Situated on the southern point of the island, Kizimkazi fishing village is home to several schools of the bottle-nosed dolphin and Humpback dolphin, which are sighted during a short boat trip from the village. Bottle-nose dolphins, the genus Tursiops, are the most common and well-known members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphins. Recent molecular studies show the genus contains two species, the common bottle-nose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), instead of one. They inhabit warm and temperate seas worldwide.
The tour starts best very early in the morning, because in the afternoon as the sun rises sea water tends to become warm, therefore dolphins dive deep down the sea bottom to escape heat. We also like to arrange this trip very early, as later in the morning there are too many boats, which scares the animals and could be a danger for their sustainability. For the guests who stay in a Stone town hotel, we pick you up around 06:00am and 05:00 am from the beach hotels.
Although dolphin-spotting is a popular activity, sightings aren’t guaranteed 100%, and actually managing to swim with dolphins is a rare occurrence, like with other wild animals spotting dolphins requires time and patience as they are not confined in a cage or a zoo; they are in their natural environment. A dolphin trips last two to three hours.
The dolphin tour spot at Kizimkazi is also the site of a 12th century mosque, the earliest evidence of Islam in Zanzibar and East Africa, and is thus worth a visit for both natural and cultural reasons. The Kizimkazi Mosque is one of the oldest Islamic buildings on the East African coast. Despite its name, it is located in Dimbani, not Kizimkazi, which is three miles away (this is because the official names of these two joined villages are Kizimkazi Dimbani and Kizimkazi Mtendeni).
This is a must-see site that we just had to add to the dolphin tour. According to a preserved Kufic inscription, it was built in 1107 by settlers from Shiraz. Although the inscription and certain coral-carved decorative elements date from the period of construction, the majority of the present structure was rebuilt in the 18th century.
The tour can be combined with a visit to the Jozani Forest, or on special request we can organize in between a sumptuous BBQ on the beach.