The Humpback whale winter migratory route

In the southern hemisphere, the humpback whale populations move from the productive feeding Antarctic waters during winter, via the offshore waters of Durban and up the coast to the warmer breeding grounds found near Madagascar and Mozambique.

The reason for this movement isn’t certain, although some theorise that the calm, warmer, killer whale-free waters further north provide a more suitable environment to raise their calves. Later in the year the whales travel southward, returning to the cold waters of the Antarctic, as these seas are highly productive and therefore provide ample sustenance.

During their winter migration Humpback whales usually travel along migration corridors that hug the coastline of the African continent, moving from headland to headland. They are also creatures of habit, and return each year to the same feeding and breeding sites.

For more information on migration routes in the south western Indian Ocean: http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/162/m162p287.pdf