Can You See Dolphins in Samoa? 🐬
Can You See Dolphins in Samoa? 🐬

Can You See Dolphins in Samoa? 🐬

© Pexels

How to See Dolphins in Samoa

Admittedly, Samoa is not particularly famous for dolphin watching tours. That’s because Samoa’s resident pods of dolphins are few and far in between compared to the more predictable pods found off some of the other South Pacific islands. Nevertheless, Samoa is still home to two resident species of dolphin, while its waters are on migratory routes, making a dolphin sighting an especially rewarding sight even if you do have to be lucky to spot them. Learn more about what species of dolphins you can see, as well as how to see them, in this guide to dolphins in Samoa!

Frequently Asked Questions About Dolphins in Samoa

Before we go into detail about when to see dolphins in Samoa, here are a couple of frequently asked questions that the internet has about seeing dolphins in Samoa.

Are There Dolphins in Samoa?

Yes, there are dolphins in Samoa! Spinner and rough-toothed dolphins are the most frequent species of dolphin sighted in Samoa, but other species are known to visit – check out the “Species of Dolphins in Samoa” section below for more details.

Are There Orcas in Samoa?

Orcas are not common in Samoa. However, as the most widely distributed mammal on Earth (with the exception of humans) it’s unsurprising that there have been rare instances where orcas have been spotted in Samoa.

Can You See Dolphins in Samoa? 🐬© Pixabay

Species of Dolphins in Samoa

The main species of dolphins you will see in Samoa are spinner dolphins and rough-toothed dolphins.

Spinner Dolphins

The species of dolphin that frequents much of the South Pacific islands, spinner dolphins are also the species seen the most in Samoa. Spinner dolphins swim in pods of less than 50 to up to a thousand dolphins, with some pods sighted off Samoa averaging 20 individuals. These species are well known for their acrobatic displays, spinning on their longitudinal axis. They can spin up to 3 m (10 ft) high and do multiple spins in one leap.

Rough-Toothed Dolphins

Rough-toothed dolphins are another resident species of Samoa. They can be found in pods of 10-30 on average but the pods that have been spotted in Samoa have been made up of around seven individuals, according to research conducted by the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium. They grow up to 2-2.8 m (6.8-9.2 ft) in length and weigh between 90-155 kg (198-342 lbs). The defining characteristic of this dolphin species is its long and slender nose.

Other Dolphin Species Sighted in Samoa

While not as common as spinner dolphins, other dolphin species have been sighted over the last 20 years including bottlenose dolphins and, the least frequent, orcas.

Can You See Dolphins in Samoa? 🐬©

The Best Time to See Dolphins in Samoa

The great thing about spinner dolphins and rough-toothed dolphins is that they can be sighted in Samoa all year round!

Is There a Dolphin Season in Samoa?

There is no particular “season” for dolphins in Samoa, you just have to have a bit of luck on your side. See the section below for ways to improve your chances of seeing dolphins in Samoa.

Can You See Dolphins in Samoa? 🐬© Pixabay

How to See Dolphins in Samoa

Seeing dolphins in Samoa is a case of sheer luck. They are there, but in small numbers, making sightings not as common as at other South Pacific islands further south, such as Niue and Fiji.

There are no dedicated dolphin watching or swimming tours in Samoa. However, those on boat tours, especially those taking you outside of the reef, such as fishing and dive charters, have an increased chance of seeing dolphins with the occasional sighting being reported. Check out Samoa’s various boat tours in 7 Best Fishing Charters in SamoaThe Best Dive Shops & Operators in Samoa and 10 Best Boat & Sailing Tours in Samoa.

Alternatively, you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins breaching the surface beyond the reefs while on Samoa’s shores. Dolphins are most commonly sighted along the Apolima Strait, the body of water between the main islands of Upolu and Savai’i.

More About Dolphins in Samoa

That’s it! That’s our guide to seeing dolphins in Samoa, as well as the best time to see dolphins in Samoa. Now, discover more about our marine friends in our other guides:

Finally, add more essentials to your Samoa bucket list drawing from the 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Samoa. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Upolu and Savai’i’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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