02-08-2022 di redazione
The tourist season has just begun, but those lucky enough to be in Kenya, and specifically in Watamu, these days can enjoy a marine spectacle that for those who love the ocean and its creatures can evoke emotions as great as those of the great migration of zebras and wildebeests in the Maasai Mara.
Indeed, it is a time of great cetacean passage off the coast of the tourist town 20 kilometres from Malindi. In recent days herds of around 20 fin whales have been spotted in Tiwi and Nyali, off the south coast. The boats of the Watamu Marine Association and those of the Kenya Wildlife Service are ready to sight and greet dozens of specimens, not far from the coral reefs.
The evolutions of these splendid cetaceans are not seen all year round, but the minimal temperature range of the Indian Ocean along the Kenyan coast will favour a longer stay of whales in these parts this year. The whales migrate from Madagascar in search of seas and reefs with warmer temperatures in order to breed and give birth to their pups, which stay with their mothers for about two years until they are fully weaned. They then make the return journey in October, swimming more than 4,000 km back to the food-rich cold seas of Antarctica, their main feeding area. These magnificent marine mammals can grow up to 15 metres long and weigh about 30 tonnes (about six times the weight of an elephant). Observing them in their natural environment, when they jump out of the water, sometimes in pairs or in larger family groups, is an unforgettable sight. It is also surprising that these marine giants feed mainly on small fish such as sardines and shrimps.
To find out more about whales and dolphins in Watamu or Kenya and to find the best locations from which to enjoy this spectacle, you can contact Steve Trott or Jimmy Kahindi Yaa, coordinators of the Watamu Marine Association at 0721/275818.
(photo: Watamu Marine Association)
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