​Dolphina Park, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

We visited this park in October 2014.  We did so with the intention of gathering information about the facility and the dolphins held captive there.  We booked to see the show and for one of us to participate in the Swim-With experience so we would have first hand information.

​We were told that the show and swim-with experience was available six days a week from 9am to 5.30pm. There is one show per day at 3pm and the rest of the time the dolphins are engaged in the swim-with interactions. It is possible to book a 15 minute or 30 minute session with two dolphins - in a standard 8 person group or for an additional fee the groups can be smaller.  There is no time set aside during the day for a lunch time. 

There are 4 dolphins in this park, Steven, Maria and Stacha are all stated as being 14 years old although we were told the females were 13. According to a member of staff, these dolphins came from the wild from the Black Sea. There is definitely a CITES import permit for one adult "wild caught".  Unfortunately there is no confirmed source for the other two. 

The fourth dolphin is a calf, Mizo who is listed on Dolphina's website as 3 years old but other sources state he was born in October 2010 in Magic Land, Cairo.  I was also told by Dolphina staff that both parents

were dead - by all accounts Magic Land in Cairo was under contract with a Russian team

who provided trainer, vet and dolphins but the new owner of Magic Land was unhappy

with the team and the three dolphins were earmarked for transfer to Sharm or Hurghada.  

Research has uncovered a very active campaign by many NGOs and activists to give Mizo

the best start to his life, reducing the numbers of shows and delaying his transfer till

he was over a year.  Sadly in December 2011 at a mere 14 months Mizo was transferred

alone to Dolphinella in Sharm - the predecessor of Dolphina. 

There are reports on Mizo's father who repeatedly hit his nose and head on the bottom

of the pool.  There are other examples of this behaviour in other parks

  • ​"The most frequent death’s reason recorded in our dolphinarium is the dolphins’

incapacity to live in captivity conditions – the animals refuse the food or strike them on

the pools’ walls till they die." ​ Ligia Dorina Dima, Carmen Gache

The park also proudly displays two monkeys in a small cage and have imported penguins from Russia to the, in our opinion tiny, inadequate pool. In the Sinai Desert!

Since returning to the UK we have carried out more research and coincidentally Dolphina Park also launched their new website.

On this website the park offers a number of other programs such as Trainer 4a Day, Diving With Dolphins and Therapy!

We understand that these three take place on a Sunday - so apparently no rest days for the poor dolphins!  We are in the process of finding out further details about these programmes. 

Whilst the website boasts state of the art facilities I was left wondering how much money was spent on the actual stars of the show.  

Final comment is that the entire facility was manned by what we felt were some very aggressive looking staff, guards patrolled the area with walkie talkies and there was a lot of crowd management, where to stand, sit or take photos from.  There is a definite air of arrogance, this place is all about the money in our opinion!