Best time to travel to Madagascar

Whale Watching in Madagascar 2024

Acrobatic humpback whales perform spectacular leaps above the ocean

Best time: early June–late September

Whale Watching

In summer during their breeding season humpback whales come closer to the water surface and amuse visitors with their stunts. They swim along the coast springing out of water and slapping it with their tails. One may also hear whales singing their marine songs. Madagascar offers to experience such spectacular performances near its eastern coasts in the Saint Marie Channel. Every year these large mammals migrate here from the South Pole for their breeding season since this area is protected by the east coast of Madagascar and Saint Marie Island. The whales remain here for the next four months, the time necessary for the newborn calves to grow up. In September enlarged whale families return back to the South Pole.

Practical info

When is the best time to go whale watching in Madagascar?

Witnessing humpback whales in Madagascar is possible from June to September with July and August being the peak season. These large creatures are out with force during the breeding season with visitors being able to spot them in large numbers. Tourists can take advantage of good weather conditions during this season, all while witnessing the beauty of the sea. Show more

Where is Saint Marie Channel, and how to get there?

Saint Marie Channel is situated east of Madagascar and is best reached by a flight or a boat. A flight to Sainte Marie Island is available from the capital city Antananarivo. Visitors may opt to take a boat ride from the mainland starting from Soanierana Ivongo. Tourists can expect to take a boat tour on the island for whale watching which gives them access to the sea's elegance. Show more

What other marine animals can be spotted while whale watching?

Apart from humpback whales, visitors can spot a variety of sea creatures during a whale watching experience in Madagascar. Dolphins, sea turtles, and different species of fish are commonly seen. People should expect snorkeling opportunities to explore coral reefs and other marine environments along with an engaging whale watching experience. Show more

How long does a typical whale watching tour last?

Operators in Madagascar offer different durations for whale watching tours with most lasting between 2-4 hours. These tours are complemented with other activities like snorkeling or island visits. Visitors are advised to check with the operator to know what to expect from the tour itinerary. Show more

Are there any guidelines or restrictions for whale watching in Madagascar?

To respect the safety of the whales and other marine animals, there are guidelines in place that operators need to uphold for whale watching tours in Madagascar. Tourists are expected to maintain distance from the animals to prevent disturbance by loud noises and any tossing of the garbage or other objects to the water. Visitors will be informed beforehand by knowledgeable tour operators about these guidelines for a peaceful whale watching encounter. Show more

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