Swimming with Humpbacks

Ha'apai, situated in the middle of the Tongan archipelago, provides a terrific nursery for the whales during their 4 month stay (Jul-Oct). With plenty of whales and few operators we are spoiled with the experience we can offer. This doesn't mean we can guarantee swimming, the decision to swim is always left up to the whale, but we believe with our patient approach we are often rewarded with amazing encounters.

It is important to remember the whales here are wild animals, with an intelligence we can only begin to imagine, our approach is to position the boat 200-300  meters from the whale and watch and wait, generally they can be inquisitive if they show our experienced captains signs that they are happy with our company only then do we enter the water. This approach proves effective  time and time again.

Our whale boats are staffed by a certified captain and whale guide and meet all the requirements for survey being equipped with all relevant safety equipment. A picnic lunch is offered daily either aboard or on a local beach. Fresh water, tea and coffee are also provided.

Whale Swimming

Sandy Beach Lodge, being located in the elbow of Ha’ano and Foa Islands, gives us access to one of the best whale nursery areas in Tonga. With female Humpbacks coming back to the same locations to give birth and nurse their new born calves.

Come enjoy the majesty of the mighty Humpback Whale as they migrate to our warm tropical waters for the winter months. We offer daily trips with a maximum of 8 passengers aboard our 2 fully licensed vessels to watch and swim with these gentle giants. Most days from the beach here at Matafonua you can see them frolic in the shallow water surrounding Foa Island.

Trips leave daily and include a delicious lunch, home baked snacks, tea coffee and water. Your day is spent watching, swimming and learning about the whales. We usually anchor at a shallow reef or deserted island for some lunch and snorkeling. Your trip is led by one of our experienced and knowledgeable guides.

Our approach here at Matafonua is to be patient, of utmost importance is the well being of the whales. It should be remembered that it is a privilege to swim with the whales and by giving them absolute respect and care we are usually rewarded with a much better in-water experience.
* Please contact us for customized itineraries and rates.