Swim Humpback Whales
In 2016 the West Australian government awarded travellers to Sal Salis the opportunity to swim with Humpback whales from 01 August to 31 October each year. 2017 is our second season and we can report it as being a truly ‘transformative’ experience … for all nature lovers, this is ‘bucket-list-stuff’ at its very best!!
Humpback whales (Metaptera novaeangliae) are one of the larger baleen whale species and adults range in length from 12 to 16 mtrs (39 to 52 ft). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is well known for breaching and other surface behaviours. Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, which they repeat for hours at a time; parts of this song are audible to human ears in the water.
From June to November an estimated 30,000 humpback whales migrate along the Ningaloo Coast on their way to and from their breeding and birthing grounds in Exmouth Gulf and sheltered waters north as far as the Kimberley.
Our Humpback Whale Swim experience will begin with the 25 minute transfer from Sal Salis to Tantabiddi Boat Ramp. Once onboard you will be kitted out with a wetsuit & snorkel gear; enjoy morning tea as you motor out of protected waters and into the Indian Ocean.
The whales are easy to spot as they breach, lunge, slap the water and blow. They will continually move so swimming is required during the interaction; you will need to be a confident swimmer, able to snorkel and swim freestyle. The whales are found in the open ocean so you may be swimming in current and swell.
In addition to swimming with humpback whales, the crew & the Sal Salis spotter plane will be searching for opportunities to interact with whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins, dugongs and sea birds. Depending on the day we may return to the calm waters of Ningaloo Reef for lunch & snorkelling. Return to camp will be in the mid-afternoon.