Marine animal parks can be found all over the world, but none of them are as natural as the Dolphin Reef in Eilat, Israel.
Visitors can choose to see dolphins from floating docks and observation points or, for a closer experience, can choose guided walks or dives with the help of professional instructors.
Diving is an option for anyone between the ages of 8 and 88. The only requirement is to know how to swim and you do not need previous diving experience for diving up to six meters – during which divers can observe dolphins, as well as a great variety of fish and corals.
Minimal human interference
Whatever the situation, the Reef is managed in a way that makes it easy for dolphins to maintain their daily routine. By minimizing intervention in their natural lifestyle and actions as much as possible, dolphins can interact and socialize with each other, without limits. They can play with each other and woo each other without any human involvement.
Unlike most other parks, animals at Dolphin Reef Eilat are not coerced when approaching divers or acting for them. Although human visitors can approach dolphins in their natural habitat, contact between the two is never forced. In this way, humans can build a stronger and more meaningful connection with dolphins, relying entirely on free will.
By minimizing human intervention only when essential, the quality of life of resident animals is prioritized over any form of personal human benefit or enjoyment.
Dolphins Helping People
Dolphins have been scientifically proven to induce positive thoughts in humans interacting with them. Dolphin Reef offers what is known as ‘Support Experience with the help of dolphins’.
Children ages 6 to 16, who are going through a difficult period in their lives, are able to enjoy for some time with a dolphin and a trainer.
The objective of this initiative is to give the participants the motivation and the stimulus necessary to face their struggles. The experience is especially aimed at young people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, dyslexia, Down syndrome, depression and sexual abuse, among other challenges.
The “Smile Therapy”
Massimo Casabianca, an experienced DAN instructor and trainer, tells of his visit to Eilat:
I was still working as a diving instructor in Sharm el Sheikh when I learned of the existence of a special dolphinarium, located in Eilat, at the tip of the Red Sea, the Yam Suf or “End of the Sea.” After lengthy negotiations with a Bedouin taxi driver, aboard a dilapidated Peugeot 504, we decided to start this trip to Israel.
When we arrived at Taba, the border point between Egypt and Israel, we left our faithful driver and continued our journey towards the center of the city, until we saw a discolored yellow and blue triangular sign with a diver and a smiling dolphin: we had arrived Finally to Dolphin Reef.
What we saw was a small fenced beach, in a small gulf, where a group of dolphins swam in a completely natural environment, all orchestrated by a small dog running on a floating dock.
The instructor and biologist who accompanied us made a very detailed briefing, recommending how to behave in the water, and how to interact with the dolphins … as long as they agreed to approach us! He also talked about “smile therapy”, a special therapy for children with behavioral disorders and various diseases. Years later I returned there with a young friend of mine who suffered from Down syndrome, and I experienced firsthand the value of that therapy, and I saw the birth of that smile …
Learning about Dolphins
Based on all this, the site of Eilat offers specialized courses in biology and behavior of dolphins, as well as assisted therapy with dolphins. In addition to bringing humans closer to the natural environment and infusing them with the utmost respect for the environment, Dolphin Reef has established itself as a scientific leader in research on dolphins and other marine creatures.
Simultaneously, a fundamental value of the organization is to be friendly to animals without harming anyone, respecting each other both natural and human environments. Thanks to the physical conditions of the place, which does not restrict the natural environment available to dolphins, as well as the sensitive and friendly attitude towards them, Dolphin Reef in Eilat has successfully perfected a very deep bond between man and the environment .
DOLPHIN REEF EILAT
On the shores of the Red Sea, it is a unique ecological place, in Israel and around the world, where visitors can enjoy a natural environment, magical views, secluded beach, together with the unusual opportunity to meet and observe dolphins in their habitat natural.