They are the most majestic in the high waters of the sea but this remains oblivious to many; they are the humpback whales which are currently on migration to Kenya’s prestigious Watamu.
Every August, Watamu Protected Area on the Kenyan Coast is a spectacle as it treats visitors to the sight of the “Marine Big Five” which includes 10 different species of dolphins and whales. Besides, you catch glimpse of the beautiful coral reefs, thousands of fish and the amazing sea turtles.
Not to miss out on this fanfare, Hemingways Watamu has for the last eight years been offering whale-watching excursions. From the comfort of Hemingways or the Ocean Sports both with exciting views of the Marine Park, you enjoy this natural beauty that rivals South Africa’s whale watching.
With increased recordings of new species from sports fishermen with the Kenya Association of Sea Anglers, Watamu whale watching is now a popular affair. While here, the sight of hundreds of humpback whales is phenomenal but there are also huge numbers of killer whales, Bryde’s whales and sperm whales.
The whales and dolphins, Watamu’s biggest spectacle every year in August, makes their first swim towards Watamu at the coast of East Africa in early June before embarking on the annual migration north from Antarctica.
The tropical inner reefs are warm but safe which allows them to breed and give birth to calves which remain under the care of their mothers for a period of two years until weaning is fully done. Once this is done, they make a 4,000 km journey back to the cold waters of Antarctica which have a lot of food all-year-round. A whale’s main source of food is small fish like sardines and shrimp. They enjoy swimming in groups and will occasionally leap out of the water during the swim.
Watamu Marine Association has since developed comprehensive guidelines for dolphin and whale watching for two reasons; protecting the numbers of marine mammals and keeping whale enthusiasts safe as they enjoy these moments. Claves excitedly jump out of the water as their mother swim swiftly in circles.