Pink Dolphins of Hong Kong
The best months to visit Hong Kong are October to April. The northern summer is the time of the monsoon. Keep in mind that HK is very busy during the Western and Chinese holiday periods and at weekends as well. The dolphin watching tours take part three times each week always on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The trip has to be booked in advance. Continue reading for more details and where you can get a pickup.
The driest months are December to March. These are also the coldest months, therefore, more often sunny blue skies instead of clouds and high humidity. Avoid the summer months when you may experience downpours, and in September typhoons occur occasionally.
Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa chinesis) is the local name of the Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphin species, which are found from South Africa to China and northern Australia, usually very near coastlines. Those in the eastern end of their range seem to prefer estuarine habitats, around major river mouths. The pink dolphins are found in southern China, those further south and west are more grey or brown.
In Hong Kong, they are mostly seen north of Lantau Island and around the Soko Islands. Hong Kong is the eastern range of the range of the Pearl River Delta population. Very little is known for sure about the dolphins. In fact, except their very limited numbers (68 individuals according to the latest count in 2016), they had been unknown to the world and even their human neighbours here for centuries. Only with the construction of the new HK airport, the heart of their major habitat was blasted away. The latest threats to their habitat are the HK to Macau bridge and the planned third airport runway. It's just a question of time when these endangered dolphins are extinct in Hong Kong.
Quick Facts of the Pink Dolphin
- The newborns are grey and only become pink growing up.
- They grow to 2.5 to 3 meters.
- Average life span in HK is probably half of that of wild populations who can live up to 40 years.
For travellers, the only eco-tourism operator dedicated to the pink dolphins is Hong Kong DolphinWatch. Founded by Bill Leverett, the company's mission is to raise awareness and funding for the blushing beauties. The group trip has a 97% sighting rate, and the iconic dolphins delight travellers with their playful personalities and photogenic appearance. They typically surface in pods of two or three, sometimes for a split second, other times for a round of playful jumps, their bright cotton-candy hue a wonderful contrast to the deep green waters. And not only is it a fun experience for visitors but learning about the human encroachment that these dwindling dolphins are up against every day is one more step towards saving these beloved creatures. When booking the trip, you can get a pickup outside the Kowloon Hotel on Middle Road. Check out their website for more information and better pics as well. Hong Kong DolphinWatch
(updated by When to be Where)