You are about to have a lifetime experience with us, so let us tell you who we are and what we believe in!
The Taufatahi Team
Taufatahi Charters is a locally owned Tonga business. Our team of experienced skippers and whale swim guides are passionate about making people happy, and what better way to that through providing you with a life changing experience: "Swim with the Whales".
Every year Oceania humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) travel over 3000 miles from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to the warm protected waters around Tongatapu to calve, breed and conceive next years calves. Swimming with whales has been sanctioned in Tonga since the early 1990's, several decades after the decision to end commercial whaling in 1979. Pressure from whaling countries to legalize commercial whaling again led to a concerted effort by the Tongan Government to create opportunities in Eco Tourism instead.
With each generation of whales since, the "Tonga Tribe" has become more accustomed to interactions with humans. This creates amazing opportunities to swim with these magnificent creatures, however, it also means that the responsibility to assure that the natural behavior of the whales is not disrupted, lies with us, the operators. This is especially true with mother/calf pairings. We take this very seriously and follow very strict guidelines on how we approach the whales, how close we are allowed to approach them, for how long we are allowed to swim near the whales and the frequency of visits with them per tour.
While respecting the whales, our number one priority is to provide
superb customer service - we love customers that share our deep sense of wonder
and respect for the whales and their natural habitat.
Our family owned and operated business is committed to giving back to Tonga. 100 percent of our staff are local and we are committed to identifying, recruiting and supporting local talent. We are dedicated to training up the next generation of local Tongan whale guides and skippers.
We keep 100 percent of earnings in Tonga and support other local businesses
in the running of our operations. Our history in Tonga, our dedication and
commitment to Tonga and to the well being of Tongan Tribe of humpback whales
is what sets us apart from other foreign owned operators.
We hope to see on one our tours soon!
Co-owners Vila and Tim were two of the first trained whale swim guides in Tongatapu and are two of the most experienced. Our skipper, Richard, trained alongside them. Richard grew up on Pangaimotu and having spent his life on the water is also keenly aware of the effect climate change and global warming has had on marine life.
You will not meet a more dedicated and conscientious crew.
Whale Swim Guide...
Best Skipper there
is on the Island !
Whale Swim Guide...
What our customers say...
Please share how your time was with us on the water and swimming with the whales!
We take pride in our service and it is our goal to provide the best once in a lifetime experience...
The Taufatahi Charters Team
Feel alive swimming with gentle giants ...