On our trip to Oahu, we managed to swim with wild dolphins two times! It was definitely a highlight on our trip and one of the best experiences I've had in my entire life. It is something I hope everyone can experience under the right circumstances. In this guide, I will tell you how we managed to find wild dolphins two times in 4 days!

There are a lot of agencies in Oahu that offer dolphin tours with a 99% chance of seeing some. However I do recommend trying to swim with these beautiful creatures by yourself and not with a tour. Not only do you save a lot of money (the tours are expensive), you will also have a much better experience and it will be better for the animals.

Seeing wildlife on your travels is high on a lot of peoples wishes. Unfortunately there are a lot of downsides to organized wild animal encounters. Too much people causes too much stress for the animals, tour operators may start feeding the animals, making them less cautious and scared of humans and lowers their ability to search for food. It can also change the migrating behaviors that can change the entire Ecosystem. Although I don’t think this is the case in Oahu, there are a lot of other places where this has happened, for example with the whale sharks in Oslob, Philippines. Take this in mind before you go on a tour.

To be able to swim with wild dolphins by yourself, you need a car, patience and a little bit of luck. Dolphins are usually seen on the west side of Oahu early in the morning. Make sure you wake up early and set off for the west coast.

This is the exact location where we swam with dolphins the first time, although this may vary from day to day. The second time, we found them a few kilometers south close the Tracks Beach Park.

So the only thing you need to do is drive along the coast, stop at the beach every once in a while and look for the dolphins.

Look for the boats

This may sound like a cheap trick but look for the tour boats. They drive up and down the coast searching for dolphins, when they find some, usually 3-4 boats appear at the same spot. If you see the boats, there are usually dolphins.

When you do find the dolphins, grab your gear and swim out to them. Stay calm, don’t chase them and don’t make to much sounds and noise.
The big groups from the tours screamed evert time they saw the dolphins and tried to swim after them all the time.
Me and Matilda stayed 100m away from the group and let the dolphins come to us.

The dolphins circled around us for more than two hours! We only left because we were getting cold and tired after being in the water for so long. The dolphins were pretty calm and swam slowly around us, but somtimes some of them were doing big jumps and spins in the water. It was so cool to see these free and wild animals!

These are my tips for swimming with wild dolphins! I really hope you find this guide helpful. Let me know in the comments below what you think and good luck swimming with dolphins!

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