Thinking about Tonga

by Douglas Hoffman on July 28, 2021

I went to Tonga for the first time in 2006, to swim with whales legally. Tonga is one of the few places in the world that has organized whale swimming under permit. I learned that swimming with whales fills my heart with joy. Just floating along in the presence of whales is incredible, but when accepted by a female with a calf and mutual interaction takes place the experience is mind boggling.

The people of Tonga are very friendly and love to laugh. They live a simple life. Agriculture and fishing are their main stays but they also rely on fishing, and tourism to keep the economy going. With Covid affectedly closing Tonga for business for two years the people are having a hard time. Everyone is hoping the pandemic will pass and Tonga will reopen its borders in 2023.

I look forward to going back and seeing old friends, making new ones, and of course swimming with the whales. I am making plans to return so stay in touch if traveling to Tonga is something you have always wanted to do.

My plan for 2023 is to book a private boat and stay at my favorite guest house. It will be a two week adventure overall with 10 days on the water.

As it now my plan for 2024 will be for a two week trip that will combine diving in Fiji and whale swimming in Tonga. I just started discussing the idea with the owner of an 80 foot live-aboard. We’re going to work out all the details in the coming months. AS details are set information will be shared.