Although most Kizimkazi hotels offer diving and other activities, the most popular activity is dolphin-watching trips. Arranged via local hotels, prices start from US$25 per person with reputable operators. Local beach boys and taxi drivers also organise boat trips, but we recommend using responsible operators who follow appropriate codes of conduct, both for your safety and the dolphins' well-being.
Watching the Dolphins
Dolphin-watching trips are a great way for local people to earn income from a natural resource, and help prevent dolphin hunting (an activity that used to occur here). But such is Kizimkazi's popularity that it can be very crowded out on the water sometimes, with a large number of boats literally chasing the animals at high speed (something that is not responsible or ethical behaviour). Ramming and blocking is not uncommon, and some boats keep their propellers running, which can injure dolphins.
In addition, many operators encourage guests to jump in and 'swim with the dolphins', which may also injure or cause stress for the dolphins, and (more practically) mainly just scares them away.
If you want to enjoy Kizimkazi's dolphins, be happy with just seeing them, possibly at a distance. Ideally, go early or late in the day, with a reputable captain who will allow you to see the dolphins without disturbing them.
Be wary of tour operators claiming 'eco' credentials; many local boatmen flout any guidelines for responsible activity.
Consider the following points, based on advice from Whale & Dolphin Conservation (http://uk.whales.org/), and ensure your operator agrees to them before booking:
- Do not chase dolphins.
- Do not get too close to dolphins.
- Keep boat engines in neutral wherever possible.
- Never try to swim with or touch dolphins, for your safety and theirs.