Kate Webster dives into Tonga’s waters off Ha’apai to swim with the majestic humpback whales.
There are few wildlife encounters that allow you to get so up close and personal, while maintaining a respect for the animal and their environment. In Tonga, they have found a way to peacefully interact with the whales with minimum impact.
Each year from mid-July to mid-October, Tonga’s serene islands become the resting place for the majestic humpback whales. North of Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu are the islands of Ha’apai. Here is a safe haven for the migrating humpback whales from the Antarctic. These calm warm waters of Ha’apai offer refuge for the whales to breed, birth and socialise before making the arduous journey back south.
Tonga is one of only a few countries in the world where you can swim with humpback whales. The experience is carefully managed with sensible tourism guidelines and experienced guides to ensure minimal impact on the whales and their environment.