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Many people have a wish to see and touch a dolphin at least once in their lives. This wish can come true in Bali. The sight of dozens of dolphins streaking through the water, making elegant somersaults and following boats as if they really would like to make contact, brings a smile to everyone’s face. Real dolphin lovers can even meet their favourite creature face to face in the south of Bali.
Dolphins can be found in numerous places. In northern Bali, at Lovina Beach, traditional fishing boats head off in search of dolphins every day before sunrise. At Amed, in eastern Bali, the dolphins swim close to the beach and in the south, you can visit the best dolphin spots by speedboat from Tanjung Benoa and Sanur. There’s also a boarding point close to Sanur for a close encounter with a dolphin at the Dolphin Lodge. Here, in a pool with open-sea access, dolphins are cared for and trained with great love and respect.
The inviting beaches at Lovina are located to the north of Bali on the coast of the Bali Sea. Life is a bit more chilled out here and certainly less hectic than the southern town of Kuta. It’s an event every morning when the colourful jukungs take to the water along the 12-kilometre black volcanic-sand beach. These traditional fishing boats set off before sunrise to go fishing or take people to see dolphins. It’s a wonderful sight but it’s also very busy. If you choose to leave later or persuade your guide to stay a little longer until the other boats have left, you’ll still have time to enjoy the dolphins in the open sea.
The charming Amed, on Bali’s east coast, is another coastal region with black sand. It consists of a series of fishing villages, all with a laid-back atmosphere. This is the place to be for real scuba diving enthusiasts who also want to enjoy Bali’s beach culture. Yoga lovers can also find peace here. Dolphins regularly poke their noses in the direction of the beach and local fishermen offer cruises to see them. If you’re really lucky, you might spot one from your own beach villa early in the morning.
The Dolphin Lodge is located 5 minutes from the coast of Sanur. This is a pool of floating pontoons where dolphins are treated after having been wounded by boats or fishing nets. The dolphins receive extra vitamins, food and medical care. In addition, they are trained to do tricks. The dolphins can be seen by visitors a maximum of 3 times a day and, otherwise, their time is their own and they are free to swim in the open sea. Thanks to the loving care they receive, the dolphins always return of their own accord.
During a 40-minute session, you have the chance to get close to these graceful creatures. Small, supervised groups of maximum 6 people are escorted to the water’s edge, where a dolphin awaits making cheerful noises. The carers talk about the dolphins and their habits in great detail, and there’s plenty of time to play and make genuine contact with this intelligent creature. The dolphin dip doesn’t come cheap but it’s worth every penny if you love these mammals.
“An encounter with a dolphin is a heart-warming experience and many people are deeply touched by it.”