What are the Best Times to See Manta Rays, Whales, Sharks, Turtles and Other Wildlife in Fiji?
Sure, the white sands, glistening waters and the tropical breeze might be reasons to jet off to Fiji. The wildlife, however, brings a South Pacific getaway to a whole new level. Fiji is the place for encounters with majestic manta rays, sea turtles, humpback whales, sharks and more but they are not all necessarily available to see or swim with all year round. Make sure you avoid disappointment by visiting during the right seasons for seeing wildlife in Fiji. Luckily, this guide is here to make sure you don’t miss the season!
Fiji’s Wildlife Seasons…
… In a nutshell:
- Manta ray season: May to October
- Whale season: June to October
- Turtle season: All year round
- Bird season: All year round
- Shark season: All year round
- Dolphin season: All year round
Manta Ray Season
Yasawa Islands: May to October
Vanua Levu: May to October
Kadavu: April to September
Although there are rare sightings of manta rays in Fiji all year round, the best time to see manta rays is between May and October. Special snorkelling trips to see manta rays only typically take place between May and October when plankton is funnelled through narrow channels in the Yasawa Islands, Vanua Levu and Kadavu. In Kadavu, the season is typically a little shorter, ending in September.
Discover more about the manta ray season in The Guide to Swimming with Manta Rays in Fiji and the 10 Resorts in Fiji Where You Can Swim with Manta Rays.
Humpback Whales and Pilot Whales
Humpback whales: June to October
Pilot whales: April to September
Although there are other South Pacific Islands where large numbers of humpback whales consistently breed and calve in their tropical waters, Fiji is one of the lesser-known islands to have humpback whale sightings every year.
The best places to see humpback whales in Fiji is from the islands of Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Kadavu. Travellers cruising along the Somosomo Strait between Vanua Levu and Taveuni might be lucky to spot whales on their migratory path from June to October. Additionally, a small number of whales breed and calf in Kadavu’s lagoons or inside the Great Astrolabe Reef. Pilot whales are also frequently seen in Kadavu between April and September.
Find out more about the whale season in Fiji in Where to See Whales in Fiji.
All year round
Nesting season: November to March
Fiji’s two most-frequented turtle species, green turtle and hawksbill turtle, can be spotted in Fiji’s waters all year round. Although you might be lucky enough to spot the occasional lone turtle while snorkelling or scuba diving, most encounter these threatened species in turtle pools found at a handful of resorts engaged in conservation programs.
Find out more about where you find turtle sanctuaries and resorts with turtle conservation programs in the 7 Best Places to See & Swim with Turtles in Fiji.
All year round
Breeding and nesting season: August to November
Reminding the world that Fiji isn’t just a place to admire marine wildlife, Fiji’s bird species are also well worth looking out for. Of course, breeding and nesting seasons between species vary but, generally, they occur from August to November. Fiji is home to around 30 endemic species of colourful doves and parrots, as well as the iconic bird of prey the Fiji goshawk.
Learn more about where to do birdwatching in the 10 Best Places to See Birds in Fiji.
All year round
That’s right, sharks are also year-round members of Fiji’s ocean community. The most common species spotted are white-tipped reef sharks, often joining visitors of snorkelling and scuba diving trips; don’t worry, they’re friendly. Those who want more of an adrenaline rush can go on dedicated shark scuba diving experiences in the Yasawa Islands and Pacific Harbour.
Find out more about shark encounters in the 5 Best Places to See Sharks in Fiji.
All year round
Seen making their acrobatic leaps out of the water all year round in Fiji, spinner dolphins are an impressive sight. A few resorts across the Mamanuca Islands, Vanua Levu and the Suncoast offer dolphin safaris to take guests to hotspots where large dolphin pods are known to congregate.
Check out the details about which resorts have dolphin safaris in the 5 Best Places to See Dolphins in Fiji.