First things first - my husband and I had a mini vehicle crisis on the way to Kaikoura and I won't go into the details but the staff at Dolphin Encounter were absolutely incredible in the practical help they gave us as well as the sympathetic / supportive welcome and kind assistance that we received. I have never experienced such kindness and helpfulness from a team of people - ever. Thank you so much!! You know who you are (and we are!!). On to the dolphin swim.....the experience of swimming with Dusky Dolphins is absolutely out of this world and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I also swam with Hector's Dolphins out of Akaroa two days earlier and can say that both experiences were very rewarding but in very different ways. The Hector's Dolphins were very shy and so the visual contact with them - above and below the water line was very limited - no more than fleeting glances. The Dusky Dolphins at Kaikoura are completely different and the experience is just beyond words - words cannot do justice to the experience of swimming with these dolphins and the mental images are firmly imprinted in my mind forever. As someone who is very conservation / environmentally aware, I was very comfortable and happy with the emphasis placed by the Staff Team on not touching the dolphins / respecting that they are wild mammals and being generally conscious of the marine environment. The staff worked very hard to ensure that the experience was as rewarding and memorable as possible whilst strongly respecting the dolphins in their environment. They took us in / out of the water three times to maximise our time with the dolphins in close proximity. Exceptional :)
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