Snorkeling With Humpbacks In Tonga

by Brian Heagney
(Ha'apai, Tonga)

Snorkeling with a mother Humpback with her calf in Tonga.

Snorkeling with a mother Humpback with her calf in Tonga.

Snorkeling in the turquoise blue waters of the Ha'apai Islands, Tonga beside a 50 tonne Humpback Whale and her new born baby has to be one of the best snorkeling experiences in the world.

The Ha'apai Islands are in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga and this is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to snorkel with these gentle giants. Trips depart daily from the main island of Lifuka and the whales are in Ha'apai from the beginning of July to the end of October with August and September being the peak months for sightings.

It is a wildlife experience of course so you should go on a couple of trips to make sure you fulfill your expectations and as always, have a few days spare to allow for bad weather. The whales are totally awesome of course and the chances of getting to swim with them are very high each day but they are free and each one has their own personality. Swimming with them is only possible when they allow it but thankfully they are very curious, particularly the babies, and often approach snorkelers as close as 10 meters.

It is breathtaking and really exhilarating to be beside such a big animal but they are so graceful in the water. Ha'apai also has great quality hard coral reefs that will keep your heart content for as long as you stay. Trips with the whales are boat based and last around six hours with reef snorkeling included.

There is an abundance of tropical reef fish in Ha'apai, the water is very clear, warm, shallow and the reefs are very healthy as the islands don't suffer from mass tourism like some other places.

Comments for Snorkeling With Humpbacks In Tonga

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Jun 17, 2013
Tonga Whales and Fiji
by: Cary Bennett

This is sooooooo........on my list!!! I have put together an itinerary and am working on "selling" the idea to my Gary. It will definitely be "the trip of a lifetime"! I just get so excited every time I see the photos from people who have been there and experienced this!!! I am also hoping to take the Tui Tai 5 night expedition in Fiji. Nat Geo rates it as excellent. Cross your fingers that we can make this happen!!!

Aug 04, 2013
Booking our trip to Tonga and Fiji!!!
by: Cary Bennett

I am sooooooooooooo.....excited!!! We are beginning the process of booking our reservations for the last week of August and first week of September 2014 for Fiji and Tonga.

The plan is to spend a week in Savu Savu, Vanua Levu, Fiji, at the Siga Siga Sands and take snorkeling trips from both the Koro Sun Resort and the Jean Michele Cousteau Resorts there.

Then, we will move on to Ha'apai Tonga to spend a week at the Matafonua Lodge where we plan to spend 4 days with the Humpbacks, as well as snorkeling the reefs nearby!

Will keep you posted as we get closer and keep careful notes of our trip and post them here!!!

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