Zanzibar Hotels

‘Swimming with Dolphins’

The small fishing village of Kizimkazi has become Zanzibar’s home of dolphin tours. For those day-tripping from Stone Town this means a longish ride south followed by around 2-3 hours off shore looking for dolphins at peak hour and the same longish ride back. This can seem like a lot of travelling for little reward. If you are a dolphin fanatic it is probably worth it for the experience, if not, then this may not be the trip for you.

If, however, you are staying in Southern Unguja or at Kizimkazi then the trip is well worth doing. You have the chance of a full-day on the water spotting dolphins and snorkelling and will be able to sail in the morning or evening when the mid-afternoon tourist cloud has dispersed.

Most tourists get to see quite a few dolphins but the chances are never 100%. Tours to Kizimkazi usually also offer the opportunity to explore the Miza Miza caves and to visit the ancient Dimbiani Mosque.

Making the arrangements

Stone Town’s numerous tour operators and many hotels will arrange your tour for you, see our Excursions page for details. The trips are pretty much always shared affairs. Generally speaking as the price goes up the number of people you are sharing with goes down. More expensive tours offer coaches to Kizimkazi rather than minibuses and fibreglass rather than wooden boats. The main thing to ensure is that your boat has sufficient shade.

Prices start at USD 30-35 per person from Stone Town and include transfer to Kizimkazi and boat trip, but not meals. If you arrange the tour independently from Kizimkazi it is still best to organise your boat through a local hotel in order to avoid the clans of forceful local touts. Around USD 40 should cover boat hire for a few hours. Add to this USD 3 entry fees, and hire of snorkelling equipment (USD 5 - 15) and meals.

Always get as much information as possible about the tour you are booking before signing on the dotted line. This will help avoid disappointment and unwanted surprises.

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Fish Eagle Point’s version: ‘swimming with dogs’.