Just some of the whale watching excursions and short break holidays you can join us on. We are happy to incorporate whale watching into safaris if the season is right in your chosen destination.

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Introduction to Whale Watching Holidays
From the tip of Tasmania to northern Iceland and even further up into the waters around Svalbard whales may be seen. Of course our whale watching holidays tend towards the more popular destinations of Iceland and Canada but whale watching is a growing aspect of eco-tourism in many countries and there are a number of whale watching excursions we can organise across different continents. One overlooked aspect of the trips described below is that whale watching holidays are readily combined with some phenomenal terrestrial wildlife experiences.
Marine life can prove to be the most challenging of wildlife viewing and that is why whale watching from boats takes place in known areas of concentration of these cetaceans. Boats either follow regulations or their own strict code of practise around cetaceans. With naturalists on board to explain identify species and explain behaviours you can go whale watching without disturbing their natural world as minimum viewing distances and time spent with the animals is monitored. Many excursions do not last more than about 3 hours although those going out to continental shelves where there is an upwelling of food for whales may take longer.

Whale Watching in Iceland
As mentioned whale watching in Iceland and in Canada are the most popular locations on our clients' holidays. In Iceland there are 4 main locations where excursions provide good chances of seeing whales. Out of the capital Reykjavik minke whales can be seen as well as white-beaked dolphins. However, Husavik is the self-proclaimed whale watching capital of Europe with daily sailings most of the year and a wide number of species recorded including minke, fin, blue, orca and humpback whales. Humpbacks are one of the most enjoyable to watch as they raise their fluke before diving and occasionally breach. They occur frequently in Skjalfandi Bay out from Husavik with over 85% of sailings recording humback whales. In total over 98% of trips in 2012 recorded cetaceans from 9 different species.
Olafsfjordur around the coast also has an outstanding record of recording humpbacks during the summer months. In the winter orcas feed on herring in Grundarfjordur and it is possible to see whales and the northern lights on the same trip to this beautiful area of Iceland that is accessible from Reykjavik.
As a point of note if you do a whale watching holiday in Iceland be sure to avoid trying whale offered in the many restaurants in Reykjavik. Much of this is done only for tourism, our Icelandic colleagues tell us it is not a staple diet of Icelanders, and that this practise is reducing the population of whales unnecessarily so.

Canada Whale Watching
Both coasts of Canada offer exceptional whale watching. The Bay of Fundy from Nova Scotia and the coasts around Newfoundland are excellent locations for excursions whale watching and these are best during the summer months from May - June onwards and a number of different species can be expected in the Bay of Fundy whilst humpback whales are the predominant species out of Newfoundland.
On the Pacific west coast, gray whales, orcas, harbour porpoises and humpback whales are most often seen. The gray whales migrate from California northwards and pass by Vancouver Island in March returning in the autumn. However, some remain around Vancouver Island during the summer months. Humpbacks also migrate up to Alaskan waters. On the other side of Vancouver Island in Johnstone Strait resident and transient pods of orcas can be seen.

Whale Watching in Costa Rica
The migration of humpbacks from both the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere starts from the calving grounds of Marino Ballena National Park close to Corcovado on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast. Whales and 3 species of dolphin, common, bottlenose and Pacific spotted can be seen here most of the year round.

Whale Watching in Peru & Ecuador
Just as the humpbacks head north past Vancouver Island those in the southern hemisphere pass the Ecuadorian and Peruvian coasts. Whale watching excursions run from south of Lima and from the coast north of Guayaquil in Ecuador. You may also be lucky and see whales and dolphins whilst on a Galapagos cruise.

Whale Watching in South Africa
Whale watching can take place from the shores near Hermanus from June to November and September is a wonderful time to be around The Cape with the fynbos flora in bloom and southern right whales just off the coast as this is where they mate and calve. Humpback whales are often recorded off the coast north of Durban as they migrate up to Mozambique, although specific whale watching trips are not generally organised here. However, boat excursions are possible from Plettenberg Bay where humpbacks may be seen with calves before setting off back to Antarctic waters. Numerous dolphins can be seen here too.
It is also worth mentioning the sardine run that occurs during May and July, the timing of which cannot be guaranteed. This spectacle is best observed by divers and is caused by Southern African pilchard following a cold inshore current northwards, off the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast, that is counter to the predominant warm Aghulas current from Mozambique. The sardines are chased and rounded up by thousands of common and bottlenose dolphins and become prey to these, Bryde's, other whales including orcas. Sharks, seals and thousands of gannets add to the feeding frenzy.

Whales & Whale Sharks in Australia
Cetaceans can be seen at certain times of the year, specific to location around the coast of Australia and whale watching excursions can be incorporated in to Austalian safari holidays. Whilst not cetaceans, whale sharks return each year to Ningaloo Reef on the west coast of Australia and it is possible to snorkel here in the company of the largest fish in the oceans.



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