Dolphins. Sataya, Egypt. December 2011.

Dance with dolphins


  Egypt: Hamata - Red Sea - November 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Prepare your snorkel, but forget The big Blue and Flipper the dolphin...It gets better !!!! I take you to admire Egyptian dolphins, in 1 minute 30 of video.

Video: the dolphins of Sataya

→ Direct link to the video: The dolphins of Sataya

The site where I filmed this little video in November 2011 is called Sataya. It's in the Red Sea, in Egyptian waters. You can even see the reef on satellite images of Google Maps (see below).

There, live permanently long-beaked dolphins, which can be observed under water in palms-mask-tuba (PMT) or snorkeling in English. Scuba diving is not allowed near the reef to avoid disturbing them. The reef is supposed to be a place of rest for them.

On our little trip there, we were lucky. Two impressive schools of dolphins were there. We only had the right to go in the water for a short session of about twenty minutes. During this brief interval, the dolphins seemed to us players, jokers, not hesitating to come and brush against the swimmers, not at all scared.


Swimming with the dolphins was a new experience for me. In Bali, I had given up seeing the dolphins of Lovina, not wishing to contribute to the tourist business organized on the spot which seemed to me not very respectful of the animal.

Disclaimer: this stay in the Red Sea dates from November 2011. Since then, the number of boats and tourists arriving daily in the bay of Sataya has increased a lot, which is obviously not a good thing for the tranquility of resident dolphin beds ... All operators and visitors do not not respectfully, not hesitating to cut off the road, not reducing the engines, etc. I went back in 2017 and what I saw did not really like me (so at the time, I preferred not to post anything on the subject): boats everywhere and dolphins fleeing from humans paddling, instead of coming to meet them to play and swim as I had seen in 2011 ... Without being a specialist in marine mammals or the site, I realize that the pressure has become too strong and that it is probably preferable, now, to give up going to see the dolphins of Sataya. They will be happier without us!

Sataya could become a protected area in 2019. To promote good practices on the site and prevent the area from turning into a vulgar "tourist park", a petition, launched by Frédéric Chotard Sea Dolfin, specialist in the observation and approach of these marine mammals in apnea, is in progress. He hoped that the Egyptian authorities would take his recommendations into account. Contact him for the details of his project, which seems to me really well thought out. The petition is here → Help us protect Sataya's lagoon

Ethical approach to whales and dolphins. To learn more about the behaviour of these marine mammals and the possible interactions with them, in respectful conditions and for scientific purposes, I refer you to the sites of Éric Demay, a great specialist in these cetaceans: and Tursiops Group.

At the moment, I did not feel that the few small groups of snorkelers present disturbed many dolphins. No need to palm to approach them. They are the ones who come to see you, or not ...

We only stayed a few minutes swimming with them. Fantastic minutes!

Dolphins. Sataya, Egypt. December 2011.

I'm not really a customer of the pseudo-green mythology, a little new-age and often foolish around the dolphins. However. To see them evolve freely under water, very close to me, impressed me much more than I would have thought. It's really an extraordinary meeting.

However, I had already seen dolphins, but always from a boat. It is not uncommon when you sail in Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand, to meet dolphins that come to play for several minutes in front of the bow.

But there, under water, it was something else. I was so fascinated that for once I neglected the videos and the photos, to better contemplate them ...

Dolphins. Sataya, Egypt. December 2011.

Their incessant twirls seemed like a dance. And then there were these little facetious whistles, almost mocking, when they came almost in contact to immediately go to the bottom. Impossible not to be touched, stirred.

I swear, it's something, to swim near the dolphins ... It was both beautiful and moving. An aesthetic emotion, almost.

How about you? Have you ever had a similar experience? Have you ever felt that emotion?

