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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 20 November, 2022

One of the best, most reliable places to swim with dolphins is in the Red Sea at Sammadai Reef – nicknamed ‘Dolphin House’.

This horseshoe-shaped reef shelters a calm lagoon, home to a large pod of around 100 spinner dolphins. With few currents, and crystal-clear water, viewing conditions are typically excellent; better still, the dolphins are naturally curious animals and often come close to swimmers (though physical interaction is not permitted).

Price from: £50
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around
Duration: 5 hours

Getting there & doing it

Sammadai Reef lies off the coast of Marsa Alam, about a 4-hour drive east from Luxor. The boat ride to the reef takes around 30 minutes.

Experienced guides give you a briefing before you enter the water, including tips on how to get close to the dolphins without scaring them. There’s no minimum age. Wear a T–shirt and sunscreen to avoid sunburn on your shoulders and the backs of your knees.

Overnight accommodation if required is available through operators in nearby villages – Marsa Shagra, Marsa Nakari and Wadi Lahami.

When to do it

Tours run all year round, seven days a week. Start times vary by operator.

Visit between September and March, ideally. The light is better at this time of year and outside temperatures are lower. Spring (March-May) sees winds that can whip up the sea, reducing visibility. July and August are blisteringly hot.

Round-ups that include this experience

18 Best places to swim with dolphins

Multiple countries

These intelligent, social beings have long held a special place in our hearts – a result of their seemingly-smiling faces, playful frolicking and friendly disposition. Here’s our round-up of some of the best places in the world to swim with them.

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