Strand Feeding Dolphins
September 10, 2023
Are you a fan of dolphins? Did you know that right here in South Carolina we have a population of Bottlenose Dolphin that has a feeding strategy not seen anywhere else in the world? These animals have learned to hunt by corralling fish close to the beach & then rushing them up onto the sands where they will intentionally strand themselves to catch the fish that are trying to flop back into the water. Kiawah’s Beachwalker Park is one of the very few places with public access that allows us to watch these animals hunt for their food. At the end of the beach is Captain Sam’s Spit where the Kiawah River empties into the Atlantic where the dolphins prefer to hunt. The best time to watch these dolphins hunt is 2 hours before and after Low Tide. There is also a sandbar at the end of the spit that shorebirds prefer to rest on that we will go to view as well. Birds include Black Skimmers, Brown Pelicans, Ring-billed Gulls, Sandwich Terns, Royal Terns, and Caspian Terns.
The strand-feeding behavior is a learned behavior in the population of Bottlenose Dolphins that live in the saltmarshes from Myrtle Beach down into Georgia. In the Fall, their favorite food, Mullet, are migrating through the brackish rivers to the open ocean for the Winter. This is the best time of year to see them strand-feed. Due to federal protections we must remain 15 yards from the dolphins at any stranding event. If the crowds on the beach behave, we could have dolphin activity for a long time.
Trip Length: Half Day
100 Village Green LN
Johns Island, SC
Kiawah IsLand, SC
*All Payments subject to*
3% service fee
We will meet in the parking lot behind the Wells Fargo of Fresh Fields Village at 9:30am. Once we're all together, I will give us a quick brief, hand you your entrance fee to Beachwalker Park, and we will caravan down to the park (~2min away). Once we all arrive in the parking lot, we'll begin our trek to Captain Sams Spit to view the dolphins. The walk from the parking lot to Captain Sams is about a mile. On our trek out, we will have the opportunity to view migrating shorebirds and there’s a sandbar that’s a popular hangout spot at Low Tide. We will be at Captain Sams for 1 hour before & 2 hours after Low Tide as this 3-hour window is the time when the Dolphins are known to be feeding at this location. We will arrive back at the parking lot at 2pm. If at any point you wish to leave before this window closes, you have the freedom to do so.
Guests who arrive late will be left behind and unable to receive a refund.
Please note: Guests must be able to walk 2 miles in warm weather conditions as that is the roundtrip length of the to Captain Sams Spit.
We require 5 DAYS NOTICE to cancel your reservation and receive a full refund. If you cancel within the 5 day period, you will not be refunded.
All cancellations must be made by email to email@example.com or by phone at 732-996-4732