BALI: HOW I SEE DOLPHINS IN INDONESIA

Indonesian island Bali is advertised as a paradise island with the most beautiful beaches in the world. Honestly, I’ve seen more beautiful ones so it’s not because of them I want to visit Bali again. Bali island is the only place in the world for me where you can learn the taste of relax and experience true silence in the bosom of nature. I spent 10 days there, after I had travelled through Java island, which I’ll be willing to tell you about in my further posts. Bali it’s most of all the amazing richness of fauna and flora. Beautiful, wild and unspoilt nature is the main reason you should visit Bali as soon as possible. The journey isn’t the cheapest but the costs of living are small.

 Fresh fish in Bali means that you can see her caught and prepared on the grill after 15 minutes of placing an order at the bar
Fresh fish in Bali means you can see it caught and prepared on the grill after 15 minutes of placing an order at the bar

Besides elephants rides in Bakas Village, playing with monkeys in city Ubud and snorkelling you can also try a local attraction which is the possibility of swimming with dolphins. I don’t know about you but I love these animals. Unfortunately I only had a chance to see them in water parks. That’s why I like the idea of watching them in their natural habitat. For this, we went to Lovina Beach- a place situated in the northern part of the Bali island. For unknown reasons, the coast of Lovina each is a favourite place of dolphins existence. It’s the only place in Bali island where you can see dolphins. I’ve learnt from some local source that a huge amount of sardines, which are dolphins’ delicacy, live there. I don’t know to what extent it’s the truth, but indeed there were thousands of them in the sea. What’s interesting, sardines look like blue dots in water which resemble Christmas tree lights.

bali lodki


What to do to see dolphins at Bali island?


You must go to the open sea, of course, to see dolphins. It’s not true that they can be found in secluded parts of the coast to which you can be taken by local smarties for a small fee. There are two ways to set off to see dolphins: rent a boat or buy a trip in a local travel office or directly from a fisherman. In practice, only fishing boats can go into the sea. We can make a deal with a captain (as fishermen call themselves) for the price of 100 000 IDR (Indonesian rupias) which is approximately 10 € or use the help of a travel office or a hotel. In practice, we will probably get to the same captain but on the way we’ll let a hotel and some agents earn their share as well. It’s really not worth it. It’s no use bargaining either, as all captains are in good understanding with one another and nobody will take you for a price which is lower than I quoted. It’s all in the name of solidarity and support of local entrepreneurship.

 A view of the horizon of the sea and the coast of Lovina Beach in the morning to reward early wake-up call
A view of the horizon of the sea and the coast of Lovina Beach in the morning to reward early wake-up call

It took us at most 15 minutes to find a captain as there are many candidates. They will be paying you offers themselves. We travelled off season, which is the beginning of December, so we got 10 offers only at one street. I’ll only add that there’s only one main street leading to the beach, with restaurants, offices and shops, so choose the captain you’ll simply like most. You’ll spend a few hours in each other’s company. Everybody will offer you the same, which is going into sea before other boats and dolphins jumping above the boat. It’s a small advertising trick. In practice, it’s all the same whether you’ll leave at 5 or 5.30. Some people leave even at 6 in the morning. There will be exactly the same crowd at sea. The sad fact is that besides us, there will be not just a few but dozens of the same boats at sea all jammed with tourists.

delfiny 3


Is it worth it to go to sunrise?


In the captain’s opinion this is the best time as dolphins are having their breakfast then. I always thought that dolphins were trained to play. Meanwhile they are playful by nature and simply love to have fun. If you set off too late you’ll miss a beautiful sunrise which is a real feast for your eyes. Some people set off at sunset when it’s supper time for dolphins. We admired beautiful coast of Lovina bathed in orange colours while splashing at the shore.

sunset bali


Dolphins are mammals most fun I’ve ever met


For me observing dolphins was an incredible experience. They were practically at my fingertips. Some were small, some were bigger. Some of them were swimming under our boat in a lazy manner, others were simply doing somersaults right at the bow. It’s so amazing to be able to watch them live. Dolphins aren’t just beautiful but also intelligent and sensitive mammals. The world knows numerous cases of dolphins suicides out of loneliness or longing after he partner.

delfiny 6

I felt almost like in a fairy tale, but only almost. The sound of working engines of several boats is very irritating, not to mention their captains shouting “here”, “look left!”, “look right!”. I got the impression that I was disturbing those poor creatures in having their meal. As soon as a new dolphin appears at the horizon, all the boats turn immediately and chase it and it goes on like this for two hours. It’s a little sad, isn’t it?

delfiny 4

All tourists could be taken on one big boat with a quiet engine, and then they could watch a dolphins feast in a total silence. I think this would be a more civilised manner but then local business would stop blooming. Anyway, the captain believed that dolphins loved the sound of engines and had a good time. Is it really so, we would have to ask dolphins themselves?

delfiny


After playing with dolphins snorkelling


Around 8 the boats start coming back to the harbour. Alternatively, you could go snorkelling as we did. I recommend taking your own equipment. The one offered by a fisherman is not only of a poor quality but we also have no idea who used it before us. It’s also good to cleanse a mouthpiece with antibacterial gel. Unfortunately one has to be able to swim as well, as boats are not equipped with lifejackets and the place where you are going to swim is several meters deep. Although I can swim I had some objections as to swimming unprotected. First of all I’m not a great swimmer but even if I were I could always have a crump. I remind that our fisherman is not a lifeguard. It’s good to account for that while going on that trip.

 Bali underwater world full of variety and color that makes swimming takes on a different sense
Bali underwater world full of variety and color that makes swimming takes on a different sense

Coral reef in Bali is at your fingertips


However, as soon as I saw the colour of water and the reef I couldn’t resist and jumped in. My fascination outgrew my fear. After a few minutes I totally forgot of being in the middle of the sea without a lifejacket and a few meters away from my boat. I felt as if I was in the other world. It was enough to take one dip to feel like a fish in water. There were several kinds of colourful fish around me, both small and bigger ones. Some of them were making nervous movements while others were kind of lazy. I could see corals and starfish. I felt as if I was in the other world. Do you also feel like this under water? If you haven’t tried yet, then you definitely have to. Snorkelling can be done practically by anybody regardless the age and swimming abilities. In Bali there are places on beaches specially designated for snorkelling. It’s enough to enter water up to your underarms and dip your head under water to find yourself in underwater kingdom.


I’ll tell you more about these places in other posts. So, when are you going to Bali island? Or maybe you’ve just returned? What do you think about this kind of activity? Let us know in comments.

Renata
Jestem tu

Renata

graduate student at the Warsaw University & the University of Southern Denmark, courageous princess with allergy, an only child struggling with loneliness and insecurities since her childhood, a dreamer, an incurable optimist, a lonely traveller and an organiser of group expeditions to 4 continents who has been in love with flying since she was 3 years old, was living in Spain & Denmark, currently lives in London
Renata
Jestem tu