Visitors from Antarctica

During the winter months when large swathes of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean freezes over, thousands of humpback whales make their way north to warmer tropical waters. Though relatively low in the food these giant creatures need, the warm waters around Madagascar and other regions are perfect for raising their new-born calves and performing elaborate mating rituals of visual and auditory displays.

In the seas surrounding Miavana, humpback whales flock together, the mothers and calves revelling in the easy living and the males singing and dancing their hearts out in hopes of winning mating rights. The thick blubber stores that the mothers have built up over a summer of tireless feeding in Antarctica will sustain both her and her calf’s rich milk supply (it’s 50% pure fat and pink coloured!) in these krill-poor waters. Though they’re just the size of their mother’s head when born (a ‘mere’ 6m and 1.8 tonnes), they quickly grow stronger and bigger thanks to this calorie-dense diet and a daily exercise regimen of swimming and frolicking.

Visit Miavana between July and October for the best opportunity to see these majestic beings in Madagascar. The whales in our waters can be experienced in three wonderful ways:

Watch them from the comfort of the boat, floating beside them as they surface.

If you look closely, you can see the mothers pushing their calves up to the surface and supporting them from beneath, giving the babies a chance to rest and breathe at the surface. For those without sea legs, grab a pair of binoculars and scan the horizon for whales from the comfort of your villa.

If you’re a diver, an underwater encounter is a truly magical experience.

Beneath the surface, the hidden life of the whales is revealed – the tumbling, the playing, the elegance, the strength. To see creatures this large and seemingly cumbersome moving so gracefully through the water should be on every diver’s bucket list. Even more magical is hearing their songs echoing through the depths.

Take to the skies for a bucket-list whale-watching helicopter adventure.

Viewing from the air lends a delightfully unexpected perspective to the whales. Watch as they launch their 15m long bodies out of the water in a full breach, crashing down with a tremendous splash, or as they barrel roll around each other competing for a female’s attention. For the best photographic opportunities, fly with the doors off, providing uninterrupted views.

Come, let us show you the magic that thrives beneath the shimmering surface of the sea.

Humpback whale tail in the ocean
Come let us show you …

Book your own island adventure with us
or contact your current Time + Tide travel designer