Sunday, April 02, 2006

Dolphin Watching in Sarawak, Where to Go

The best locations near Kuching for watching Irrawaddy dolphins are Santubong, Salak and Buntal. These are the areas where tour operators generally go to. CPH Travel knows the Santubong and Salak areas very well, whilst Ehwan focuses on tours around Buntal, his home village.

Other areas where Irrawaddy dolphins can be spotted near Kuching include the waters around Bako National Park (keep an eye out when you travel by boat from Kampung Bako to the park HQ); Kuala Sibu Laut, although sightings are not that common, and Muara Tebas, a pretty good area but its not easy to just turn up and rent a boat, especially one that comes with a good guide-cum spotter.

For a map of the Kuching region, see

Further a field there are a number of areas where Irrawaddy dolphins are frequently spotted. Tanjung Manis, a port area near Sarikei, is highly developed and has heavy boat traffic, but dolphins are still found there. Best way to get to Sarikei is by express boat from Kuching. There are a lot of sightings of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Saribas area, especially between Beladin and Pusa. Pusa is about 300 kilometres from Kuching.

Whilst Irrawaddy dolphins are often sighted at Tanjung Manis and Saribas it is not easy to arrange a trip to see them. No tour operators or local boat owners offer trips in these areas. Basically you just have to turn up, talk to local fishermen and see if they want to rent you a boat for an exploratory dolphin watching trip. If you live near these areas then it might be worth trying, for foreign tourists the best bet is to go dolphin watching at Santubong, Salak or Buntal.

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