Ranging from the mere 2.5m dwarf sperm whale to the whopping 30m blue whale, these ocean giants beguile and amaze with their size, grace and dignity. Here’s our round-up some of the best places in the world to see them.
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Whale-watching in Mauritius
Grande Riviere Noire, Mauritius|
The west coast of Mauritius is a relatively unknown whale-watching destination, but offers great whale watching all year round in a pleasantly warm climate.
Squid-hunting sperm whales are here all year round; they live in groups of 10-20, reach 18m and can live 60-70 years. Playful humpbacks, that can reach 14m and enjoy breaching in front of tourists, can be spotted from July to September, when they return to warmer waters from the Southern Ocean to breed and reproduce. Pilot whales and Gray’s beaked whales and Blainville’s beaked whales can also be seen from July to November.
Whale watching in Mauritius is usually paired with dolphin swimming on a full day tour that will include, and a beach stop for a BBQ lunch and snorkelling on local reefs. Not a bad day’s work!
Getting there & doing it
Tours usually depart for Tamarin Bay from Grande Riviere Noire on the southwest coast. If you’re staying in the north, e.g. Grand Baie, it’s a 1.5-hour drive. Some tours include hotel pick-up, but if you’re further away, you’ll spend time in the van stopping at nearer hotels.
A basic whale watching tour is around 3 hours. Spotting whales is not guaranteed though here, so book this trip early in your vacation, so you have the opportunity to go again.
There’s no minimum age, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
When to do it
Whale watching tours run all year round, seven days a week, and though you can always see a sperm whale, the best time is July to September when the humpbacks are in town.
May to September is also the best time weather-wise – it’s pleasantly warm and dry, with fewer mosquitoes. October to April in Mauritius is the rainy summer season, with frequent short downpours and high humidity. January to March is unpleasantly hot and humid, and cyclones are possible.
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