Everything You Need To Know About The Incredible Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas

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Photo of Everything You Need To Know About The Incredible Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas by Ragini Mehra

“Look, look! Have you ever really seen a beach like this one? Never imagined this could be true.”

“Until this day, I thought it really was a myth!”

“Wow, mom! This is like my dream come true. I’m going to tell about this to everyone back at school and I’m sure they will love to see my pictures.”

These were just some conversations we heard as our boat began to slow down near Big Major Cay, one of the white-sand beaches in the Bahamas. Everyone who was on the boat with us was just as amazed as we were to see the pigs swimming in the beach. Voila! We had reached the famous Pig Beach finally.

Photo of Exumas, The Bahamas by Ragini Mehra

Our speedboat stopped about 7 feet away from the shore and we were asked to get down into the water from one side. Our guide repeatedly told us not to trouble the pigs in any way and to offer them food when they try to come close. In case we ran out of it, we were told not to shout or feel scared. All we needed to do was to raise our hands up so that the pigs understand and move to the other direction for food. Keeping all of these tips in mind, my husband and I finally stepped into the waters and walked towards what had been on our bucket list since many years now. We couldn’t wait to explore the Swimming Pigs beach and this was our chance!

There were pigs of all sizes and some piglets too that came running as humans approached the island. We were so awed by this wonder of nature that we left our camera with our guide and requested him to click loads of pictures. The next one hour was about up close and personal encounters with the natives, many fun-filled moments, cuddling the piglets and memories of a lifetime.

Photo of Everything You Need To Know About The Incredible Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas by Ragini Mehra

How to Get There

A full-day or half-day boat tour through the Exuma Cays can take you to the much loved Swimming Pigs beach. A number of tour operators organize these tours from both Nassau (80 miles away) and the Exumas (50 miles away). Four C’s, Coastline Adventures Exuma and Harbour Safaris are the most popular ones.

Photo of Everything You Need To Know About The Incredible Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas by Ragini Mehra

How Much Will It Cost

A full-day boat tour starting from the Exuma Market costs about $200 per person. A full-day Exuma Cays boat tour from Nassau costs about $390 per person.

What Else Does The Tour Include?

Exploring the Exuma Cays on a guided boat tour is definitely the best way to explore this part of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the fun-filled moments at the Swimming Pigs Beach, some tours offer trips to Andros Island and Rose Island as well. What’s more, they take you for activities likes dolphin encounters, swimming with the sharks at Compass Cay, feedings the Iguanas at White Leaf Cay and snorkelling at the Thunderball Grotto, where the James Bond film Thunderball was shot.

After Thoughts…

The day we visited the Swimming Pigs Beach was also the day we realized how vast the Atlantic Ocean is and that we are just a tiny, little part of the universe. It was an overwhelming moment which gave us many more reasons to be fascinated by Mother Nature and to understand that it is our responsibility to preserve God’s gift on Earth. The guides also told us about the death of some pigs at the Big Major Cay and how the influx of tourism had led to it. From our experience, here are some things we’ve noted down to ensure that human presence doesn’t disturb the natives.

Photo of Everything You Need To Know About The Incredible Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas by Ragini Mehra

Things to Keep in Mind While Meeting the Pigs

1. Follow what your guide tells you and feed the pigs only what he gives to you.

2. While feeding them, make sure you feed them in water and not after reaching the shore to avoid sand ingestion, which can be fatal for the pigs.

3. As you approach the pigs, offer food to them without touching them. We would advise anyone visiting the Swimming Pigs Beach to let these feral animals come to you as and when they feel comfortable. At the shore, the piglets will be waiting for you to pick them up and cuddle them.

4. The pigs have very limited access to fresh water on the island so it is also a good idea to offer them the same.

5. While you walk towards the shore, you will also be greeted by countless stingrays. Be careful so as not to touch or hurt them with your feet.

6. Turn the camera flash off while taking pictures at the Swimming Pigs Beach.

Always remember, exploration should not mean exploitation.

Photo of Everything You Need To Know About The Incredible Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas by Ragini Mehra
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