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Forget the migration of the wildebeest on the plains of the savanna. Forget also the Sardine run and visit the southern African coastline in wintertime where one of the most spectacular as well as long migrations on earth is performed by a majestic giant: the mighty humpback whale…

From as early as June and July humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) start to appear along the shores of South Africa and Mozambique after travelling thousands of kilometers from Antarctica.

These massive on average 12 to 16 meter long mammals have only one goal and that is arriving on their mating and calving grounds as far up north as Kenya.

See also this blogpost on the humpback whale encounter we had in Mozambique.

For this story we planned our visit to Mozambique carefully since it had to coincide with the peak of the breeding season in Mozambique. Fierce winds made it impossible to get out to sea for days, but remaining patient paid off in the end.

We got the day of our lives when we encountered one of the newborns in Mozambique in the greenish waters of the Indian Ocean. This specific calf was quite big with a length of approximately 5m, suggesting that it was born earlier in the season.

The pale-gray calf was so curious that it kept on coming back towards us almost nuzzling the camera. As it circled around us it was vocalizing as well. It chirped ( I cannot find a better word for it) during the full length of the interaction.

Many images of this portfolio were published in my article for DUIKEN magazine: "Bultrugmigratie in Mozambique" and in "the BIG" issue for the South African Submerge magazine.


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