August means whale watching season in Mozambique is in full swing! Come and experience these ethereal mammals in all their glory while you indulge mind and body on some of the best beaches on the African continent!
Mozambique is a whale watching destination second to none – from the south at Ponto do Ouro, up past Maputo to Inhambane and then north to Pemba, you can see these majestic marine giants between June and October as they travel to the warmth of the Indian Ocean to mate and have their calves.
The Whale Migration to the Mozambique Coast
Every winter pods of whales embark on their annual migration from Antarctica to the South East African coast to mate and calve, one of the lengthiest migrations in the world. The migration to the warmer climate ensures the safety of calves, from their natural predators the Orcas, as well as increases their survival rate in the warmer environmental conditions (imagine being born in the icy cold waters of the Antarctic!).
Spot Southern Right and Humpback Beauties
You will be introduced to the magnificent migratory Southern Right whales and the Humpback whales as they swim past the East African coastline.
Both species are baleen whales which use their baleen or filter-feeder system inside their mouths to feed on krill and plankton. The baleen system works when a whale opens its mouth underwater and the whale takes in water. The whale then pushes the water out, and animals such as krill are filtered by the baleen and remain as a food source for the whale. Baleen is similar to bristles and is made of keratin, the same substance found in human fingernails and hair.
Behaviour of These Playful Giants
Humpback and Southern right whales have a rather playful temperament when not being threatened. Your whale watching experience will put you in a front row seat to observe the aerial antics of these magnificent creatures defy the laws of nature.
Humpbacks are considered the acrobats of the great whales and can breach (push their upper bodies above the surface) as high as 10 metres!
These whales have a friendly and a curious nature and are known to approach whale-watching boats or even spend a few minutes in close range of/and underneath these boats.
Also, watch out for:
- Lob-Tailing where they lie vertically in the water with their heads down, slapping the water continuously with their tails.
- Sailing where whales are stationary in the water with their head down and only their tails sticking out.
- Flipper slapping is when whales surface on their backs and loudly slap their pectoral fins onto the water.
- Spy-hopping where whales push their heads right out of the water as if they spying on you.
Witness Their Unique Whale Song
The humpback whales sing spine-chilling songs. The male makes the long, loud, complex “songs” for which the species is famous and which can last up to 20 minutes long. Humpbacks may sing continuously for more than 24 hours but because they have no vocal cords, these whales sing by forcing air through their massive nasal cavities!
While scientists still don’t know the real reason why Humpback whales sing, it is interesting to note that all North Atlantic Humpbacks sing the same song, and those of the North Pacific sing a different song.
Best Lodges for Whale Watching in Mozambique
Getting to Mozambique to do some whale watching, but staying at the ideal location may increase your chances of spotting whales more often, during breakfast or drinks even. To amplify your whale watching experience we have selected the best accommodations for you!
- Inhambane & Massinga Beach Lodge
In Mozambique, you may hear their song if you decide to go whale watching from Massinga Beach Lodge in Inhambane.
From Massinga you can enjoy some whale watching along the coast, you could see up to 30 whales in one day! You will know a Humpback whale when you see one thanks to its exciting acrobatic displays when they throw their huge bodies around, hitting the water with huge slaps and crashes.
They love to breach and sail and sky hop and they get their name from the way their body arches as they emerge out of the water to prepare to dive back down again!
Other great lodges to spot whales in the Inhambe include Barra Beach Club, Casa Delight and Travessia Beach lodge.
- Bazaruto Archipelago for Ocean Cruises to Spot Whales
Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the sweetest spots for whale watching enthusiast during whale season. We urge you to visit this region to witness this once in a lifetime spectacle.
There are plenty accommodation options in Bazaruto Archipelago but we recommend these spots for the best whale watching experience; &Beyond Benguera Lodge, Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa and Azura Benguerra lodge.
- Vilanculos Region
Vilanculos is most popular for honeymoons and diving. But this region is situated right on the coast boasting white beaches and clear water making it an ideal location to do some whale watching. We recommend embarking on a dhow safari and getting up close and personal with these friendly giants.
The best locations in Vilanculos for whale watching would be the resorts on the coast, we recommend Bahia Mar Club, Dugong Beach Lodge & Villa Santorini.
Another great place to stay to see the whale migration is Casa Babi in Vilanculos, a deluxe beach hotel offering comfy self-catering and full board accommodation. This quaint, little seaside Mozambique boutique hotel is perfectly placed to take in the views across the blue blanket of sea to the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago.
Interesting Facts About Whales
- Did you know that the Humpback whale uses a very clever technique to catch its food known as bubble net feeding? What happens is a group of whales swims in a circle, getting closer and closer in as they keep blowing bubbles below a school of prey. The prey (krill or plankton) is encircled in the shrinking ring of bubbles and is then trapped in a cylinder shape that keeps getting smaller. This ring can begin at up to 30 metres wide and several Humpbacks can be involved. The whales then suddenly swim upward through the “net”, mouths agape, swallowing thousands of fish in one gulp. Wow!
- The Southern Right Whale have a hairier head than most other whales and is recognised for its huge callosities or horny growths on its head behind the blowhole, on the chin and around the eyes and lower lip. These whales have two blowholes so when they blow, the water makes a particular shape in the air above them. Right whales were hunted by whalers who knew they were rich in blubber, therefore the “right” whales to hunt. Females can be more than 15 metres long and 54 tons in weight!
- The survival of this species is being threatened. Climate change is currently impacting on whales as sea levels rise and temperatures change. The Arctic and Antarctic habitats are facing threats right now which could affect whales sooner than we realise. If the krill and plankton populations decrease, whales will really be in trouble.
Come to Mozambique to see the whales! Maybe you will feel so tuned into these giant sea mammals that you will want to contribute to their on-going survival?
Not only does Mozambique offers a majestic whale watching experience, but also world class holiday accommodation in luxury island villas, slick city hotels and elegant beach lodges. We have what it takes to get you there in style and we guarantee you attractive and affordable package deals where you get to see the whales up close on ocean cruises and diving.