Natural High: fancy swimming with whales in Dominica?

Every spring the seas around this mountainous island heave with sperm whales – and you can join them.

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These stunning images are by expert marine videographer Patrick Dystra, who leads small group trips to Dominica organised by Brighton-based Natural World Safaris, a specialist in exceptional encounters with wildlife across the planet.

best andrew and whale copyThe seven-day trips, for a maximum of four guests, take place in February sailing out to deep, warm water close to shore. The sperm whales, which can be 20m (65ft) long, live up to seventy years and are safe and easy to approach. Advice and tuition is given on photographing these extraordinary creatures and the boat does not chase or harass the whales.

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If there’s spare time, this scenic island has plenty to offer including exhilarating hikes, a chance to visit one of the last refuges of the Carib people, and snorkeling in Champagne Reef where enchanting streams of bubbles rise from the seabed – the result of subterranean geothermal springs. Whale-watching trips are also available through local operators.

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In September 2017 Dominica was severely hit by Hurricane Maria and the island is still recovering and repairing – this included damage to its reefs and dive sites. For the latest situation see dominica.dm – tourism is vital to the island economy and a visit will help support local people and businesses.

Images © Patrick Dystra

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