4. Spot and swim with dolphins
On Zanzibar, there are two possibilities for swimming with dolphins. The first is through the organised Dolphin Tours that operate out of Kizimkazi – guests can join other groups of people on numerous boats as they head out towards the reef in search of these majestic animals. However, over the last few years there have been more and more reports about unethical practices that happen here, largely due to the boat operators being desperate to give their clients the best possible viewing. As a result, pods of dolphins are often surrounded by jostling boats and it has been reported that from time to time dolphins even get injured as a result of a careless skipper accidentally hitting them with his propeller. With all this happening, it is really not a place we would recommend to do this activity – and thankfully there is a very viable alternative.
Operating since 1996, Safari Blue, besides providing an excellent opportunity to see dolphins, is one of the best day trips you can do on Zanzibar. Starting at around 10:00am, groups depart on traditional dhows for an action-packed day. From departure, guests sail to the shallower of two snorkelling spots, where there is a chance to have a look at what is going on under shimmering waters. Some things to keep an eye out for here are prawns, lobsters and a vast amount of colourful fish. After an hour or so in the water you once again set sail, this time to the deeper of the two spots, where, with a bit of luck, you get to see and perhaps swim with dolphins. Typically these are group trips, but it is also possible to book a private charter.
A morning such as this tends to leave people very hungry, so following a short stopover in a beautiful lagoon guests are taken to a small uninhabited island where they are met with a feast – slipper lobster, prawns, calamari, kingfish, beef skewers and pilau rice are just a few of the things on the mains menu, which is followed by almost every fruit available on Zanzibar for dessert! It is also possible for guests to try their hand at sailing a small dhow, or alternatively just relax in one of the hammocks that line the beach. Following lunch – and of course a siesta – the boats once again set sail and by 5:00pm everyone is back on Zanzibar.