Can You Swim With Dolphins In Zanzibar?

Can You Swim With Dolphins In Zanzibar? Do you intend to go dolphin-swimming In Zanzibar? Dolphins are among the cutest marine animals. They have won people over for ages with something about their intelligence and playful nature. And what could be better than swimming with them in their natural habitat?

But have you ever considered that if you travel to Africa, you might be able to see them? Many people are unaware that Tanzania is home to dolphins. Did you know that you can swim with dolphins in the wild in Zanzibar? Most people who plan Tanzania safaris concentrate on seeing wildlife. In East Africa, off the coast of Tanzania, is the lovely island of Zanzibar.

If you want to include a Zanzibar Dolphin Tour in your Tanzania safari excursion bucket list, the island is home to dolphin pods. They can be seen in their natural habitat in a few locations along the southern coast of the island, but they are more common in Zanzibar’s protected marine conservation areas. The best places in Zanzibar to see dolphins are Kizimkazi, Mnemba Island Reef, and Fumba Peninsula in Menai Bay. Dolphins in these areas have easy access to a variety of fish and squid to eat because of the marine conservation efforts there.


Due to the abundance of dolphins that live on this island, Zanzibar is the ideal location to see them.

Bottlenose dolphins and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are the two main species of dolphins found on the island. On a dolphin watching tour in Zanzibar, bottlenose dolphins are the most common and entertaining species to see. The majority of Zanzibar’s dolphin-watching excursions go to Kizimkazi Bay, where the dolphins gather each morning to feed.

While it’s exciting to know that a trip here will almost certainly result in dolphin sightings (preferably early in the morning, before 8 a.m.), it’s also important to consider whether this is best for the dolphins. Below are some suggestions for you.


The morality of swimming with dolphins in the wild is a hotly contested topic. There are issues with captive dolphins for obvious reasons, but we’re not talking about swimming with dolphins in zoos here; we’re talking about swimming with them in the wild.


According to our observations, giving dolphins full control is the most morally upstanding way to interact with them while swimming. Dolphins are adept at navigating their surroundings. If they don’t want to, there is absolutely no way they will let you swim with them.

 They are unable to compete with our fast boats, though. It isn’t really fair to jump in next to a group of dolphins and then follow them in the boat as they swim away. Where will they find food if you disturb and scare away the animals who have come to feed?

Studies have also shown that jumping and splashing in the water close to some species of dolphins or dolphins that are nursing their calves can be extremely upsetting for them. When you see these stunning creatures, you don’t want to upset them in any way.

 Because splashing can upset dolphins, the only moral way to swim with them is to go to a location you know they frequently frequent but that is away from other boats and tourists, enter the water calmly without upsetting them, and then wait for them to swim over to join you.

 Dolphins have a great sense of curiosity, so they might stop by for a while to observe you. If they don’t, you’ll know that leaving them alone was the right move.


In Zanzibar, you can swim with dolphins any time of year, but the dry season is best because the water is generally calmer, the visibility is better, and the swimming conditions are better.

Additionally, dolphins are more active in the early morning, so try to leave extra early and get to a swim location before 8 a.m. The best time to see them is during the day, but we also saw dolphins in the middle of the day and again in the late afternoon.

 Since they are wild animals, it is impossible to predict what they will do from one day to the next. However, these times will give you the best chance of seeing them.


Kizimkazi Dolphins          

Zanzibar’s Kizimkazi village has long been a favorite fishing location for locals. On the island, it is also one of the best spots to see dolphins year-round. Dolphins frequently congregate and hunt at Kizimkazi, which is located on the southern tip of the island. Wild dolphins can easily be seen swimming in the crystal-clear waters that surround the fishing village of Kizimkazi.

 Visitors are transported by small boats to the Kizimkazi coastline. Dolphins have been observed in a number of locations at dawn. If you don’t want to get in the water once you arrive at these locations, you can observe Kizimkazi dolphins up close from the boat.

Swimming alongside dolphins in the wild is a truly enjoyable experience for those who enjoy water sports. Grab your snorkeling gear and enter the water if you’re looking for a little bit more of a challenge. Dolphins occasionally swim too close to snorkelers in Kizimkazi, making snorkeling a great way to see them.

