Dolphin Watching in Bais
Dolphin and whale watching is one of the well known tourist attractions in Negros Oriental. The main area that offers dolphin watching tours in Negros is Bais City; which is located on the east coast of Negros island. Most tourists who visit Bais would combine their dolphin and whale watching with a stay on the Manjuyod Sandbar. Most would avail both Dolphin Watching and Manjuyod Sandbar Tour as a full day-trip package while some would also avail an overnight stay in one of the cottages / stilt houses at Manjuyod Sandbar.
From Capiñahan or Canibol Wharf in Bais City, boat operators will take you to Bais Bay - Tañon Strait to watch the dolphins as you cruise along the clear blue waters. Tañon Strait is acknowledged to have one the biggest concentrations of cetaceans / marine mammals in the world. It is also the largest marine protected area in the Philippines located between southern Cebu Island and Negros Island. Due to its marine protected area status, the marine life in this place remain rich as the local and national government promotes efforts in the conservation of wildlife, while promoting local and foreign tourism; showcasing it's rare abundance of marine species and seascapes including water sports and other attractions at the same time.
The vast coverage of mangrove forests contributes to the abundance of sea creatures on this part of Tañon Strait. These mangrove forests are home to different kinds of wildlife creatures including the small fishes and other organisms that dolphins and whales feed on. The strait also serves as an ideal place for cetaceans breeding due to its flat and calm waters.
There are 14 species of dolphins and whales in Tañon Strait. However, the most common ones which are also the more oftenly sighted are the spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins and pygmy sperm whales. Other types are pygmy killer whales, dwarf whales and pilot whales. You can watch these playful and intelligent animals in their natural habitat without disturbing them by availing dolphin watching tours that are offered in Bais City. To watch the dolphins and whales being out in the ocean in their most natural environment instead of seeing them being confined in an aquarium or tank, is an amazing experience.
Dolphins stay in the strait whole-year-round, however, most tours operate between the months of March and October as this is the period when Tañon Strait is at its calmest condition, making it the most ideal period to tour. Other months can be more challenging due to weather conditions resulting to rougher waves; making it difficult to view the movements of the creatures unlike when the sea is calm. The busiest months are usually from March to May. September and October, on the other hand, are the considered the lean months.
The best time of the day to watch dolphins is in the early hours; just after sunrise. This is the time when the ocean is calm so you could easy spot their dorsal fins. It is also the time that they are populous and active near the tourists' area, therefore, there is a greater chance to see them.
Tour operations offers different packages to cater your needs and preferences. To make sure that you'll be conveniently and safely accommodated on your trip, you must book your trip in advance, ideally a month ahead as boats reservations can fill up quickly especially if you are planning to visit during the peak months.
The tour sessions already have their own guides and spotters to orient the group of tourists on what 'to-do' and 'not-to-do' while on the tour. During the boat tour an experienced dolphin spotter will guide on how to spot a dolphin and will tell you when dolphins are near your boat so you do not miss any of the sightings. Dolphins are naturally curious and playful creatures so unlike other wild animals, they would at times come close to boats. In pods they leap and spin out of the water and swim around and under your vessel. Dolphin types like the spinners can perform quick acrobats above water which leaves the watchers amazed and delighted.
Although many tourists would want to swim and dive together with the dolphins, doing this is strictly prohibited. Even though there are particular species of dolphins that tend to seek social encounters with humans,all types of dolphins must still be regarded as wild animals that possess unpredictable behavior. Prohibiting swimming with dolphins would minimize the possibility of injuring and frightening them. Feeding the dolphins is also prohibited because they might ingest food that is not suited to their diet and eventually, if done regularly, might result to being dependent on humans for food, instead of being out in the wild to search by their own. These swimming and feeding activities are strictly prohibited by law as to protect both the tourists and the wild animals from any harm. It best to simply stay in your boat and enjoy the sight as these mammals perform their acrobatics.
If you are looking for a unique and relaxing type of tour; enjoying the view of these peaceful and majestic sea creatures in their natural habitat, or if you are looking for another activity to add to your Negros tour, then dolphin and whale watching in Bais is a great option for you.
Tour packages including Manjuyod Sandbar, day tour and overnight stay at The Maldives inspired cottage/stilt houses, boat transfers, food and inland accommodations are available.