Category Archives: humpback whales

When is the best time to visit Sal Salis?

We officially open our camp for the 2019 season in less than 6 weeks. If you want to make this the year you finally come to Sal Salis, you might be wondering when’s the best time to stay. Every month is different and has its own special charm. Finding the right time of year for you is really down to the things you most want to see and experience, as so many of our attractions are nature based. We’ve compiled an overview to help you decide when might be the right time for you!

March 

Our opening month offers hot days and occasional rainfall (usually associated with cyclonic conditions off-shore). The average maximum temperature is 36.3 degrees. The weather is warmer, so March is a great time to visit if you love hot days and want to spend heaps of time in the ocean. This is generally when the last turtle hatchings of the season are making their way to the ocean. So, if you’re lucky, you may see these gorgeous babies making their way into the morning waves.

Turtle hatchlings at Sal Salis

April to June

Mornings and evenings are cooler and we expect offshore breezes and warm days. If swimming with whale sharks is the main reason for coming to Sal Salis, this is the time to come. The season officially starts in April and runs until July. We can help organise your trip with our preferred supplier, Live Ningaloo, so you can adventure out onto the reef for the day and swim with these gentle giants. This is a once in a lifetime adventure and an experience you’ll never forget.

July to September

Nights will be cool – so bring warm clothing as you’ll be eating alfresco at our group camp and no doubt relaxing in your hammock under a sky full of stars. Days will be warm, just lovely for swimming and relaxing in the warm sun. Humpback whales are often seen behind the reef and from around July, and from August until the end of October, you can now swim with the humpback whales. Live Ningaloo offer amazing day tours out to the reef where you can see these majestic creatures up close, from the water. We can organise your tour when you book your stay with us.

October

Temperatures are high throughout the day, but a cool sea breeze may bring respite in the afternoon. The humpback whales continue to swim south, so you will still be able to take a tour if you want to, or simply spot from the beach here at camp. This is also when turtles begin their nesting, so you may see more of them when snorkelling in the waters off our beach or coming up onto the shore to rest in the early evening.

 

2018 Sal Salis season highlights

It always amazes us how quickly our seasons seem to pass by here at Sal Salis.

The first guests of the season arrived at our luxury camp on the shore of Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef in mid-March, just as whale sharks started to appear in the Ningaloo Marine Park. We said goodbye to our last guests of the season just as humpback whales continued their migration south in late October.

The fact that seven and a half months flashed by in what seemed like the blink of an eye is undoubtedly a reflection of how much we love it here, as well as the fun we have hosting our guests, and the fact that we are such a tight knit team.

Yes, we work hard to ensure our guests have an amazing time here, but we enjoy it so much that it hardly feels like we’re putting in long days. Now that our safari tents have been safely packed away, we’ve had a chance to reflect on the memorable season that has just finished.

We were fortunate to welcome back many past team members this season, including our camp managers, Paul and Candice, as well as Nush, Taylor and Simmo. New team members like Mel, Brad, Sarah, Reuben, Dom, Livvy, Calvin, Luke and Louise quickly became part of the family too.

At the beginning of the season we had the pleasure of hosting a crew from Channel 7’s Sunrise, who visited our slice of paradise to cover the fact that Sal Salis was named one of the best places in the world to stay by travel giant, Lonely Planet. An accolade we were delighted to receive.

We enjoyed another fabulous whale shark season here at Ningaloo Reef, with an excellent success rate in guests swimming with the world’s largest fish on tours with Live Ningaloo, Ningaloo Discovery and Three Islands Whale Shark Dive.

 

 

While our season started on a high with the commencement of whale shark tours, the middle of the season was a wonderful time too. Just as people in the southern parts of Australia started visiting Western Australia’s Coral Coast in late June to escape the winter chill, Ningaloo Reef’s humpback highway was in full swing, which meant our guests had the opportunity to see Ningaloo’s big three marine species: whale sharks, humpback whales and manta rays at the same time! We really enjoyed hearing about these magic encounters with Ningaloo’s famed gentle giants during sunset drinks and intimate dinners in our lodge.

As whale sharks began to move on from the region in late July, the weather started to warm up a little more and our guests started signing up to swim with humpback whales in the Ningaloo Marine Park; the only place in Australia you can do this. Swimming with humpback whales has only been offered at Ningaloo Reef for the past two seasons, and it has fast become a massive hit with our visitors. It’s given many of our past guests a reason to return to Sal Salis, and we are delighted that the trial will continue next year so that more people will have the opportunity to tick this amazing experience off their bucket lists.

 

Llive Ningaloo and Chris Jansen Images shot of humpback whales

 

As we began to pack away our tents, turtle tracks started to appear along Ningaloo’s pristine beaches. The Ningaloo Coast is considered one of the world’s most important breeding grounds for endangered green and loggerhead turtles. Although most of the hatchings emerge during our closure, some of our guests were treated to an unseasonably late hatching at the start of our 2018 season. We really enjoyed seeing videos and photos of the tiny turtle hatchlings scurry from their nest on our private beach to the relative safety of the Indian Ocean. Perhaps our early guests of the 2019 season will get to see this as well? Fingers crossed!

 

It’s been a sensational season and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful team, so we’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each team member for their efforts.

We’d also like to thank our guests who have visited us from near and far. We thoroughly enjoyed hosting you and hope to welcome you back to Sal Salis again in the future.

Finally, we’d like to wish our much-loved camp mum (Candice) and camp dad (Paul) all the very best for their wedding this month. We look forward to welcoming you back to Sal Salis as husband and wife in March 2019!

 

 

Here’s another BIG reason to visit Sal Salis outside of the whale shark season!

Whale sharks may be moving on from Ningaloo Reef, but there is still a BIG reason to visit Sal Salis over the next few months.

HUMPBACK WHALES have arrived in our pristine waters, and Western Australia’s Ningaloo Marine Park is one of the few places on Earth that you can actually take a dip with them!

Our preferred operator, Live Ningaloo, has reported some amazing interactions with humpback whales so far this season, which commenced on 1 August.

Passengers aboard Live Ningaloo’s luxury vessel, Wave Rider, have enjoyed up to five swims per tour with humpback whales, and some have been treated to very special interactions with mothers and their young whales.

Llive Ningaloo and Chris Jansen Images shot of humpback whales
Chris Jansen Images, on board Live Ningaloo

Recently a Live Ningaloo group were swimming with a mother humpback whale and her yearling. The mother initially concealed her yearling from sight until she’d had eyeballed the group for a little while. Upon judging they weren’t a threat she lowered her guard and allowed the group to have a peek.

Live Ningaloo’s Sonia Beckwith said humpback whales were constantly communicating through passive and non-passive behaviours.

She said: “Whether it’s singing, doing a belly turn or a mother showing us her yearling – that’s them communicating amongst themselves and sometimes with us. It’s a magical feeling when there is an exchange because it’s intentional with humpbacks.

“Humpback whales are active above and below the surface. Spotting them in action while you’re on a boat, in the water with them, or from the Sal Salis lodge deck is an awe-inspiring experience.

“This is only the second year the swimming with humpback tours have been allowed, and it is reassessed each year. As such, we never know if these swims with humpback whales at Ningaloo Reef will continue in future seasons. So, if you really want to tick this amazing experience off your bucket list, we recommend doing it soon!”

Live Ningaloo will continue to offer tours to swim with humpback whales until 31 October. For more information, contact them directly via their website.