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Swim with dolphins in the Red Sea

  • Marsa Alam, Red Sea Coast, Egypt

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 21 March, 2024

One of the best, most reliable places to swim with dolphins is in the Red Sea at so-called ‘Dolphin Houses’.

The best, most pristine and original ‘Dolphin House’ is the Sataya Reefm 100 kms south of Marsa Alam. 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). The reefs are pristine and packed with colourful fish – there are few better places in the world to snorkel.

A second, but still superb reef that also shelters pods of spinner dolphins and has superb snorkelling is Shaab Samadai (translated as Marsa Alam Dolphin House) only 30 minutes boat ride from Marsa Alam.

A third option is the so-called ‘Dolphin House’ of Hurghada. Being a larger more heavily touristed town, the dolphin tours from Hurghada are more of a fun day out than a serious ecotour. There are far more boats, and as a result, it’s unlikely you’ll get to swim with the dolphins due to government restrictions. You’ll almost certainly see dolphins though, and tours will include some great snorkelling.

 

Logistics

Price from: £50
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around
Duration: 7 hours

Getting there & doing it

Sataya Reef is a full-day excursion. It’s a 2-hour boat ride one way from Marsa Alam, or you can stay closer by on overnight accommodation, available through operators in nearby villages – Marsa Shagra, Marsa Nakari and Wadi Lahami.

Shaab Samadai Reef lies off the coast of Marsa Alam, about a 4-hour drive east from Luxor. It’s usually a full-day excursion too, with snorkelling and lunch included. The boat ride to the reef takes around 30 minutes, departing from Marsa Alam’s marina.

For both of the above, 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.

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.

Who to go with: organised tours

9

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Dolphin House and Banana Boat Fun from Hurghada

  • Hurghada

Dolphin House and Banana Boat Fun from Hurghada

Viator

Take a boat trip to the heart of the Dolphin's habitat where you will experience the incredible variety in the underwater life of the Red Sea. Snorkel and swim with the dolphins as you observe their fascinating behavior. Sunbathe and enjoy lunch on board the boat.

Price $37

Min age 0

Rating 4.81 / 5 [329 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Hurghada: Private 4 Hours Speedboat Dolphin House Snorkling Tour

  • Hurghada

Hurghada: Private 4 Hours Speedboat Dolphin House Snorkling Tour

Viator

Discover sights like the Dolphin House, Paradise Island, or Orange Bay Island on this customizable speedboat tour with hotel pickup and drop-off in Hurghada. Enjoy snacks and soft drinks along the way.

Price $65

Min age 0

Rating 4.93 / 5 [258 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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PRIVATE! | 4-hour Speed Boat Trip | Swim With Dolphins, Snorkeling & Island

  • Hurghada

PRIVATE! | 4-hour Speed Boat Trip | Swim With Dolphins, Snorkeling & Island

Viator

Embark on an private 4-hour speed boat trip in Hurghada, perfect for the whole family. Experience the pure joy of swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat. Interact with these magnificent creatures, immersing yourself in a truly remarkable encounter that will leave you in awe. Gear up for an underwater exploration as you snorkel in the crystal-clear waters. Discover the mesmerizing beauty of vibrant coral reefs teeming with a kaleidoscope of colorful fish and marine life. But the excitement doesn't end there! We'll take you to Abu Miqar Island, a picturesque paradise untouched by time. Relax on the pristine sandy beaches, soak up the sun, and let the breathtaking surroundings engulf you in tranquility. Rest assured, your safety is our top priority. Our experienced guides will be by your side, ensuring a secure and memorable adventure for everyone. Create lifelong memories as you delve into the mesmerizing waters of Hurghada.

Price €160

Min age 0

Rating 4.81 / 5 [240 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Swimming with Dolphin VIP Snorkeling Sea Trip With Lunch and Transfer - Hurghada

  • Hurghada

Swimming with Dolphin VIP Snorkeling Sea Trip With Lunch and Transfer - Hurghada

Viator

Take advantage of the marvelous warm weather in Hurghada with a full-day out on the Red Sea. Travel by boat out to Dolphin House, where you will spend a relaxing day snorkeling and enjoying a buffet lunch on the boat. The Dolphin House trip makes you part of the sensation of swimming with dolphins in their natural Red Sea habitat. During your encounter with dolphins you must realize, regardless of their play like behavior, our famous friends are basically essentially predators, living in the wild. They must be respected with great consciousness.

Price $19

Min age 0

Rating 4.54 / 5 [198 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Dolphin house

  • Hurghada

Dolphin house

Viator

An indescribable snorkeling trip into the nature reserve. Accompanied by English speaking guide, you can experience the magic of the coral reefs and colorful fish diversity. We will visit Dolphin House - famous as a home area for a large number of dolphins. Including equipment, lunch and drinks.

Price €50

Min age 0

Rating 4.94 / 5 [139 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Website >

Round-ups

1

Round-ups that include this experience

18 Best places to swim with dolphins

Inspiration

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.