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Majestic Whale Encounters in Tonga

Swimming with humpback whales in Tonga would have to be one of the most life changing experiences you can have.

There are few wildlife encounters that allow you to get this up close and personal, while maintaining a respect for the animal and their environment, but in Tonga, they have found a way to peacefully interact with the whales with minimum impact.

Tonga is one of only a few countries in the world where you can actually swim with humpback whales. Swimming with the whales is done so with sensible tourism guidelines and experienced guides to ensure minimal impact on the whales and their environment.

Viewing whales from the boat. Image: Grant Thomas Photography

Australian eco-tour operator, Majestic Whale Encounters, specialise in swimming with whales and leave travellers with a greater appreciation for these magnificent animals.

In 2018, the company launched its new ‘Whale Swim and Yoga Retreat’ package, an eight-day itinerary where nature and yoga lovers spend a memorable week at a secluded sanctuary in Tonga flanked by white, palm-lined beaches. A highlight of this tour is four days spent swimming with the gentle and playful humpbacks in Tonga’s warm, tropical lagoons.

Swimming with the humpack whales. Image – Grant Thomas Photography

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, 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.

Majestic Whale Encounters tour takes you to Sea Change Eco Retreat, who provide unique luxury beach front accommodation with the lightest possible footprint. Located on Uoleva Island, part of the Ha’apai Island group, Sea Change also operates Ha’apai Whale and Sail, the longest running whale watching/swimming encounter business in Ha’apai.

Depending on the weather, mornings at Sea Change begin with a healthy breakfast before heading out on the boat in search of whales. Joined by experienced and knowledgeable guides, swimmers are briefed about the importance of respecting the whales in their space to ensure a safe interaction for both whales and swimmers.

If you want to learn more about swimming with humpback whales in Tonga with Majestic Whale Encounters, you can visit their website at www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au or contact Carmen Ellis on carmen@majesticwhaleencounters.com.au

Island paradise in Tonga. Image – Grant Thomas Photography