While enjoying the sunny beaches and coral reefs of Mozambique, you are also well placed for Whale watching along this magnificent East African coastline.
Between June and December you could spot these giants of the deep and their calves from the shore and on Indian Ocean diving and boating excursions.
The most common migratory Whales seen in the warm Mozambique waters are the Southern right Whales and the Humpback Whales. They migrate to cold waters in high latitudes to feed and then move on to warmer waters to mate and give birth.
Each migration season is an extremely important opportunity for marine biologists and dedicated volunteers to collect crucial data on the Whales through digital photography, studying behaviour, GPS positioning and DNA collection.
Baleen whales do not have teeth; instead they have baleen (whalebone), a filter-feeder system inside their mouths. They take a great gulp of sea water, then close their mouths and raise their tongues up to their palate, which creates pressure to force the water out through baleen plates (combs), thus trapping small ocean creatures like krill and plankton.
Baleen Whales can be found in almost all oceans and all species travel seasonally. These migrations are affected by climate changes, water temperature, depth, and salinity also topography of the sea floor, and of course the abundance of food. Except in their feeding grounds, baleen Whales eat little or fast for months.
Humpback Whales are especially acrobatic in their movements, leaping high out of the water. Despite their enormous size, most baleen Whales are able to breach the surface. It is common to see Humpback mother whales teaching their young calves to breach, tail slap and spy hop.
Underwater, toothed Whales are able to echo-locate, but baleen Whales can produce sounds of high volume in the infrasonic range which can be heard hundreds of kilometres away. The Humpback Whales produce unique songs with complex sequences - the reasons for this remain a mystery.
Combine a relaxing Mozambique holiday with Whale watching at top spots along the extensive coastline. The Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos, Pemba, Inhambane, Tofo, Barra, Zavora and Inhaca are just some of the most popular beach and island destinations. It is possible to spot up to 30 Whales in a day during the season.
Between June and December is the most common time to witness Southern Right Whales quite close to the shore in the southern part of the Mozambique Channel. These baleen Whales have stocky, fat bodies with extremely long flukes and grow up to 15 metres (50 feet) in length. The species is threatened and protected in many countries.
Humpback Whales can be seen in the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos between July and October and in the open waters of Mozambique between October and December. These large Whales can grow to a length of 18 metres (60 feet). Their status is less vulnerable than the Southern right Whales.