Seeing a whale, one of nature’s most magnificent animals, is a bucket list dream for many people.
Cape Verde is a great place to make this dream come true.
One of the largest mammals on the planet, Humpback whales are a beautiful sight to behold.
Cabo Verde is home to two Humpback breeding grounds, out of only a handful in the whole world.
This is good news for visitors of Cabo Verde, as between February and May these magnificent creatures can be seen on guided tours on Boa Vista Island to the breeding grounds, and spotted from the beaches.
You will possibly even see Humpbacks while out for a morning beach walk if you’re lucky!
The humpback whale is one of the most famous whales. It has a number of distinctive features: extra-long pectoral (side) fins; bumps on its head and lower jaw; a streamlined shape; and an area of heavily grooved skin below its mouth and along its chest.
The humpback whales back can appear to be humped, which is how the whale got its English name.
The humpback whale is famous for its spectacular ‘breaching’ behaviour. This involves the whale launching itself out of the water and returning with a huge splash!
While not as large as fellow rorquals the blue whale and the fin whale, the humpback whale is still one of the largest animals alive today. It grows up to 19 m (62 ft.) long, although most are shorter.
An average female humpback whale is around 13.7 to 16 m (45 to 52.5 ft.) long. An average male is 12.2 to 14 m (40 to 46 ft.) long – that’s longer than a bus!
Humpback whales weight between 25 and 30 metric tons (27.5 and 33 short tons), although particularly large individuals can weight over 40 metric tons (44 short tons).
Humpback whales are found throughout the world’s oceans. There are several distinct humpback whale populations, and these tend not to mix.
The North Atlantic and North Pacific humpback whale populations spend the summer in their northern feeding grounds. The Southern Ocean populations spend summer feeding in the cold southern waters. In the winter all the population migrates to warmer waters nearer the Equator, where they mate and give birth.
Humpback whales undergo one of the longest migrations of all mammals. They are known to travel up to 16,000 miles (25,000 km) in one year.
The humpback whale feeds on krill (a small shrimp-like crustacean that is eaten by many whales), and various small fish such as herring.
A single humpback whale can eat around 1360 kg (3,000 lb.) of food each day.
The lifespan of a humpback whale is around 50 years.
Whale-watching is a wonderful way to connect with nature.
Humpback whales are a popular choice to observe as they are most likely to perform behaviour such as breaching (leaping high out of the water) or slapping the surface of the water with their tails or fins.
While some populations of humpback whales are still on the endangered list, most have now been removed from this list thanks to successful conservation efforts that have seen a rise in numbers. Whale-watching excursions are a wonderful way to raise awareness with the public about the ongoing challenges faced by whales.
Humpback whales are waiting you at Cabo Verde!