeat for hours at a time.
In Mauritius the humpback whales arrive along the west coasts from the end of June and can be seen until the beginning of November or late December. These whales can be either seen as individuals, mother-calf pairs or sometimes a mother and a calf with a male.
The scientific name is Physeter Macrocephalus and is considered as the largest of the toothed whales and toothed predator. They can reach a length of 18 meters and weigh almost 60 tons.
The Sperm whales have a very large block shaped head with the blowhole positioned on the front, left hand side giving an angled blow. Their dorsal fins are low and rounded. They are generally dark grey with a few white patches on their ventral surface usually around the lower jaw.
They are also known to have the largest brain of any whale and can dive up to 1000 meters deep to hunt for giant squid, rays, fish and sharks. An interesting fact is that the females of this cetacean can form pods of 15-20 (including calves ), while the males are more solitary animals.
In Mauritius, the Sperm whales can be found around the coastline of Mauritius throughout the year, particularly along the west coast.
The scientific name for Pilot Whales is Globicephala Macrorhynchus and they are known to be intelligent marine mammals from extremely cohesive social bonds. The pod members will often stick close to each other and protect the matriarch of the group. They got the name ‘pilot’ due to the belief that the pod is always followed by a single leader.
The pilot whales are generally black or dark brown with a lighter grey area behind their dorsal fins. Their heads are large and rounded. Male Pilot whales can grow up to 7 meters with the females usually not more than 5 meters.
In Mauritius they are known to occur off the west and south-western coasts in deep water. They are normally found in groups of 10 to 50 individuals and feed on squid, fish and octopus.
Whale Excursions In Mauritius
In Mauritius, there are many excursions that provide you with a complimentary breakfast before embarking on the speedboat. The whale watching trip normally lasts for 3 hours. During the trip you will also have the chance to spot other marine animals like dolphins and sea turtles. You will also have the option to snorkel and discover the rich marine ecosystem. The whale excursion also consists of barbecue lunch.
This can be your once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close with the whales, where you can actually photo or video them, while contemplating the beautiful scenery.
List of interesting packages you can book:
Whale Watching – 3 hours
Exclusive -Private Swim with Dolphins and Whale Watching