Humpback whales à Nosy Be

Baleines à Bosses à Nosy Be avec Baleines Rand'eau

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a tireless traveler, which alternates between the fishy waters of the poles, where they feed mainly on krill (small shrimps), and the tropical waters where they come to breed and give birth.

Taking advantage of a calm and shallow sea, as well as sunny weather, the mother / calf couples bask in the bay which separates Madagascar from Nosy Be, while the groups of males are found at the limit of the continental shelf for fights, jumps and strikes of caudal or pectoral fins. The humpback whale is the most curious, playful and expressive of cetaceans, which makes it the star of Whale watching activity in the world!

Humpback whales gradually arrive at the start of the southern winter (July), and remain around Nosy Be until November.

The high season is between August and October.

They are so called because it is the only species of whale that has a small hump at the base of the dorsal fin.

Some also say that it is the particularly rounded shape of their back when they probe (diving after several breaths) which gives it its name.

In tropical areas, breeding places, males sing in order to seduce females. Mastered songs, repeated melodies shared by all the whales in the same area. A real summer hit, which we can hear thanks to the hydrophones available on our boats!

Measuring approximately 15 meters for 40 tonnes, they are already beautiful babies…

But they are not the largest of the whales: Indeed, blue whales can measure up to 35 meters and weigh 170 tonnes!

Fin whales are also larger than humpback whales, measuring up to 27 meters and weighing 70 tonnes.

Humpback whales feed almost exclusively on krill (small shrimp), which are found only in the poles. Thus, the one-year cycle for a humpback whale consists of the following way:

  • 4 months in the poles to feed
  • 4 months of migration (2 months one way, and two months the other way)
  • 4 months in breeding areas

Humpback whales therefore only eat 4 months a year, and this is not in Nosy Be!