Whale Watching is very popular in St. Lucia, this happens every year from June when the whales visit the South African coastal waters to calf and then to feed the calfs until they are big enough to return to Antarctica at the end of November.
FACINATING FACTS ABOUT ST. LUCIA’S HUMBACK WHALES
•They are inquisitive and playful
•Their brain is 7 times heavier than a humans
•Calves are born after 11 months gestation and weigh about 1500kg
•They drink up to 600litres of milk and put on 100kg of weight daily
•Their milk is extremely rich and has the consistency of condense milk
•Humpback whales have large nodules on their head which grow a single hair
•The adult whale has lungs the size of 2 small cars
•They grow up to 16m long and weigh as much as 11 elephants
•The male sing the most complicated and longest love songs of all the animals and they don’t
•Even have vocal cords
•The songs are the same in certain areas but change slightly each year
•Humpbacks don’t get involved in mass strandings
•Half their brain fall asleep while the other half stays awake
•They rest in Harvey Bay Australia before traveling 10 000km back to the Antarctic
Humpback Whale Tails:
Each tail has a unique marking , much like a humans’ fingerprint and this is how they identify between the whales and keep track of their migration.
Danie Bennett from Advantage Charters St Lucia has been involved with boat-based-whale-watching for the last 10 years, and since the start of permitted whale watching in South Africa, he has been sending photo ID’s of the Humpback Whales spotted on his tours, Slooth skin and other data diligently to his Scientist Mike Meyer at Marine and Coastal Management in Cape Town throughout whale watching season.
Marine and Coastal Management, their scientists Mike Meyer, Deon Kotze and Herman Oosthuisen then in their turn work in close partnership with the IWC (International Whaling Commission)on research of whales.
Scientists will be based in St Lucia, Mozambique and Madagascar, and they will compare their sightings – DNA from samples that Advantage has sent in to MCM previously have been linked with DNA from family groups of Humpback migrating past east and west Madagascar and even the West Coast of Africa.
The Humpback and Southern Right Whales leave their feeding grounds at the Antarctic in our winter months to come and breed and calf along our coastline, as our water temperatures is warmer for the calf’s, by the end of the whale watching season they have reached a decent weight and have enough blubber to help them survive the cold waters of the Antarctic. Whale and Dolphins have layers of fatty blubber which act as an insulation between the warm body core and the lower water temperature. New born calfs don’t have this layer of blubber yet, therefore they spend their first months in the warm water of the Indian Ocean drinking up to approximately 600liters of milk per day to grow at a tremendous rate and build up enough blubber before migrating back to the Antarctic.
Boat-Based-Whale-Watching has a self regulatory body SABBWWA ( South African Boat Based Whale Watching Association ) which is acknowledged by Marine and Coastal Management, as MCM is the government organization that issues the Boat-Based-Whale Watching permits.
All Bookings can be made via St. Luucia Safari Lodge or Contact the Advantage Booking Office directly.Your Hosts are Riëtte Bennet for the Hippo and Crocodile Cruise on Lake St. Lucia and Danie Bennet for the Whale Watching in the St Lucia waters of the Elephant Coast.
Telephone : +27 035 590 1259 Contact: Danie or Riette Bennett