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Anupriya Bedi Aug 22 2014

Which are the best whale watching destinations around the world?

Reet Cheema Aug 22 2014
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Whale watching is an unique experience and there are diverse regions of the world that provide such an experience. We have curated a list of 5 best whale watching destinations around the world you can head to indulge in this activity.

Beluga Whale (by Premier.gov.ru)

1. Kaikoura, New Zealand

Located on the east coast of South Island of New Zealand, Kaikoura is one of the world's most likely places to see a sperm whale all year long. You can also spot humpbacks (June and July) , ocra (December to March), and if lucky, even a blue whale (June to September). You can opt for tour boat or even hop on 30-minute flight for whale watching.

Mother and baby sperm Whale (by Gabriel Barathieu)

2. Hermanus, South Africa

Located in Walker Bay in South Africa, Hermanus is popular for shore-based whale-watching opportunities. You can head here from May through December for best whale-watching experience. Moreover, you can also check out annual Hermanus Whale Festival from 3 October to 6 October, 2014.

Whale crier of Hermanus (by NH53)

3. The Azores, Portugal

The Azores, composed of nine volcanic islands in North Atlantic Ocean, is a great place to see various species of whales and dolphins. Blue whales, orcas and dolphins are common sightings between April and September. You can hire a boat and indulge in whale-watching from any of the Islands, but Pico is considered to be the most popular on among whale-watching enthusiasts.

The Azores (by salady)

4. San Diego, California

Every winter from December through April, people from around the world gather here to have a glimpse of one of nature's most incredible events--the migration of gargantuan gray whales to their breeding lagoons at Baja California. Watching these 50-foot long gray whales travelling together on an epic 5000-mile journey is once in a lifetime experience.

Whale watching in San Diego (Ryan Harvey)

5. Quebec, Canada

Home to two types of rare whales, Quebec is one of the best destination for whale-watching adventures. You can catch a glimpse of nearly extinct North Atlantic right whale and beluga whales. These whales swim with their heads over water and have quite expressive faces. Best time to head here is between May and October.

Beluga whales found in Quebec (by brian.gratwicke)

Quick Tips

Even though trained guides and naturalists educate passengers about whale watching, it is always good to have a few pointers before setting out on such adventure. Here are some whale watching tips you should keep in mind to maximize this incredible experience.

- Before starting, check all guidelines for watching whales and other marine life.

- Sometimes a little planning can enhance the experience. Read about the species that you might see and different features that will help you to identify different species.

- Have a good breakfast before setting out for whale watching and carry light snacks to munch on to avoid sea sickness.

- Look in all directions before approaching areas of known or suspected marine mammal activity. Be very cautious when planning your approach or departure.

- Reduce your speed to lowest when within 500 metres of the nearest whale. Also, avoid abrupt course changes.

- Do not approach any closer than 200 meters to any whale.

- If by chance you are within 100 meters of whales, stop immediately and allow the whales to pass.

- Always keep clear of the whales’ path and avoid positioning anywhere within the 500 meter area in the path of the whales.

- When whales are travelling close to shore, stay at least 200 meters offshore at all times.

What to absolutely carry with you

- a hat and sunscreen

- warm clothes

- drinking water and food

- binoculars or a camera with a telephoto lens

- a booklet or brochure for species identification

- lots of patience

Lastly, do not swim with or feed whales. Do keep all these tips in mind to make your whale watching trip the most enjoyable experience.

wow !!
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