Encountering Dolphins Indonesia

Dolphins are on the top of the bucket list when it comes to ocean encounters. Who can resist the smiling face of these practical jokers? It’s hard to imagine a more special encounter on the ocean than with a dolphin.

Spinner Dolphins

Encountering Dolphins in Indonesia

The most common species of dolphin that we encounter is the spinner. This smaller species is found throughout the country in pods usually ranging from 50 or more individuals. They offer one of the most exciting encounters, as they leap and frolic in the water. It’s not uncommon to watch them jump out of the water and “spin” 720 degrees before splashing back to the water. Spinners also enjoy riding the bow wake of a boat while busily chirping and whistling away. However, they are not easy to encounter underwater, they are shy around divers and snorkelers and will most likely swim away when people enter the water.

Bottlenose are another species that are found in Indonesia. We tend to encounter this large species mostly in the Komodo region. For divers, an encounter with a bottlenose is a life altering moment. Although it’s not regular, we do enjoy the occasional visit from a pod on diving sites such as Batu Bolong or Castle Rock. These playful dolphins are most likely the Indo Pacific Bottlenose, a slightly smaller relative to the Common Bottlenose. The Indo Pacific dolphins are a large species and can reach lengths of 3 meters (10 feet).

We encounter other species of dolphins as well. Spotted and Fraser’s dolphins are common as are encounters with their larger cousins the Melonhead whales and Pilot whales. In fact, the largest member of the dolphin family, the Orca (Killer Whale) can also be found. In total, there are more than 30 species of whales and dolphins known from Indonesia. Although many are shy and rare, we are lucky to encounter them often.

Our Marine Mammal Philosophy

Bottlenose DolphinOn the Samata we respect marine mammals. Our crew prioritizes the well being of these amazing animals and will allow guest interaction when conditions are safe. When we spot cetaceans we always call attention to our guests so they can see them too. If the possibility of a more personal encounter is present, such as when on the tender boat, we may allow guests to enter the water. Of course the quality of encounter is always up to the animal. Dolphins are extremely agile animals and will be the one to initiate any encounter with a swimmer. Our ultimate goal is to keep both our guests and the wildlife safe so we monitor each situation accordingly.

If dolphins are on your bucket list then a trip to Indonesia should certainly be in your future plans. We love sharing these experiences with our guests. There is nothing quite like the feeling of joy you get after encountering these playful jesters of the sea. Indonesia has many incredible animals throughout the country, why not head to Kalimantan to see the endangered Orangutans after departing the Samata.

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