During an early morning flight over the Indian Ocean along the Maputo National Park coastline, Peace Parks Foundation’s Chief Pilot and Aviation Manager, Hannes van Wyk, is surprised to see several whales clearly visible in the warm, azure waters below.
A mammoth migration
As summer starts to return to the southern hemisphere, many migratory animals and birds arrive just in time for the warmer weather, where they will breed, feed and give birth. But it’s not just on land where these migrations take place. Below the blue waters, one of the longest migrations in the world is taking place too.
Every year large pods of whales, namely the humpback and the southern right whale, begin their annual migration that takes them from the cold waters of Antarctica, where they feed on nutrient-rich food sources, to the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean, where they will mate and give birth. These giants can often be seen in the waters of Mozambique between June and December.
Whales on display!
From colourful coral reefs teeming with life both big and small and protected expanses of ocean filled with large pods of dolphins, turtles, dugongs and the gentle giants of the ocean, the whale shark, these remarkable waters make Mozambique a premier whale-watching destination.
A safe haven
To help preserve and restore the uniquely diverse ecosystems found within Maputo National Park, Peace Parks Foundation and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas work together to protect these waters from fishing vessels, pollution and a multitude of other threats that creatures such as whales face when out in the open ocean.