Dolphin Watching

Weather :

Timings : 5:00 AM onwards

Entry Fee : Determined by boatmen/cruises

Dolphin Watching, Bali Overview

Apart from its beaches and waterfalls, Bali is also rich in its marine biodiversity. With marine wildlife thriving in its seas, Bali’s coastline is popular for dolphin sightings. Dolphins are sighted with ease across various locations in Bali. The most well-known is Lovina Beach in Northern Bali. Other dolphin sighting locations include Amed in eastern Bali, Tanjung Benoa and Sanur. Close to Sanur is the Dolphin Lodge which has access to the open sea and organizes interactive sessions with the dolphins.

Starting early morning, boats with tourist and a ‘captain’ make their way into the middle of waters, waiting to catch a glimpse of the finned creatures. And on almost all days they are lucky. Early mornings, around 5-6 A.M dolphins are usually sighted as they swoop their way up the surface and back inside. They too like the local fisherman are out on their early morning fishing expeditions. However, the concentrated and frenzied activity of boats chasing dolphins at Lovina Beach have raised several environmental concerns.

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Best Time To Go Dolphin Watching

Dolphins can be spotted at Lovina Beach throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is during the low or off-season, from May to January. This means fewer crowds and hence better chances of spotting the dolphins for a longer period of time.

Also, it means less harassment to the animals themselves who are often outnumbered by the motorboats during peak season. From February to April the sea is usually turbulent, whereas, in July-August and December are the peak seasons for Bali tourism.

Operators

There are plenty of tour operators in Lovina. Usually, the hotel you stay at also books dolphin tours through the concierge. There are also local fishermen and captains or guides, who wait at the shore or outside hotels and you can directly meet and negotiate the rates with them before venturing into the waters.

However, with the growing concern for the safety of the animals and the environment, it is better to be associated and use the services of operators who are cognizant about the needs of the animals. Here is taking a look at some operators who are known to not chase dolphins:
  • Lovina Dolphin
    Contact person: Edi Usman/Edi Harianto
    Boat’s name: Popeye No. 01
    Ph: +62 85 237 477 172
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: http://lovinadolphins.blogspot.com/
  • Herman Lovina Service
    Anturan, Bulelang, Bulelang Regency, Bali 81119
    Ph: +62 81 915 665 544
    Email: [email protected]
    [email protected]

Irrespective of which tour you book, you can make sure to request the captain or driver to keep distance and not chase the dolphins.

The dolphin sightings at Lovina Beach have mixed reviews from tourists. Yet, taking a step in the right direction towards conservation and respecting animals, can benefit tourism in Lovina a long way. 

Tips

If you plan to visit Lovina for dolphin sightings there are few things to keep in mind:
  • Be prepared for an early morning start. Sleep off early the previous night to avoid a late start in the morning. It is also not a bad idea to stay back a little later till 8-10 A.M for quieter sightings.
  • Carry a sweater or jacket as it may be cold in the morning
  • It is advisable to carry motion sickness tablets if you are prone to seasickness.
  • Use life-jackets while in the boat.
  • Finally, and most importantly, as responsible individuals, it is good to respect the rights of the dolphins too. Sadly, the tour agencies or fishermen who take tourists on their boats often start chasing the dolphins immediately after they appear. The motorboats emanate a thundering sound and some boats may also be leaking gasoline. The sound, stench and approach of numerous boats scare away the peace-loving dolphins who disappear almost as soon as they appear. It is hence important to choose and check with your operator to ensure that the dolphins are not harassed or chased after.

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