We tried out our new dolphin watching tour in Lagos!

By Nathalie, content and translations at SeaBookings, who’d like to share her experience on a dolphin watching tour in Lagos.

When I heard that we had a new operator offering dolphin watching in Lagos, of course, I took the opportunity to try out this new experience myself. I have already been dolphin watching before, but every tour is special and seeing dolphins in their natural habitat is an amazing experience – over and over again! 

So me and my friend went to the Marina in Lagos to try out our newest dolphin watching tour in Lagos. The tour is run by a local group of family and friends, who are all from Lagos. Thus, they are real locals and know all about the region.

You can get really close to the dolphins

The skippers already have a lot of experience in boat tours in Lagos, and especially with finding wild dolphins. So they are the perfect crew to take you out on a dolphin watching tour in Lagos since they love what they do and also love to share their knowledge about the sea and dolphins with you.

The boat is a very modern RIB! It has a lot of power and can go really fast, yet at the same time, it’s surprisingly stable and very comfortable. You can tell it was chosen with much love and to provide clients with a safe and enjoyable dolphin watching trip!

Taking pictures of the dolphins is not easy, but you may be lucky!

We took our seats on the boat and off we went to look for dolphins in Lagos. Once we passed the Marina of Lagos, the boat took up the speed and we raced over the sea. It was a day with perfect conditions: no wind, no waves and a really glassy sea! 

Finding the wild dolphins

Thanks to the experienced crew, it didn’t take long until we found our first group of dolphins. It was a rather small one, about 10 dolphins. However, there were a few baby dolphins!

One of them, so we were told, must’ve been born no longer than 2 or 3 days ago, as it was still really tiny! It was the smallest baby dolphin I have ever seen, and surely a lovely sight.

The ride itself is a true adventure!

Our skippers slowed down the boat so we could stand up to get a better look at the dolphins.

The dolphins would swim underneath our boat and jump up next to it, so we could observe them really closely. We had some questions about how dolphins bread, and the skippers were happy to provide us with all the answers! 

We stayed for a while with this small pod of dolphins, enjoying the view of them swimming and jumping around in freedom.

While they continued their journey, so did we. The skippers decided to go a bit further west to look for a bigger pod of dolphins.

The water was very calm!

And a bigger pod we did find! While the first group was already very beautiful and special, this group of about 50 dolphins was simply huge.

They were all around, wherever you looked you could see fins coming out of the water and dolphins jumping around! 

The dolphins of this pod seemed even more adventurous than the first one! About 10 of them even surfed the waves behind our boat.

We didn’t even know where to look, as there were so many dolphins in every direction! It was simply impressive and definitely my most adventurous encounter with dolphins in Lagos

We stayed for a while, with dolphins jumping up really close to our boat. It seemed like they were doing a show for us and they enjoyed it a lot showing us how high they could jump.

It was really special seeing so many dolphins together, swimming in the sea and just enjoying their life! 

After this magical encounter, it was time to return back to Lagos. We were west from Lagos, so on the way back we actually drove past some of the main attractions of the coast, like Praia da Luz, Praia Porto de Mós and of course the famous Ponta da Piedade. Our skipper also decided to show us how much power the boat really had!

He went full-speed in front of the beautiful beaches of Lagos, doing steep curves and slides that made us scream with excitement!

It actually felt like riding on a rollercoaster and was definitely a fun ending to this incredible dolphin watching tour in Lagos!

Wild dolphins in the middle of the sea…

Shortly before we reached the entrance to the Marina, the boat slowed down and we were back to “reality”.

After coming off the boat, it actually felt like we had been in a different place for the duration of the tour and were now landing in real life again.

This dolphin watching tour in Lagos was definitely a highlight for me and my friend. The sheer amount of wild dolphins we found and the fun rollercoaster boat ride on the way back in front of the fascinating coastline of Lagos was an unforgettable experience. If you’re on holidays in Lagos, make sure you don’t miss our on this unique boat trip!

dolphins in Lagos

We went searching for wild dolphins in Lagos

Nathalie, content and translations at SeaBookings, shares her unforgettable experience searching for wild dolphins in Lagos:

Even though I live close to Lagos and have seen a couple of wild dolphins from the coast, I still wanted to try out the tours to search for dolphins in Lagos! And when my mum came to visit me in the beautiful Algarve, it was the perfect opportunity to take her out and go on this adventure in the search of wild dolphins in Lagos.

Best thing to do in Lagos with your mum: dolphin watching!

Best thing to do in Lagos with your mum: dolphin watching!

The day we wanted to do it started not very promising – early in the morning the sky was very grey and it didn’t look like it was going to be a good idea to go out on the sea. Luckily though, it opened up so that we were able to do the dolphin watching tour with a little bit of sun and a very calm ocean.

At the Marina in Lagos, we were welcomed by the two very friendly ladies at the check-in counter. Here we were also given some waterproof jackets, that they recommended we wear during the tour as it would get rather windy. Happily, we accepted the offer, and thank god we did so, as during the tour it was perfect to wear the jackets and be protected against the wind!

