A pod of spinner dolphins at Samadai Reef. Photo by Annetee 2014 – one of Ehab’s happy customers
| SUMMARY OF Ehab’S EXCURSION CHARGES
SAMADAI REEF – ALL PRICES PER PERSON
|Snorkeling excursion all in – adult||50 euros|
|Snorkeling excursion all in – child||30 euros|
|Except for supplement for hotels
further than 20km but less than 50km
|Diving excursion all in||120 euros|
WHICH SEASON IS BEST ?
There is probably a seasonal element also which determines your chance. Earlier studies have shown that the average population number of dolphins at the reef is at its’ lowest between February and April but then reaches a peak in the May to July period some six to eight times greater than the winter/spring minimum. Numbers then recede gradually during the autumn until the winter. TripAdvisor comments also seem to indicate that visitors in the summer tend to be luckier but there is no absolute rule as sheer luck still plays a big role.
Divers and swimmers should be cautious and carefully follow your guide’s advice, as although the lagoon is generally a relatively sheltered and safe place to swim with mostly light currents, there are places around the reef where the currents can be strong.
A maximum of ten boats daily are allowed to enter the reef area carrying not more than 175 snorkelers and 100 divers. Boats with snorkelers are allowed access between 10am and 2pm while boats with divers between 9am and 3pm. Don’t worry about being turned back. If your organizer has already obtained a ticket to enter the reef area this guarantees that you will be allowed in.
The first thing you will notice on entering the lagoon is that there are buoys clearly marking off the snorkelers and divers areas from the “dolphins only” resting area. So please keep within your designated area. Don’t worry as your guide will point them all out to you when you arrive.
If you go snorkeling you will have to wear a lifejacket partly for safety and partly to prevent the occasional over enthusiastic snorkeler diving under the water to chase the dolphins.
However perhaps the most important rule is to never touch or feed the dolphins. It will be tempting but can be surprisingly risky as they are large, powerful and sometimes unpredictable and can inadvertently injure a swimmer or diver.
Touching can also lead to the transmission of human diseases to which dolphins may have no immunity and long term may serve to damage their independence and survival instincts.
So if a dolphin approaches you try to remain as inactive as safely possible – do not try to engage it in play. You should only be a passive quiet spectator. Never follow or chase a dolphin but allow it to decide if it wishes to approach you.
If you are on a boat watching a school of dolphins then please do not whistle or call out to them as this may scare them. And if you are relaxing on the boat in the reef area please keep any conversation or music at a reasonably low volume.
Also be extremely careful about swimming close to female dolphins with calves. A calf will look significantly smaller than an adult and will usually swim in close association with its’ mother. The most likely time to see calves here is in the May to July period and especially in June.
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