Responsible tourism: Swim with humpback whales in Tonga
There are approximately 8,000 Humpback whales that migrate to the 3 island groups of Tonga each year, (Vava'u has about 70% of the whales population in their waters). During our days on the water, we endeavour to allow as many in-the-water encounters as possible without harassing the whales. Some days we may only witness surface activity other days we may experience in-the-water encounters, as weather and tides are believed to effect the behaviour of the whales and where they 'hang out'.
We ask you to fully appreciate that to have an opportunity to swim with humpback whales is rare, very unique and a precious gift. We strictly abide by the Tongan Whale-Watching Regulations therefore there is always only four people plus the guide in the water with the whales at one time.
When whale-watching: Cease contact at any sign of whales, particularly mothers and calves, becoming distressed or alarmed Allow the whales to control the nature and duration of the encounter Whales may leave an area if continually disturbed Respect the marine environment Do not throw rubbish or other objects into the water Dumping rubbish, particularly plastics, can kill whales and other sea life through accidental swallowing or entanglement.
If whale-watching from land, remain within established footpaths and lookout points, protect the environment, e.g. don't trample vegetation, minimise noise levels & don't swim to the whales from the shore.
To only work with local suppliers who strictly adhere to the 'Whale-watching Guidelines of Tonga - that cause little or no negative impact on the humpback whales in the area.
To encourage our guests to interact with the local families during their time in Tonga and offer opportunities such as Tongan-owned and operated accommodation, attending feast and dance nights and on any village visits or events where this is possible.
To donate a portion of the profits generated each year to 'Friends of Prince Wellington Ngu Hospital' in Neiafu Tonga for much needed supplies for their diagnostic laboratory. Some of our guests generously donate to this cause also.
To ask our guests to bring vital educational and stationery supplies, such as books, pens. pencils, calculators, etc for the Vava'u Library Fund for underprivileged 'bright' students in Vava'u and childrens reading books, crayons, pencils colouring books etc for the English speaking kindergartens. Instead of 'tipping' staff at resorts/restaurants etc, we ask guests to donate to the Laboratory at The Prince Ng Wellington Hospital in Vava'u - information about this worthy cause is given to to guests on request.
We ask our guests to bring discarded eye glasses from family and friends for the people of Vava'u as there are no opticians or eye doctors available locally.