Tonga is a small Polynesian kingdom comprising of over 170 islands, situated in the South Pacific. Many of these islands remain uninhabited and covered in virgin rainforest, surrounded by white sandy beaches and coral reefs.
The Kingdom of Tonga is internationally known for two main reasons- their rugby team and the migration of humpback whales which come annually to birth their young and court new mates from their feeding grounds in the Antarctic.
The island where one generally goes to swim with humpback whales is Vana’u. Typically charters offer a day out at sea, but the law requires no more than 4 swimmers and one certified whale guide in the water at a time, to ensure responsible interactions with the cow and baby pairs. One can usually observe a variety of whale behaviors, from mother and calf interactions to the sometimes combative behavior of mature bulls. Humpback whales are the most acrobatic whale species, and will often perform spectacular displays of breaching, lob-tailing, fin-slapping and general water-splashing behavior.
The sheltered waters of Vava’u offer a variety of snorkeling opportunities. The reefs around the area are also beautiful and largely untouched, in excellent condition, providing homes for many various fish, turtles and invertebrate species. We like to stay at Tongan Beach Resort, a small seafront simple yet comfortable resort.