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Matafonua Lodge , Faleloa, Foa Island, Ha'apai, Kingdom of Tonga      Email: vacation@matafonua.com       Phone: +676 69766 

HUMPBACK WHALES

Megaptera Novaeangliae, the Humpback Whale, migrates to our clear warm and calm waters 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 3000 nm trip back to the feeding grounds in Antarctica, they achieve this by providing the calf with an amazing 500 liters of milk a day.

The mature males have only one thing on their mind and that is to find a willing female to mate with, large pods of males can be seen regularly chasing a female wrestling and jostling for position in what's called a "heat run", these can last for days, finally the dominant male having chased off all his rivals gets his prize.

Ha'apai, situated in the middle of the Tongan archipelago, provides a terrific nursery for the whales during their 4 month stay. With plenty of whales and few operators we are spoiled with the experience we can offer. This doesn't mean we can guarantee swimming, the decision to swim is always left up to the whale, but we believe with our patient approach we are often rewarded with amazing encounters like the one in the video above.

 

It is important to remember the whales here are wild animals, with an intelligence we can only begin to imagine, our approach is to position the boat 200-300  meters from the whale and watch and wait, generally they can be inquisitive if they show our experienced captains signs that they are happy with our company only then do we enter the water. This approach proves effective  time and time again .

 

Our whale boats are staffed by a certified captain and whale guide and meet all the requirements for survey being equipped with all relevant safety equipment. A picnic lunch is offered daily either aboard or on a local beach. Fresh water, tea and coffee are also provided