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Dolphin EnCOuntours | Whale & Dolphin Watching

Resident dolfriends Gilly and daughter GulliverA bout of conscious interactionJump for joy!Educational centerSwimming with dolphins!



Educational Dolphin Swim Programs


The program was established during the mid ’90’s by co-founder Angie Gullan.


The 28th December 1994 marked the day inter-species relations between man and dolphin began in Ponta do Ouro. Time, seemly stood still when in the shallows of the bay a naïve and somewhat frightened 20 something city girl experienced moments of intrigue when coming face to face with creations most intelligent cetacean, the bottlenose dolphin. The complexity of their spirited existence could be heard in their chatter and the strange and penetrating sound of their sonar could be felt as they ‘read’ the shy being before them. Were they to know that this human – a being somewhat similar but in the same breath completely different to themselves would become a regular visitor to their home. 


Periodic visits specifically aimed at observing this gregarious species soon saw the development of what was to be Africa’s first permanently based Dolphin Interaction and Research Center (DIRC). An initial baseline pilot study was undertaken to asses the frequency of cetaceans together with the sustainability of a dedicated marine mammal based eco-tourism project and by the late 90’s under the guidance of various institutes and marine mammal experts Dolphin EnCOuntours had developed an interactive experience that aimed at creating a safe space where both dolphin and human could interact. 


A combination of attitudinal and methodological elements produce human behavior that is consistent and predictable, resulting in the dolphins knowing exactly what to expect when in the company of humans who follow the specially developed DCA (dolphincare-africa) Code of Conduct. It is out of these human behaviors that some truly remarkable one on one encounters take place with our Dolfriends. A comprehensively designed dolphin program encompassing the DCA in-water code of conduct and snorkeling guidelines together with in-depth information on behavior, species and other topics of interest effectively now balances science, spirit and the safety of both species.


Conscious Interaction between dolphin & human is a focal point in DCA’s work. This type of interaction between species far outweighs a forced viewing of dolphins who are being chased down and passing in the distance. A photographic fin identification program allows researches to track and monitor the movements, social structures and calving rate of this gregarious specie, allowing them to know who’s who woithing the society. The importance of giving back to the dolphins led the way to the establishment of DolphinCare-Africa (DCA), a small SA based npo that is now currently undergoing registration in Moçambique. Some 4000 encounters have been recorded over the years, and 30 000+ images taken, validating the organizations longterm commitment to the study of the dolphins and the effects of tourism thereon. 


This has contributed immensely to the establishment of the Partial Marine Protected Area that was proclaimed in July 2009; a longterm goal finally achieved thanks to the many reports and correspondence with government over the years.  


The project works in collaboration with the UEM of NHM in Maputo under a formal memorandum of understanding. Research project permit number (0010/2009) - DCA’s Monitoring of Large Megafauna in the Ponta do Ouro - Santa Maria Area.  Commercial  transport license number 090/inmar/tm/2008.


Prior to in-water observations and launches, participants receive full boat safety briefing as well as the DCA specially developed swim code of conduct that details rules and regulations while swimming with wild dolphins as well as covering the different aspects of wild dolphin behavior ensuring participants know exactly what to expect on board our tourism research vessel ‘Avalon’. 


All encounters are facilitated and in-water swim facilitation is offered to those in need. Resident researchers are present on board during launches, ensuring your safety and the best dolphin experience possible. Researches will accompany you into the water and guide you interaction with the dolphins. 


Avalon is a semi rigid sea going vessel registered with the department of Transport in Mozambique and has passed all safety specifications. She is powered by Evinrude ETEC’s and is less invasive on our environment with lower emissions and quieter technology; group size is kept to 12 participants plus skipper, boat hand and DCA guides. 


Our code of conduct has been specially developed over the last 16 years to ensure the dolphins safety and wellbeing comes first. Some rules you can expect to follow include:-

  • No touching
  • No diving down
  • No swimming with newborns
  • No flash photography
  • No chasing 
  • At all times participants are to ensure a calm and quite disposition when observing and interacting with wild dolphins. No shouting etc...
  • We follows a one boat policy.

Currently Mozambique’s laws are very limited when it comes to marine mammals and it is all our responsibility to ensure sustainable practices are followed - For the love of dolphins. 


These are remarkable and intelligent beings and it is a privilege to spend time with them. But we also have a responsibility to protect them.

Angie Gullan, founder



January • February • March • April • May • June • July • August • September • October • November • December



Vessel types

Rigid inflatable

Times and prices

The program run year long and encountours are run over a minimum of a four day stay.


Three night Encountour with Wild Dolphins - from R3850

Three field trips to encounter dolphins with dolphincare-africa guides Angie Gullan & Diana Rocha

Pre-training with snorkeling intro, ecology workshop & the DCA code of conduct

Three nights lodging in Ponta do Ouro 

Brunches after field trips and two dinners (one night own account)

Transfers to and from the launch site

DCA gift pack with free image downloads


About our skippers and naturalist guides

Angie Gullan - Founder, educator, researcher and guide

Diana Rocha - Biologist, educator, researcher and guide

Mitchel Niemeyer - Skipper, educator and guide


Carbon neutral • Deck with 360?vision • Hands-on materials (bones, shells etc) • Naturalist guide(s) as well as skipper • On board hydrophone • On-site visitor center / museum • Onboard research • Posters / displays / maps • Reading material available • Scenic backdrop to encounters • Support conservation • Swim / snorkel included • Use a code of conduct

We frequently

Listen to whale song • Listen to whales and dolphins • See a whale's tail • See leaping dolphins • See leaping whales • Swim with them in the wild • Watch dolphins only • Watch whales and dolphins

Baleen Whales

Humpback Whale

Ocean Dolphins

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin • Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin • Pantropical Spotted Dolphin • Spinner Dolphin

Dolphin House
Town / City
Ponta do ouro
State / County
Zip / Postcode
Awesome experience
Traveled: 2014-02-01, Reviewed: 2014-02-10
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
Angie and Mitch has respect for the sea and its creatures. It was something unbelievable to experience. So much so that I can not wait to go back. Well worth every cent spent on such a life changing experience.
Still talking about it!
Traveled: 2013-02-15, Reviewed: 2013-02-27
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
My family and I participated in the Dolphin EnCOunters’ 3 Launch Tour and it was Fantastic!
We had close interactions with wild in-shore bottlenose dolphins in a safe environment for both human and dolphin. Each day we were fortunate enough to spent time in the water with these curious and playful creatures.
The accommodation included in the tour was beautiful. Dolphin BeachCamp has a magnificent view of the coast with direct beach access. From the balcony we would watch dolphins surfing in the waves out front. Brunch was also included in the price and was prepared for us each morning after returning from the launch.
Dolphin EnCOunters follows ethical marine mammal tourism and it was a pleasure to take part in this adventure.
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2013 Responsible Whale Watch Partnership:Click here to read more about the partnership