Humpback Whale Watching in Mozambique

Thomas Bruneau
Dunes de Dovela Eco Lodge
Praia de Zavora
Inhambane Province
Austral Africa
GPS coordinates: S 24° 25’ 59.1”
E 035° 15’ 03.0”

The southern coast of Mozambique hosts a winter (June to October) migration for the Humpback
whales. The Humpback whales comes to the warm water of Mozambique to give birth and mate.

Watching from the lodge:
From June to October, we can see the Humpback whales almost every day from our restaurant, the
terrace of the bungalows or the tents. The lodge is built on the secondary dunes (average altitude 45
meters) and therefore provide a perfect location to observe the sea. We might see up to 20 in a day.
Lob tailing or slam, hops, mother and calf playing are common sights. The whales may be seen 200m
from the shore. The average sighting position is between 400 and 800 meters from the shore. Early
morning with its quieter sea is the best time. Classical binoculars (8*40) provide very good close

Watching from a boat: (as I experienced it many times)
Wake up 6:00 am, good breakfast
We drive the 16 km of the beautiful 4*4 track between dunes and inland lakes leading to Ponta
7h30 We meet at the dive center Jon, the manager of Mozdivers ( and Yara,
the Brazilian biologist of Zavora Marine Lab.
Safety briefing. We climb on the boat and a tractor pulls us to the launching point: a quiet little bay
protected by the rocky reef of Ponta Zavora.
8h30 launching of the boat
From then everything is possible. Under the professional care of Jon and Yara during a 2 hours tour,
I have been able to watch from the boat (I am not at all a diver!) many times (and each time I went
out from June to October) Humpback whales. From group of 10 to individual, adults or mother and
calf playing, incredible jump into the air, fin or tail slaming… within a range of distance from 50 to
100 m. All those sightings procure an incredible feeling
But I have also seen from the boat on the surface of the sea: manta rays, devil rays, dolphins,
loggerhead and leatherback turtles, whalesharks,… Each time it was an unforgettable experience.
10h30 we come back to the dive center for a nice coffee and a talk about what we have seen from
12h00 back to the lodge to enjoy a French lunch…
Tips: It is better not to forget: binoculars, hat, suncream, sun glasses and a towel.

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