On the dolphin watching Lagos tour, you'll also enjoy the coastline

On the dolphin watching Lagos tour, you’ll also enjoy the coastline

Once the boat had arrived in the Marina from the last tour, it was our turn get aboard! The boat was a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) with seats in the front, middle and the back. So everybody could choose what they prefer – the skipper explained to us that in the front it would get bumpier, and people who prefer a more calm experience should stay in the back, as there the boat didn’t get much movement! Of course, we wanted to sit further in the front, so we sat down in the second row!

Once everybody was on board, the skipper gave us some general information about what to expect during the tour and how they work to find dolphins! He made sure everybody understood English and understood what he said. And then, it was time to go out and see if we could spot some wild dolphins in Lagos!

Some of the dolphins came very close!

Some of the dolphins came very close!

After leaving the Marina, the skipper increased the speed and we raced outside into the big blue! The ride on the speedboat alone was already a lot of fun, and everybody was excited about what we were going to find! About 20 km from the coast we found a big fishing boat. The boat stopped, and the skipper informed us that around here there was a lot of fish and that we should keep our eyes open since the chances were high the there were some dolphins very close to us!

We cruised a little further, and after some exciting minutes, the boat slowed down again. And there we saw the first splashes of water – dolphins!!! Everybody on board got excited, and as the boat came slowly closer to the dolphins, we all were able to stand up and admire the dolphins from up close!

dolphins in Lagos

Bring your camera for the challenge to catch these quick and playful creatures on a photo!

It was a group of about 10 dolphins, and there were even some mothers with small calves jumping around our boat. The dolphins seemed to be very playful, jumping out very close to the boat and even swimming underneath our boat. It was truly a magical experience, watching these wild animals in their natural habitat.

After some unique moments watching the dolphins and moving around the water with them, it was time to return to the Marina. The skipper took the “scenic route” along the coastline of Lagos, so we were able to also admire the beautiful caves of Ponta da Piedade and the surrounding beaches, which was the perfect way to end this unique experience!

Seeing dolphins in the middle of the Atlantic is a unique experience

Seeing dolphins in the middle of the Atlantic is a unique experience

Seeing the wild dolphins in the middle of the blue ocean was a very magical encounter, and we loved every minute of it! We highly recommend this tour!

dolphin watching in Luz

We went dolphin watching in Luz

Part of our team was in the South of Portugal, the Algarve, for some meetings with tour operators. The weather was amazing and the ocean was “calling” us for a boat ride. Paulo, who manages our partner company in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, immediately invited us for a trip. And so, we went dolphin watching in Luz.

Praia da Luz, Vila da Luz, or simply Luz, is a very cute town, west of Lagos. It’s actually the beach where Femke and Bo grew up so, they have strong ties to this little summer paradise.

Welcome to Praia da Luz!

Welcome to Praia da Luz!

The dolphin watching in Luz departs from the beach so you do not need to drive to the Marina of Lagos to meet these beautiful creatures.  The rich coastal waters of the Algarve are home to several species of dolphins and it’s always a true adventure. We were lucky with the weather and sea conditions. Chances of finding dolphins were extremely high.

As the observation of dolphins in the wild is not predictable, it is possible not to find them on one of the trips. However, this operator has a special policy that if this occurs, you can always board again for free on another trip. In fact, the success rate is so high that they can do this.

Ready to go dolphin watching in Luz!

Ready to go dolphin watching in Luz!

We met Paulo on the beach a bit before departure. The dolphin watching in Luz was fully booked so we were lucky we could go along (that’s why we always recommend booking ahead). From Luz, we use specifically designed boats for this type of trip: fast, secure and very comfortable. The boat is powered with four-stroke outboard engines and is ultra-silent and crew manning for 12 passengers. In fact, the boat was so comfortable such that Femke, who often gets seasick, felt just fine during the tour!

The dolphins came really close!

The dolphins came really close!

To get to the boat, we needed to get into a small rubber boat on the beach and then step over to the “dolphin-boat”. No worries, this is very easy. Even two 4-5-year-old kids did it easily. On board, life vests are mandatory. It’s recommended to keep your belongings in the beach hut, where the crew can store them in special boxes. On board, all you need is a camera (on your own responsibility) and a wind jacket is recommended too (and plenty of sunscreen, of course!). In fact, sometimes it can get quite chilly deeper in the sea.

dolphin watching from luz beachhut

The boat is very safe and comfortable

Once Paulo has given us a small briefing of what to expect, we were ready to go. The crew already had a GPS point of where the dolphins were (the tour operators communicate with each other to let know where the dolphins are). We were going to cruise about 10 miles Southwest. In fact, after about 30 exciting and speedy minutes, we found a huuuge group of dolphins.

The species we found were common dolphins. How many? Uncountable! The animals were super excited. They were jumping around as there was a lot of fish. There were dolphins of all ages, some more mature ones with babies and some 1-2-year-old playful youngsters. Paulo explained that, besides the fish, what explained the all the excitement of the dolphins was the mating season. Male and female dolphins were jumping around, next to each other. It was beautiful!  Discovering the magical world of dolphins in their natural habitat is a truly unique experience.

A boat tour is always a good idea!

A boat tour is always a good idea!

We had a blast! Many thanks to Paulo and his team! We highly recommend this experience dolphin watching in Luz. Especially to families. There were a few kids on board and it was very nice to see how fascinated and enthusiastic they were with the wild dolphins!