What started out as a simple snorkelling expedition off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula turned into the most amazing dolphin encounter.

We set off from Sharm el Sheik in a small inflatable boat bound for Tiran Island in the Gulf of Aqaba.  Tiran Island is known for having great snorkelling.  On our way, we were surrounded by a pod of dolphins.  They jumped from the deep blue water for the sheer joy of it.  Some of them tried to race the boat underwater.  These dolphins were super fast!

Neither my kids nor I had ever seen dolphins in their natural habitat before.  We have, of course, seen them at aquariums or at places like Disney World.  This experience was completely different.  Their playful nature and intelligence was readily apparent as they formed groups to jump, to call to each other and to race.

Dolphins in the Gulf of Aqaba , Egypt

We opted to spend so much time watching the dolphins we did not have time to see the famous shipwreck of the Thistlegorm which was sunk by the Germans during World War II.

Dolphins Gulf of Aqaba Egypt

Did we regret our decision to skip out on a famous shipwreck?  Nope. Ok, well maybe just my son who has a ghoulish boy’s interest in disastrous events, natural phenomenon etc.  My daughter and I thought that even the fabulous snorkelling at Tiran Island was nothing compared to the exuberance of the dolphins.