Mnemba island dolphins

Around the shores of Mnemba Island, a small, privately owned island, is a fantastic place to enjoy a dolphin excursion in Zanzibar. Snorkeling and diving on Mnemba Island is a magical experience thanks to the island’s crystal-clear waters and abundance of marine life. There are numerous opportunities to see dolphins playing, hunting, and feeding at Mnemba Reef, a protected marine area.

 Dolphins are frequently seen on boat rides, whether people are accessing the reef from Matemwe or Nungwi. Visitors to Mnemba Island have the chance to see a variety of marine life, including enormous green turtles, dolphins, and migrating humpback whales that occasionally swim and dive past them.

This area, also known as the Mnemba Atoll, is the ideal location to watch dolphins leap out of the water and hear their whistling and clicking.

Can You Swim With Dolphins In Zanzibar?
Mnemba island dolphins

Menai Bay Dolphins

Dolphin sightings are also possible in Menai Bay in the Zanzibar Archipelago. The 470 km2 Menai Bay Conservation Area has a variety of stunning coral reefs that are encircled by mangrove forests on the shorelines.

There are a few other locations across the bay waters where bottle-nose dolphins and spinner dolphins can be seen in addition to Kizimkazi village shorelines, which are located on the eastern side of Menai Bay. Dolphin sightings are frequent along the Fumba Beach Peninsula and the shorelines of the uninhabited islands that surround the bay.


The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, the spinner dolphin, and the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin are the three main species of dolphins that you can see along Zanzibar’s coastline.

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)

The dolphin you are most likely to see in the waters off Zanzibar is this one. It is the fastest of the three species and has a curved, thick, and short mouth. They can be seen in sizable pods on Mnemba Island and Kizimkazi.

Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris)

Spinner dolphins are long-toothed and lean. Spinner dolphins are known for their prowess at spinning and their ability to perform multiple twists in the air during a single jump. In comparison to bottlenose dolphins, they are also smaller and live in smaller groups.

Humpback Dolphins (Souse plumbea)

Of the three major dolphin species that can be found along the southern Zanzibar coast, humpback dolphins are the rarest. These oceanic dolphins have a hump between their dorsal fins on their back, as suggested by their name.


Although they are extremely uncommon, surfers, sailors, divers, and snorkelers in Zanzibar occasionally have the opportunity to see Rizzo’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), Frazer’s dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei), Pan-Tropical Spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates).


The size of the group and the location of the pickup base affect the price of a dolphin swimming tour in Zanzibar.

The cost of a dolphin trip typically includes snorkeling as well as transportation costs to and from the visitor’s location to the dolphin spotting location, a boat ride, and the cost of renting snorkeling equipment (flippers, masks, and snorkels).


Dolphin tours in Zanzibar typically last for two to three hours. On a specific day, dolphins can be found in various locations. Usually, it only takes a few minutes to spot them, but occasionally it can take a little longer.

 Although there is a good chance that you will see these marine mammals on the majority of tours, there is no 100% guarantee that you will. They are untamed and occasionally alter their pattern and location.


For those who want to observe and interact with spinner dolphins and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat, the Zanzibar dolphin safari with Focus East Africa Tours is an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 A day in this area of the Indian Ocean means you will have plenty of time to see the beautiful reefs of Mnemba Atoll Marine Reserve and Menai Bay while snorkeling and diving, in addition to dolphin watching. Additionally, you have the chance to see a wide range of other aquatic animals, including whales, turtles, and various fish species. When planning your once-in-a-lifetime adventure, our travel experts in Tanzania encourage you to leave no stone unturned.


To ensure you make an informed choice, we highly recommend reading more about Zanzibar dolphin swimming. There are undoubtedly many different arguments both in favor of and against swimming with dolphins: it brings in money for the neighborhood, it raises awareness, it ignites a desire to protect the environment, but it can also support unethical behavior and add to pollution overall.

We can highly recommend snorkeling here, whether or not you decide to join a tour, because the underwater life is insane and the water is so clear. Who knows, perhaps the dolphins will decide to swim alongside you as you snorkel—they have been known to do so!