FAQs How we Swim with Whales
HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT?
Swimming with whales isn't something that's particularly natural. It's surprisingly difficult to get the type of experience you're probably thinking of.
ITINERARY AND INCLUSIONS
For more information about what's included and what to expect, read here or download our brochure.
HOW DO I GET THERE? Direct to Tongatapu, meaning no annoying flight delays. It's a direct flight from Australia or New Zealand often for about AU$800 return. YOU DON'T NEED TO FLY FURTHER WITH US. Other whale swims on Vav'au and Ha'Apai require internal flights with Royal Tonga Airlines. The minimum number of extra days to reach these destinations is three. It takes two days to travel there and one to travel back (check the itineraries to see if you are accommodated on the first night, as some operators just provide a 'couch' sleep in a local place). The local airline isn't always reliable. In 2018 flights were cancelled for several days.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY EXPERT-LED? This tour was developed by the people who have trained the Tongan guides and work closely with the Kingdom to help set standards for the industry. Our team is respected locally and all our work is reported to authorities and scientific organisations locally, nationally and internationally and has formed part of recent publications on the status of Humpback Whales in the South Pacific.
WHAT'S THE LIKELIHOOD OF A SWIM? It takes 2-3 days to get a really good swim. We run a week-long trip because we know how long it can take to get a great swim - to prove it, look at our statistics. While you can never promise any encounter, we have a 100% success record getting our guests in the water with singing whales and we've never failed so far, to get at least one 'great' swim
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO? Whale numbers peak from around late July to early September. We only operate in the best weeks from about last week June to first week of September. We release August first.
DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO DIVE? No, SCUBA isn't permitted with whales in Tonga. However, we can organise diving for you at some beautiful sites on the island.
WHAT IS AN ETHICAL WHALE SWIM? We've assembled this article to tell you.
How fit do I need to be? You must be able to swim and you need a moderate level of fitness.
What are the age limits? We have had young kids and elderly on board. It depends more on your fitness and ability to swim.
What equipment do I need? We provide wetsuits and snorkelling gear but you are welcome to bring your own.
Are you a local business? Wildiaries is based in Australia but we buy the travel from our Tongan friends. The majority of your ticket price is paid to our operators who employ teams of locals to do your transfers, whale swim guiding, meal preparation, cultural tours, provision of accommodation etc. We're proud to be working with them and helping them reach people like you, by providing a sustainable alternative to whale swims.