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MAURITIUS DISCOVERY
» 01 Jul 2010
DOLSWIM

Mauritius is an ideal destination for those who dream of discovering nature’s mysterious secrets. The island particularly promotes exclusive encounters with the wild, in ways which value proximity and for the wonders of nature. Dolphin and whale watching, proposed by the renowned Mauritian company Dolswim Ltd, is one such grand opportunity for adventurous souls to commune with nature in a unique and an unforgettable way.

The dolphin (from the Greek “Delphys” meaning “womb”) is a marine mammal which evolved about 25 million years ago. As an epitome of beauty, intelligence, and freedom, it has carved a special place in human culture. Poets, scientists, philosophers and artists worldwide describe the dolphin as a highly social animal, taking loving care of their babies and displaying friendly attitudes towards humans. Tales abound as to how these graceful and wise mammals have rescued humans and helped endangered ships in treacherous waters.

It’s no wonder that the Greek Sun God Apollo portrayed the dolphin as the quintessence of peaceful virtue, undisguised joy and as a guide to another world. Dolswim Ltd, registered in 2003, gears all its efforts towards realizing one’s dream of cruising on the wild side. Operating on the west coast of the island, in Rivière Noire, the company offers various recreational activities which allow visitors to behold the inspiring marine mammals as they engage in their daily routine of hunting, playing, courting, and socializing in the bay and beyond. The expeditions vary from two hours to a full day.

A typical full day excursion starts at 8:00 and includes a two-hour encounter with the dolphins as well as lunch on Benitiers Island where one may laze on the beach, admiring the splendid view of Le Morne Mountain. The adventure begins once you step in one of the three speed boats, each covered by insurance and properly equipped with life jackets and other safety gear. Indeed, one of the strong points of the company is its professionalism and uncompromising attitude towards safety. In each boat there are two highly experienced skippers whose expertise and knowledge of first-aid ensure a safe and enriching trip. The day begins with a briefing on the types of dolphins that you’ll encounter, their habits, security measures and swimming procedures.

Guidelines for sustainable dolphin watching are also emphasized. Indeed, Dolswim Ltd adamantly promotes the protection of these fascinating creatures and their natural habitat. The company encourages guests to come to an encounter in a spirit of respect, consideration and sensitivity. The dolphins are not harassed in any way; they are free to come and go as they please, choosing whether they want to make contact
with humans or not. Watching them frolic freely in their natural environment amidst their family makes us aware of the negatives of captivity. The excitement aboard is palpable once the wild dolphins appear in the clear open sea. Scanning the surface for the small dark fins, guests are thrilled when they spot the mammals.

As they glide gracefully, unfettered and serene, visitors cannot help but reflect on the wonders of nature. The high point of the journey is undeniably the swim with the dolphins. With the help of the skippers and the snorkeling equipment aboard, guests may dive in the warm water to be closer to the playful and curious animals. Being in their element, right next to them, as they dance, swim in synchrony, twist, turn and spin is an exceptional experience to cherish forever. The species observed are the Bottlenose and the Spinner dolphins.

During a trip you may observe from 15 to 100 Bottlenose Dolphins as they move in groups called pods. Spinners congregate in groups that vary from just a few dolphins to great schools numbering in the thousands. They are acrobatic and keen bow-riders. As for the whales, the two species that can be observed are the Humpback Whales and the Sperm Whales. Both species move away from the poles to warmer seas near the equator, to reproduce, give birth and breed, before getting back to the Arctic.

The Humpback Whales can only be observed between July and November. The Sperm Whales can however be observed all year round along the west coast of the island. (Whale watching is a different outing as one has to go further out to sea and the excursion will depend much on weather and sea conditions.) Dolswim Ltd organizes memorable trips which blend excitement and relaxation. While guests are often overwhelmed by the soothing magnificence of the marine mammals, they are also made aware of the need to protect them from extinction. Swimming with dolphins is a unique experience which uplifts the human spirit; their songs echo in our hearts long after we’ve left them behind in their world of freedom and innocence.

The excitement aboard is palpable once the wild dolphins appear in the clear open sea. Scanning the surface for the small dark fins, guests are thrilled when they spot the mammals. As they glide gracefully, unfettered and serene, visitors cannot help but reflect on the wonders of nature.

Dolswim Ltd
Tel: 422 9281 - dolswim@intnet.mu
www.dolswim.com

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