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Dominica Safaris

With tranquil clear waters and some of the best snorkelling in the windward islands, Dominica is the hidden diamond of the eastern Caribbean. A volcanic island under a coating of verdant green forest, alive with exotic birds and bizaree insects, Dominica is still wild and remote with untamed forests complimented by white-sand beaches and a host of incredible activities. It is also one of the only places in the world where you can swim besides some of the ocean’s giants including the majestic sperm whale, with highly-sought-after permits and dedicated guides. Natural World Safaris is one of the few travel operators with access to arrange these incredible experiences.

Spared mass tourism due to it having only a few white sand beaches, the island of Dominica also scarcely has any big resorts or flashy hotels. Pristine and relatively untouched, Dominica is the jewel of the Caribbean crown, becoming the towering arc of the Carribean archipelago, with its highest peak at nearly 1,500 metres tall. Today, Dominica is a republic in the British Commonwealth, gaining independence from the UK in 1978. Whilst the island retains cultural history from British and French colonialism, territory is reserved for its much older Carib inhabitants. Preservation of natural order and heritage extends far across Dominica’s ethos, because of this it is fondly referred to as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’. From the champagne reefs to hidden waterfalls, this enchanting island of forested volcanic peaks is an authentic slice of Caribbean paradise.

Why NWS for your Dominica safari?

Since 2017 NWS has been sending clients to Dominica to experience swimming with some of the most relaxed marine mammals in the world. Our sperm whale safaris offer you the chance to swim with, and be photographed alongside, these gentle giants as they congregate in the warm Dominican waters, and spend time in a tropical Caribbean paradise. Travelling to the idyllic island with one of our specialist guides and photographers – Patrick Dykstra, Joshua Barton or Rita Messing – has made for an unforgettable wildlife experience each year since release.

We create small group journeys which are led personally by our selected property’s owners or their own hand-picked guides. With group sizes reaching up to just four guests at a time, this ensures quality time with the whales and guides whilst allowing the whales to remain undisturbed. Meet other like-minded travelers over a shared dinner for an even richer experience whilst you experience not just Dominica as a tourist destination, but benefit from a deep immersion into nature and the local culture for some spectacular gems. By taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime expedition, you’ll not only have the chance to become one of the few people privileged enough to swim with sperm whales, but you’ll also contribute towards marine conservation. A portion of funds from each trip are donated to the Dominican people, whose island was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Our Specialist Leader Patrick Dykstra is keenly involved with community work in Dominica, bringing schoolchildren out on boats to experience their country’s stunning marine life for themselves. We are proud that our safaris help Patrick to achieve this admirable goal.

How much does Dominica cost?

Typically, expect to budget around £7500 per person for a 7-day safari in Dominica. This will generally include food and beverages, excursions and whale permits to swim beside sperm whales with our renowned marine guides.

DOM Dominica

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The Dominica Safari Experience

Just out of reach of mainstream tourism, Dominica is an up-and-coming safari destination that is becoming a fast favourite of travellers. Although there are no international flights direct to this pristine island, large crowds of holiday-makers are often deterred from this sun-soaked paradise, making Dominica a calm and quiet soul. Dominicans are delightful people and tourists are happily welcomed, often encouraging guests to join in with rural heritages and their magical mix of African, European, Creole and indigenous Kalinago cultures.The best way to explore the rain and cloud forests, volcanic craters and steamy slopes is by foot. Be prepared for incredible hiking routes, including the only long-distance walking trail in the Caribbean allowing for incredible vistas of unspoiled nature.

  • Swimming with sperm whales - Get up close and personal with these gentle giants
  • Trekking untamed terrain - Trek through wild, rugged landscapes, resulting in stunning vistas
  • Exploring waterfalls - Dominica has some absolutely stunning waterfalls for you to discover
  • Champagne pools - Snorkelling in bubbling champagne pools
  • Boiling Lake - Hike to Boiling Lake, Dominica’s signature hiking adventure
  • Explore Kalingao territory - Experience Kalinago culture and tradition
  • Relax in volcanically heated spas - Take a break in one of the valley’s numerous hot springs, rivers and streams.
  • Boat safaris - Enjoy a sedate boat ride along the Indian River and discover the jungle hideaway of Tia Dalma
  • Canyoning - Enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled adventure in the canyons between Titou Gorge and Trafalgar Falls
  • Snorkelling- Visit Champagne Reef, one of Dominica’s most popular snorkelling sites.
  • Bathe in the Emerald Pool - Visit one of Dominica’s most photographed and visited natural attractions.