  Egypt: Hamata - Red Sea - November 2011

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  1. Wow, that's gorgeous. 🙂
    I swam with dolphins in Brittany (lol) but it was not so magical as a happy family


    1. Hello, I would like to know where did you swim with dolphins in Brittany?

      thank you

  2. Agree with all the previous comments, beautiful images, but the music is not bad either, sound and images are in harmony. 🙄

  3. Really beautiful video! I've never seen dolphins in Egypt (nor swam with them)... (I swam with a dugong and turtles though 😛 ) It must be magical to swim with dolphins, especially since they are players! 😀

  4. I was there at the end of August this year, I loved this week and swimming with dolphins is an unforgettable experience, they approach and watch you, spin and come back to examine you ...

  5. @ Marie-Julie: Wow, I saw !!!
    Thank you for this enthusiastic sharing, all over your networks... 🙄

    @CaroL: It's a pretty easy trip to organize as part of a trip to Egypt, I think.

    @Fabrice: If you continue diving as you are doing, you will eventually have the opportunity to experience this kind of underwater encounter... 😉

    @Valentin: The water wasn't supposed to be at the same temperature either... But this kind of encounter, in Egypt, Brittany, or elsewhere, remains magical! 😮

    @Flo: Yes, it's a chance to have seen such a show. And I continue to marvel, like a kid ...

    @Ysbilia: Thank you ! For music, I immediately thought of the soundtrack of "Pina", I knew it would stick with my little video editing.

    @Pauline: The turtles, I have often encountered under the water, and again in Egypt, we crossed. But a dugong, that, never !!! I dream about it !!!

    @Brigitte: "Unforgettable" is the word ... Like you, I loved it!

    @ Bloc18: Thank you for the link !!!

  6. Thank you for sharing your video! she is superb, I love the music too, it was indeed a moment a little magic ... !!! You know what? My subwoofer works great now! ..

  7. And here we go again with the inevitable nonsense and endless positivo-ecolo-tremolo-rasleciboulo outpourings on dolphins and their supposedly positive attitudes towards humans 😯
    Dolphins are wild animals like any other, vile and devious creatures whose only concerns are to eat, reproduce and protect their territory/harem 👿
    Flipper and the Blue Acorn have hit 😕 again.
    I have already rubbed these critters to Sataya at the time when we could still dive with a block. I followed nicely a nice dauphine with comely shapes that made me eyes soft for a few moments after being mated more than 10 times with different partners, when an imposing male on the shoulders of shipwrecks left behind me with a glare and hit my arm with his rostrum, causing a hematoma that has earned me the attentive care of an Egyptian sailor with ambiguous morals that the Muslim brothers will not tolerate any more.
    So in fact the dolphin is like the clown fish: it's a ferocious beast that should be avoided as much as possible 😆 😆
    Believe me, a diver's best friend is the shark 🙄.

  8. @ Bloc18: You already have the previous articles to disorient you ... Others will come, of course!

    @Coralie: How happy to meet you here! Thank you for your little comment, it's really nice. Delighted that your box is now less recalcitrant. I will watch your next pictures !!!

    @LeTrollVelu: Ah, all the same! Finally the comment I was waiting for !!! I knew that a troll worthy of the name couldn't let such an article go by without coming to put his indispensable grain of salt in it... 😆
    On the bottom, I agree: dolphins are no better than abominable clownfish and the cumbersome manta rays. No, really, those stanata bugs don't deserve this much consideration. I promise, next time I'll grab my flippers and run as far away as I can... 😀

  9. @Fabrice: It depends on where you are. Marsa Alam, it's far, and it should be preferably cruise, I guess. But for us it was a day trip from Hamata. I do not know the price, but as it is just snorkeling, it is necessarily cheaper than a dive trip (bottle) to the day. Finally, there must surely be other sites in Egypt, where one can easily observe dolphins as well.

  10. One word: superbewaouhmagiquesortidunrêve! 🙂

    One wish: posters and mugs from these photos (magnets too). You should start creating the pbda line. Dolphins are best friends for that. 💡 I can give you some advice as I myself have just started with some success that surprised my partner. In any case, I reserve the first dolphin poster that you will edit.

