When you think of dolphins, the first thing that comes to mind is to buy a ticket to Curaçao. This island is very well known for swimming with the dolphins. BUT in Paramaribo we also have our own dolphins, really! The brackish water dolphins. They don’t look like their cousins, because these dolphins usually have a pink or white belly and are blue-gray and do not go into the sea. The dolphins swim in the river a few miles from the estuary; the river water is brackish (half salt and half fresh). The Guinean dolphins or the Sotalia Guianensis swim in the Commewijne River. They are called Profusu in Suriname and are protected species. This dolphin species is very homey. It is a subspecies of the Sotalia fluviatilis, dolphins with a pink underbelly and only live in fresh water. They can easily stay in the same area for a year. Guinean dolphins like brackish water and are blue-grey. They are regularly found on the mudbanks of the river, feeding on fish and shrimp. During your trip noticeable are the fishers’ boats. Fishing is done in the vicinity of the mouth of the Suriname and Commewijne rivers.
In Suriname there are several tour operators that organize a day trip to spot dolphins and then make a final stop at Braamspunt. This is a small piece of land that juts out into the sea. It is the westernmost point of the Commewijne district in the common mouth of the Suriname and Commewijne rivers. For the past 5 years, this muddy sand beach has been a major attraction for tourists and residents alike. Braamspunt is also an important laying beach for sea turtles. The four species of sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach at night are, in order of size: the Aikanti or leatherback turtle, Krapé or green turtle, Karet and Warana. Their laying period starts in mid-January to the end of June and the breeding period is between February and July. There is another way to get to the mouth of the Suriname and Commewijne rivers; charter a boat that is moored at the Waterkant or drive yourself to Leonsberg and be lucky that a fishing or charter boat is moored at the jetty. You can make it a private trip, so you are not ‘delivered’ to the times of the tour operators. Just make sure you are protected from the sun; Braamspunt has no trees or huts for shade. Also bring plenty of drinks and food/snacks. It’s a trip of almost an hour or an hour and a half, depending on where you get on.
Have fun on your trip to Braamspunt.
*Photocredit: Facebook/Surinamecard.com & Green Heritage Fund Suriname