are cetacean mammals closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera, many of which can be found in African waters, most commonly bottlenoses and spinners.
If you are out in a small boat virtually anywhere off the coast of Africa, then there is a good chance you will see dolphins, often coming in to swim off your bow and leap out of the water alongside.
Opportunities to swim with dolphins are widely advertised on the island of Zanzibar
, especially on the southwest coast out of the Kizimkazi
areas. In truth these trips are something of a sham, since if you are lucky enough to encounter dolphins, as soon as you dive in the chances are they will immediately swim away. These are wild animals and really not likely to come up and play with you.
Having said that, we did once hear a report of dolphins apparently coming very close to a pregnant woman and apparently looking after her until she got back into the boat.
The bottom line is that swimming with wild dolphins is not really feasible, it is something more commonly done with captive creatures in other parts of the world.
Diving with dolphins is a lot more feasible, they will commonly approach and play with divers, who they seem to regard as far less of a threat.
The best locations for this activity tend to coincide with where the best locations are for diving