Whales, Wildlife & Wilderness Pam & Wayne Osborn
Humpback Whales Tonga
The Kingdom of Tonga
Getting in the water with humpback whales legally is not easy but Vava'u in the Kingdom of Tonga is perhaps one of the best places on our planet to do this.
Tongans are proud of 'their whales.' The in water encounters attract valuable tourist income and is managed on a basis and belief that there is no harm to the whales.
We first visited in August 2009 and whilst being enchanted with the whales, were less so with our host. Three of us had chartered a boat for our exclusive use and unfortunately our guide was less than experienced and seemed more interested in building her own whale portfolio than expanding ours.
it was also a time of great sadness on Vava'u. The inter-island ferry MV Princess Ashika had sunk with the loss of 74 lives.
Our trip in August 2016 with good friends Wade & Robyn Hughes was a private charter with Darren Jew's Whales Underwater (www.whalesunderwater.com)
This was an entirely different different experience and I can't speak highly enough of Darren and the team. We had 8 days on the water and unforgettable intimate moments with mothers and calves and high adrenalin encounters with testosterone fuelled males.
Through our work with sperm and other whales, Wade and I are used to working pretty much on our own and can be a little hard to impress.
However, working with Darren was a delight. He is one of nature's gentleman and an outstanding photographer. Many thanks to our expert skippers Ali and Cam. Also to Jasmine,Theresa, Lisa and Alistair Coldrick at Dolphin Pacific Diving.
Mother & New-born Calf, Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga