Whales off the coast of Dakar!

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For several years now, we are observing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) that visit the coasts of the Dakar peninsula, usually between September and November.

Their presence in West Africa is cyclical. Mothers enjoy the abundance of food and the warm waters off the coasts of West Africa and breastfeed their offspring, which are unable to survive in cold waters. It may be possible that the whales come to give birth in the region, but there is not yet proof for this. In September we have seen seven different specimens (adults and juveniles) a few kilometres off the coast, but also close to our headquarters! The only chance to see them is to observe the ocean and spot a powerful blast (up to three metres high), a spoiler or even how they breach (the tip of Cap-Manuel is probably the best point of view in Dakar). Humpback whales usually come in groups of two to three individuals.

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Baleines à Bosses
3 baleines sortent de l’eau alors que l’orage s’apprête à frapper la presqu’île du Cap-Vert ((© Régis L’Hostis)

After researching scientific studies, we suppose that the whales are coming from the northern hemisphere (Scandinavia, Iceland). After the calves have gained enough weight, the whales recommence their long journey to the north by mid-November...before perhaps returning next year to our shores.

Learn more :
Size : 13 à 14 mètres
Weight : environ 25 tonnes
Wikipedia file on humpback whales :à_bosse

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