I first traveled to Tonga in 2009 for research on my Masters. I worked with several tour operators, including Swimming with Gentle Giants (SWGG), to assess whale swimming in The Kingdom of Tonga.This gave me the rare opportunity to go out with different tour operators in one season. That’s why when I returned the next year for fun I booked with SWGG exclusively.
Their focus is on education, conservation, wildlife photography and fun. Their approach to the whales and the Tongan community is that of respect. Your in good hands with Scott and his guides.
The best experience for me came one day as we entered the water with a mom, calf and male escort. Scott lead us along side of the whales and positioned us in such a way that the female and male turned directly toward us. They stopped, noses touching near the surface and sun back lighting them, right in front of us maybe 3 meters away. We hung like that for a good minute, just us looking at them looking at us while the baby played below the adults. There are no words for what one feels except to say that I personally feel there is no better tool for conservation for the whales and the ocean than an experience like this.
Swimming with Gentle Giants will change your life forever. I highly recommend this company, their team and Scott.
Tia – MSc. Wildlife Conservation