Each year visitors to Madagascar head to the Isle Sainte Marie where some of the best whale watching in the country can be done. Between the months of July and September lucky visitors can catch glimpses of the annual humpback whale migration and see mothers and calves frolicking in the shallow waters. The enormous animals calve and nurse in the waters off Isle Sainte Marie and their courtship rituals are a real spectacle for tourists. The whales are intimidatingly large but very gentle. Boats are available for hire and round this time of year there are plenty of guides to take travellers through the experience. Visitors unable to hire boats can easily see the whales from the island or the mainland of Madagascar as they frollic in the narrow stretch of water between them, but it is very special to encounter the giants close-up and having a knowledgeable guide is a bonus. It is a good idea to organise your whale-watching through a good hotel or tour operator so that you know that appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the animals are not disturbed or stressed by irresponsible guides and activities. Often visitors will be asked to help collect data on the whales as they spectate.
Venue: Isle Sainte Marie
Date: 1 July to 30 September 2013