    A vision: many more dolphins, turtles, manta rays, sharks, nudibranchs to come so that life continues to be more beautiful. 🙄

    One more thing: 😉

  11. It's a great privilege to participate in such a rewarding experience and say video ... it's a pro job. Your article makes me want to come back to your blog more often.

  12. I had the opportunity to approach these impressive babies at my friends in Mauritius when I went to visit them in a backpack / dive ... In the same state of mind and with strict rules of approach, to Tamarin Cop in Flac. I had hesitated, however, not liking tourist stuff. The experience was quite memorable .. I almost forgot to breathe.

  13. @Richard: A big thank-you !!! Delighted to have you want to come back to walk on my little bubbles elsewhere ... see you soon !!!

    @ Cedric: Yes, sometimes there are "tourist tips" that are worth it ...

  14. So like that, I go several days without coming and I find this video scandalously "fuzzy inside" ... Well, well I'll go back crying under my quilt.
    Happy New Year anyway, huh! May your desires take you far!

    ; D

  15. Hi corinne, I do not get tired watching this video!
    I take advantage of my visit to ask you some advice, because it's decided I leave Thailand early April direction Koh Lanta! 8)
    So by the way how do you get from Krabi to Koh lanta and vice versa because I have a plane at 10am and don't know if I can get a shuttle so good in the morning 😕
    Perhaps it will be more prudent to leave the day before for Krabi? in this case would you have an address to enjoy a day on Krabi not too far from the airport (I have trouble to visualize all that because it will be my first stay in Thailand ....) in advance thank you

  16. @Melissa: Nooooo, don't go back under your duvet, don't cry !!!! 😀 I wish you a happy new year 2012...

    @Laurence: To reach Koh Lanta, it is either by the road (it is actually a peninsula), or by boat. I think, indeed, if you have to take off from Krabi City airport, that it is better to sleep the day before, you will have a quieter mind (but the hoteliers are used to transfers to the airport, ask the question at your hotel to find out how long it would take this transfer history to see if it's playable, and if it can possibly arrange it, telling them the departure time of your plane).
    But if you prefer to spend the night in Krabi, you can choose to reside in one of the many hotels on Ao Nang Beach (tap "Ao Nang Beach" in Google), or close by on the beaches. Railey East or West (but you need a small transfer a boat, which can be arranged by the hotel because there is no road), which I mentioned here:
    Little lucky man, go ... 8)

  17. thanks ❗ i'm going to follow your advices and spend a night in Krabi, i can't wait to be there..... 😀 i'm going to reread all your posts on thailand to find the diving spots 😉

  18. @Laurence: You will not find a lot of posts on my dives in Thailand in the Phuket / Koh Phi Phi / Krabi area, because I dive a lot more before the opening of this blog (in 2006).

    The Similan (in cruise) are obviously a must:

    The sites around Koh Phi Phi are very good, I am always surprised when I go back there, to see that despite the tourist affluence, the funds are always full of life. There is the wreck of the ferry which is nice to do.

    From Koh Lanta, there are the Koh Haa very nice, including the caves, and the inevitable Hin Dong and Hin Muang (also offered from Koh Phi Phi, but it is much further):

  19. 🙂 thank you for all these links !
    the Similans I don't think we'll be able to go there (too far from Lanta?) on the other hand koh Haa and two "hin" is on the program at the diving club as well as koh PHIPHI and I don't mind meeting a manta or a leopard shark 😉

  20. Hello corinne

    I had the chance to snorkel at Samadai before the invasion and at Sattaya in 2009 what moments of pure happiness. I still have shivers. For what want to see, photos of a friend's blog:

    Do you go to the diving show if you can pass on our stand: turtle prod A9. If you want to see what I'm doing is going to the blog of

    Thank you again for all these beautiful trips that you share with us.
    Highly april for a return aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Bali-Lombok

    A + lolo

  21. @Lolo: Thank you for your little word and links! I do not know yet if I'm going to the Diving Salon. I'll tell you at the last moment, I think. So, like that, we have desires from Indonesia? Well…

    @Laurence: Departures for the Similan are in fact the port of Tap Lamu, near Khao Lak, on the west coast, a little further north, or from Phuket (transfer by minibus several hours). The boats do not leave Koh Lanta, to my knowledge. We can not do a day trip to the Similan since Khao Lak.

