HUMPBACK WHALE EXPEDITION
August 11 - 18, 2018
(8 day trip / 5 days whale swim)
August 18 - 25, 2018
(8 day trip / 5 days whale swim)
ONE of 8 Spaces Available
Day 1 - Travel day. Arrive on Ha’apai. Once you arrive on the island. We help you check into your room, the rest of the day is yours to prep cameras, your snorkel gear, relax and explore the island.
Day 2 - Sunday we are not allowed to go out on the boat (local law, everything closes.). So you have a choice of snorkeling the pristine reef, seeking out zebra sharks and other wildlife. Or you can spend your day on a kayak, or stand up paddle boarding, ride bicycles around the island. Or just relax on the beach and enjoy the day.
Day 3 - 7 - The plan is to spend 5 days seeking out the whales. Each day we will spend 6 hours at sea, seeking / swimming with the whales. Groups of 4 (with a guide) at a time are allowed in the water.
Day 8 - We will return you the Ha'apai aiport for your journey home.
This is an 8 day trip with 5 days of swimming (snorkel only) with humpback whales off Ha'apai Tonga. Haʻapai is a group of islands, islets, reefs and shoals in the central part of the Kingdom of Tonga. Humpback Whales migrate to these warm and calm waters off Tonga every year for 4 months to mate, give birth and nurse their young. The pregnant mothers find a safe place to give birth and then concentrate on getting their babies fit and strong for the 3,000 nautical mile trip back to their feeding grounds in Antarctica. Ha'apai is situated in the middle of the Tongan archipelago. Tonga provides a terrific nursery for the whales during their 4 month stay.
This is a land based expedition. Each morning we will head out in search of the whales. Everyday will be different. Some days the whales may be easy to find and interested in interacting with us. Other days they may be elusive and want nothing to do with us. We can not guarantee that we will swim with them. It is completely up to the whales. It is important to remember the whales here are wild animals. Our approach is to position the boat 200-300meters from the whale and watch and wait. If they show our captain (and licensed guide), signs that they are happy with our company, we enter the water. This approach proves effective time and time again .
There are two types of accommodations available on this trip.
One is the lodging's at Matafonua, which are traditional Tongan style fales (Beach huts). It is a great resort, with great atmosphere. These fales are more economical due to the shared bathroom facilities. The restrooms are very clean and separate for Men and Woman.
The other option are the lodging's at Sandy Beach. These rooms are a level above with block built rooms, all with your own private bathrooms.
On Sunday (our first full day) we are not allowed to swim with the whales (local law). However, just a few feet away from your Fale is world class snorkeling. The nearby reef system and coral bombies, offer some of the South Pacific’s most unspoiled and rarely visited dive experiences. From soft coral gardens to hard coral bombies, this truly is a diverse marine environment. With regular sightings of the big stuff like zebra sharks and eagle rays, to colourful nudibranchs and shrimps plus everything in between. Visibility averages 100ft /30m but can often exceed that, water temps here range from 24C (78 degrees) to 28C (86 degrees).
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