Visitors from Antarctica

During the winter months when large swathes of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean freezes over, thousands of humpback whales make their way north to warmer tropical waters. Though relatively low in the food these giant creatures need, the warm waters around Madagascar and other regions are perfect for raising their new-born calves and performing elaborate mating rituals of visual and auditory displays.

In the seas surrounding Miavana, humpback whales flock together, the mothers and calves revelling in the easy living and the males singing and dancing their hearts out in hopes of winning mating rights. The thick blubber stores that the mothers have built up over a summer of tireless feeding in Antarctica will sustain both her and her calf’s rich milk supply (it’s 50% pure fat and pink coloured!) in these krill-poor waters. Though they’re just the size of their mother’s head when born (a ‘mere’ 6m and 1.8 tonnes), they quickly grow stronger and bigger thanks to this calorie-dense diet and a daily exercise regimen of swimming and frolicking.

Visit Miavana between July and October for the best opportunity to see these majestic beings in Madagascar. The whales in our waters can be experienced in three wonderful ways:

Watch them from the comfort of the boat, floating beside them as they surface.

If you look closely, you can see the mothers pushing their calves up to the surface and supporting them from beneath, giving the babies a chance to rest and breathe at the surface. For those without sea legs, grab a pair of binoculars and scan the horizon for whales from the comfort of your villa.

If you’re a diver, an underwater encounter is a truly magical experience.

Beneath the surface, the hidden life of the whales is revealed – the tumbling, the playing, the elegance, the strength. To see creatures this large and seemingly cumbersome moving so gracefully through the water should be on every diver’s bucket list. Even more magical is hearing their songs echoing through the depths.

Take to the skies for a bucket-list whale-watching helicopter adventure.

Viewing from the air lends a delightfully unexpected perspective to the whales. Watch as they launch their 15m long bodies out of the water in a full breach, crashing down with a tremendous splash, or as they barrel roll around each other competing for a female’s attention. For the best photographic opportunities, fly with the doors off, providing uninterrupted views.

Come, let us show you the magic that thrives beneath the shimmering surface of the sea.

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We spent five days at Miavana. The place is just out of this world! I cannot find words to qualify it. Miavana is so so so great the island is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I know! That team are very helpful and effective. And the food is just amazing!

Laya, 2023

Extraordinary staff, very relaxing with beautiful scenery. Well after a few hours a wave of peace floated in and for the next few days we were in heaven.

Carla, 2020

Breathtakingly beautiful and indescribably luxurious. Cannot fault or complain about absolutely anything. The Miavana team, the food, the beautiful accommodation creates paradise within paradise. This is a one of a kind place that will exceed your highest expectations!

Marina, 2022

My week long stay at Miavana was unparalleled in almost every aspect of luxury. Defining luxury not only in terms of great quality and exclusivity, but in terms of craftsmanship, consciousness and a unique enriching experience. The richness of the culture set the context for such unique environment, and is the pillar of every impressive distinguishing feature of Miavana.

Tessa, 2023

Miavana will exceed your expectations. We traveled to Miavana for a week and had an incredible experience. The weather was perfect, the staff was attentive and there was enough activities on offer to keep us busy (honestly we could have stayed an extra week). The island is also home to a group of crowned lemurs which were amazing to see!

Ashley, 2022