    In the Phi Phi / Lanta / Krabi area, you should, I think, easily encounter "leopard" sharks (leopard-sharks in English, which are actually "zebra sharks" in French). In my memories of dives there, they were quite numerous.
    -> see this video of 2007:
    -> this other from 2006:
    -> see other videos made mostly in Thailand (my first steps of video sub with my compact, that progress since):

  22. @Ysbilia: What an observer !!! Yes, I'm in full makeover of the blog. The construction is underway and not quite finished, there are still lots of small details to adjust ... But it's starting to look like I would like. Thank you for giving me such a good note!

  23. I really like the new look of the blog, it deserves even more than before AAA +!

    Even more elegance in the layout and typography! Thank you

  24. Hello Corinne,

    It had been a while since I had consulted your blog (a thousand excuses).
    Your photos and videos show that nature can always bluff us,
    When you see the excitement of seeing the dolphin when you are on a boat, I imagine in the water the magic moment of this meeting.
    This type of encounter can also happen when you cross (in another register) mantas.
    In any case, like everyone else I am jealous.

    See you soon


  25. I missed this video, I discover it only now ... .and what a pleasure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wonderful video, a dream !!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! !!!

  26. Thank you thank you Corinne!

    Your video is beautiful and now I'm really jealous... I must have watched your video 4 or 5 times to follow. 🙂

    I have a real passion for dolphins, and I managed to meet them in Panama, in Bocas del Toro but by boat only.


  27. Very beautiful video that makes you dream. I lived in Egypt but I never had the chance to see them. I saw them in Mozambique and Costa Rica, but by the time I dived in the water, they were gone. One day maybe... 😉

  28. @ Eric: You did well to come back for a little tour... 😉 Yes, this kind of show, it's magic !!! For the mantas, I always have a video brought back from Komodo to edit... In the meantime, there's a little raw footage here :

    @ Helen: I'm glad you finally didn't miss it. I like that video, too! 🙂

    @Vincent: Viewed 4 or 5 times!!? So that's passion !!! 🙄

    @Julian: It's not always easy to be there in the right place at the right time ... But at the site where we were, the dolphins are almost "guaranteed", they live there, in this bay.

    1. "Vaguely"... 😆 No, you're right. It's the music from the movie "Pina". Which I thought was very suitable for this water ballet...

  29. Wow, beautiful!
    Never swam with dolphins, but already in full screen of computer it moves me a lot ... Thank you!
    (and very good choice of music)

  30. Great video! Magnificent! Me too I swam with the dolphins, in Zanzibar !! It was just magic

  31. Wowah the dream !! magnificent! I would like to live something like this one day!
    I will soon make a trip to Indonesia and I would like to buy a small waterproof camera, of good quality all the same !! would you have something to advise me ??
    thanks a lot
    and bon voyage 🙂

    1. @OBSCUR: beautiful, indeed ... I still can not believe to have had the chance to attend such a show.

      To film underwater, you can eventually buy a compact camera that makes video, with its box, or the very fashionable GoPro camera with the waterproof case that goes well ...

      Have a nice trip to Indonesia!

  32. Wow what a dream. I lived a year in Cairo, Egypt, so I often went to Sinai or Hurghada to dive, but I never went down to the South; What a shame, because it looks sublime. And now, it may be too late to go there to avoid disturbing these beautiful creatures ...