The Irrawaddy Dolphins are considered one of the most endangered amongst the dolphins and whales in the world and Sarawak is one of the best places in Southeast Asia to view them. These rare and unusual mammals are known locally as “pesut” and to be able to spot them in the wild in close proximity floating just inches above the waters is truly a rare and privileged experience of a lifetime.
You begin your adventure when picked up from your hotel either in the morning (8am) or in the afternoon (1 to 2 pm) for a short 35 minutes drive to the put-in at a beautiful secluded beach.
The times varies and this trip is not offered on a daily basis (unlike those operators of dolphins watching tours on motorized boats who runs them daily at fixed time) as we want to maximize your chances of spotting these delightful mammals by timing ourselves to their schedule not ours!
This is the most fun, intimate as well as eco-friendly way to spot these wonderful mammals in their natural environments. Although we’re at the estuary and not the open seas, sun hats and sun blocks are mandatory for sun protection. Drinking water is also provided for hydration.
Because we leave no trace except wakes in our kayaks; frequently the dolphins would even approach us! And inline with our eco-friendly approach, strict instructions would be given before we set off on how we approach and notify other participants when dolphins are spotted. We’ll return you back to your hotel after your dolphins spotting trips with precious memories to treasure about this most unique experience of a fun day out on the waters with dolphins!
To maximise our chances of spotting the dolphins we only run this trip on certain days and times; so it’s imperative that you contact us in advance in order to avoid disappointment. Read about our first trip out encountering these amazing mammals here.
Duration: 4 TO 5 HOURS
Fitness Level: EASY TO MODERATE
Minimum: 2 PERSONS
Price: RM$188/- PER PERSON
* Due to vagaries of wildlife behaviour and weather, we are unable to guarantee the sightings of these elusive mammals and as such no refunds would be entertained.
From Sarawak Tourism Board’s Newsletter “MAKING WAVES” Volume 2 No.5 July/August 2005
Sarawak – The Only Destination in Malaysia That Offers Dolphin Watching Tour
The Sarawak Tourism Board is pleased to announce the first step of its Product Development Initiative – the sustainable develop of marine mammal tourism in Sarawak. The board has just launched a 16-page interpretation brochure entitled Introducing the Irrawaddy Dolphins of Sarawak, Malaysia, and it is the beginning of an ongoing effort to develop and promote Sarawak’s position in this fast-growing market.
Marine mammal tourism (whale and dolphin watching) is one of the fastest growing areas of nature tourism; according to a report published in 2000, whale and dolphin watching was already a US$ 1 billion industry, attracting 9 million people a year in 87 countries and territories.
Sarawak is the first and only destination in Malaysia to offer commercial dolphin watching tours. The first tours were pioneered by local tour operator CPH travel in 1998, and the market has grown steadily with more operators participating. In 2005, 1500 people took part in dolphin watching tours, over 90 per cent of which were foreign tourists.
Sarawak is one of the best places in Southeast Asia to view the rare and unusual Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), which is highly endangered worldwide yet still abundant and thriving along most of the Sarawak coastline. The Irrawaddy dolphin inhabits estuaries and coastal areas, and its behaviour and lifestyle is quite different to pelagic (open ocean) dolphins. It is generally shy and elusive and must be approached with great caution if the animals are not to be disturbed, and if visitors are to enjoy a worthwhile viewing experience.
Because of the Irrawaddy dolphin’s unusual habitat and behaviour, STB have commissioned the publication of interpretation brochure so that visitors can fully understand and appreciate this most remarkable animal. Further activities are planned to develop this unique ecotourism product – including the drawing up of dolphin watching guidelines and training seminars for tour operators, tour guides and boatmen – in order to ensure that the product is developed properly and the dolphins are not disturbed by increased tourist traffic.
Since the introduction of dolphin watching tours, local operators have diversified their products, so that tourists can combine dolphin watching with crocodile spotting, bird watching or cruising the mangroves for proboscis monkeys. For the more energetic visitors, a local kayaking company is also offering dolphin spotting kayak tours.
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