Where to stay in Dominica?

Dominica offers a wide array of places to stay as varied and as plentiful as its terrain. Choose from spots that specifically cater to hiking and diving enthusiasts, ecotourism, or those seeking relaxation and restoration, or simply choose from a variety of high-end, intimate boutique villas, resorts, modest hotels, or even quaint guest houses - each with their own charm and amenities.

When to go to Dominica?

The best time to go to Dominica is between December and May. Dominica’s position in the middle of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles island chain gives it a year-round tropical climate, ranging from about 26 – 32°C on average. Rainfall here can be heavy and sustained, with the rainy season lasting from June to November during which precipitation increases month on month. Our expert-led safaris depart in February, April and August.During this time it is common to witness species of sea turtle nesting on the southeast and northeast beaches.

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Dominica Safaris FAQs

What wildlife can I see in Dominica?

Dominica is known for its lush rainforests, volcanic landscapes, and pristine marine environments and offers a variety of unique wildlife. Animals you can expect to see on a trip to Dominica include Sperm Whales, Humpback Whales, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, the Manicou, the Agouti, Giant Ditch Frog and the island is home to almost 200 species of bird.

Discover more detail on wildlife that you can see in Dominica.

What is the best month to go to Dominica?

The best time to visit Dominica is typically during the dry season, which runs from November to mid-December and then again from mid-January to mid-April. These months offer the most favourable weather conditions for outdoor activities, including hiking, snorkelling, and exploring the island's natural beauty. The temperatures are generally pleasant, and there is less rainfall during this period

What is the best part of Dominica to stay?

The best part of Dominica to stay depends on your interests and preferences. Roseau, the capital, offers convenience and access to nearby attractions; Soufrière provides coastal charm and proximity to diving spots; Portsmouth offers access to Cabrits National Park and Indian River; Calibishie boasts beaches and coastal beauty; Scotts Head Village is great for snorkelling and diving; Trafalgar is near waterfalls and hiking trails; and Laudat offers a tranquil setting near natural attractions. Each area has its unique appeal, allowing you to choose based on your desired activities and experiences.

How safe is it to travel to Dominica?

Dominica is generally considered a safe destination for travellers, offering a low crime rate and warm hospitality.

What vaccinations do you need for Dominica?

For a trip to Dominica, it's recommended to ensure routine vaccinations are up to date and consider additional vaccinations such as hepatitis A, typhoid, and possibly hepatitis B and rabies depending on your activities. While yellow fever vaccination is not typically required for Dominica, it might be necessary if arriving from a high-risk area.

Can you drink the water in Dominica?

In most urban areas of Dominica, the tap water is considered safe to drink. However, due to variations in water quality and potential differences in local infrastructure, some travellers may prefer to drink bottled or purified water to avoid any potential health risks.

What is the official language of Dominica?

The official language of Dominica is English.

Do I need a visa for Dominica?

Citizens of many countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union member states, do not require a visa for short stays (usually up to 21 to 90 days) in Dominica for tourism purposes. However, visa requirements can change, and the specific duration of visa-free stays can vary based on your nationality.

Does Dominica have nice beaches?

Dominica boasts exquisite beaches, though they tend to be smaller, more secluded, and frequently adorned with dark volcanic sand. Mero Beach and Batibou Beach are favoured for their tranquil waters, whereas Purple Turtle Beach and Scotts Head Beach showcase distinctive landscapes. While distinct from traditional Caribbean settings, Dominica's beaches offer serene, natural havens perfect for both relaxation and exploration.

View our guide on where to stay in Dominica for more information on staying close to beaches.

How many people live in Dominica?

The population of Dominica is approximately 72,000 people. Please note that population figures can change over time, so it's a good idea to check with more recent sources for the latest population data.