Blue Whale Watching

The gigantic blue whale is the biggest animal on earth: up to 30 meters long and 150-170 tons of weight (like about 2000 men!). Its tongue can have the same weight as an elephant and its heartbeat can be detected from more than three kilometers.

Blue Whale comparisonThe blue whale name comes from the underwater colour, although his body is actually grayish-blue.
His diet mainly consists of krill, small crustaceans of which a blue whale can eat up to 4 tons every day (about two million of them!).

According to recent scientific studies, the life expectancy of a blue whale is up to 70-90 years and can be determined by the layers of their earwax.

The blue whales emit a particular vocalization sound that permits them to hear each other: the low-frequency sounds may travel up to more than 1500 km underwater.

World’s best places for blue whale watching:

Canada
Saguenay Fjord
from June to October

Iceland
Hùsavìk
from May to August

Azores
Pico Island
April, May

U.S.A.
Monterey Bay, California
San Diego, California
from June to October

Mexico
Baja California Sur
from January to March

Sri Lanka
Mirissa
from December to April
Trincomalee
from March to August
Chile 
Corcovado Gulf
from January to April

Australia

Perth Canyon
from March to May

New Zealand
Kaikoura
July, August

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater
© Vincenzo Gianferrari Pini

With 16 km of diameter and 265 square km area, the Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera. Formed three million years ago by a massive volcano, it is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania). Due to its climatic conditions, the crater area has its own, unique, ecosystem.

 
Around the Magadi Lake, in the middle of the crater, live an impressive variety of animal species, among which elephants, black rhinos, leopards, lions, buffalos, hippos, hyenas, crocodiles, cheetah and thousands of pink flamingos, giving the area the appearance of a large water park for wild animals.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the only one Tanzania’s Park in which the Masai population can live and move freely.

Pantanal, Brazil

Pantanal
© Raphael Milani
The Pantanal Conservation Area, located in Brazil, Bolivia & Paraguay, is the world’s largest tropical wetland, with an estimated surface area of about 170.000 square kilometers (at least 20 times the size of the Everglades, in Florida); it is one of the most unspoiled and unexplored places of the world.
 
For much of the year, the 80% of the land is submerged by the water, allowing the growth of a large variety of aquatic plants and supporting one of the world’s best diversity of wildlife. 
In addition to anacondas, caimans, jaguars and many other animals, you can also meet the pantaneiros, people living here of animal husbandry.

The Big Five, South Africa

elephant
photo © mytouristmaps (Pilanesberg Nat. Park)

Known all over the African continent, the “big 5” expression refers to the five most dangerous animals at the time of hunting safari: LION, ELEPHANT, RHINO, LEOPARD and BUFFALO.

They all can be found in many African parks and reserves (particularly in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, …) or, more simply, on the South African bills (with 380 Rand you will have them all).

South African Rand

Dovrefjell Nat. Park, Norway

Muskox at Dovrefjell
photo © mytouristmaps
At the Dovrefjell National Park, in the central area of Norway, you can meet the beautiful musk ox: a large mammal of the caprinae family, known for its thick coat that reaches almost the ground and the characteristic odor of musk.
 
During the period of love, rival male musk oxen fight to conquer females: they collide head to head at the speed of 60 km/h making a noise that you can hear in kilometers.