WHALE MEET AGAIN
THE island of Vava’u has become a top whale-watching destination and is among just three places in the world where it’s possible to swim with these leviathans.
Humpback whales can be seen mating, giving birth and caring for calves in the reef-protected Tongan waters during the winter months. They arrive around July and return to the feeding grounds of the Antarctic for the summer. Humpbacks are known for being playful and can be seen breaching and splashing. Swimming with whales makes the list of seven experiences that make time
‘‘ stand still in Lonely Planet’s annual Bluelist: TheBestinTravel .
It’s also great for the Tongans. Tourism is not well developed here and whale watching and swimming ensure an important and much-appreciated influx of tourist dollars.
Travelling on an organised tour is recommended for safety as well as the wellbeing of the whales and you need to be a fairly competent swimmer and confident when snorkelling. Georgina Armour
Time stands still: Swimming with a humpback