Behind The Lens

This planet has been thoroughly explored and studied and described by many important people — and they have a lot of good things to say — but do you really want to just take their word for it?

Not if you have a taste for real adventure. If you do we'll take you to swim alongside ‘larger than a double-bus’ sized blue whales on their Pacific migration. You’ll laugh at the chaos and charm of 100,000 king penguins preparing to breed — but mostly chattering about it. I’ll show you how other earthly beings make a living for themselves as 12 or more Norwegian orcas herd schools of herring with their bubble nets or 100 Mexican sailfish hunt sardine ‘bait balls’ like a pack of wolves 10 feet below — and all while snorkeling — you don’t need to be a diver to enjoy these amazing encounters.

Sardine Run

Sardine Run | South Africa

June 24 - July 5, 2014

The rugged coastline of southern KwaZulu Natal province along the eastern edge of South Africa holds a mysterious attraction to untold millions of Sardinops Sagax (sardines) as they migrate 1000 miles between the Agulhas Bank at South Africa’s tip to the waters off Durban. Their annual appearance here in such vast concentrated numbers creates one of the world’s most spectacular feeding frenzies. $7,400 per person.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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Nile Crocodile

Nile Crocodile | Botswana

July 5 - 13, 2014

The best and only time to be in the water with the Nile croc is in June and July — during winter — when the water in the Okavango Delta is clear enough (15-20 feet) and cold enough (55-60°F). When the water is cold, crocs like to sunbathe, so we will first see them on the surface. When they hear or see us arrive, they immediately dive for safety. However, being reptiles, the cold water makes crocs lethargic and slow. Crocs are harmless underwater because their eyesight is poor — they evolved in murky water, never needing good eyesight. Instead, they have great sensors for touch. Since their eyesight is limited they cannot see us getting close. $16,900 per person.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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Blue Whale USA

Blue Whales | USA

July 13 - 19, 2014

After feeding in the Sea of Cortez during the spring months, the blue whales begin their migration to Southern California in midsummer. We have established a superb logistical infrastructure — a diving vessel, a scouting plane, and several reporting posts — along the Baja peninsula to pinpoint the real-time location of the blue whale migration — we will launch from San Diego to travel right in the path of the blue whale’s journey while escorted and directed by a scouting plane above. $8,900 per person.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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Manta Fest

Manta Fest | Yap, Micronesia

August 23 - September 7, 2014

Come rub elbows with the top underwater shooters in the world, experience great diving and have lots of fun. Photo and video pros on hand, seminars, photography contest, and daily presentations. Packages start at $1419 pp/dbl including 7 nights accommodations, 5 days of 2-tank boat dives, free Nitrox, daily breakfast, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges.

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Great White Shark Mexico

Great White Shark | Mexico

October 4 - 10, 2014 & October 10 - 16, 2014 with Amanda Cotton.
November 4 - 11, 2014 with Amos Nachoum

Frankly, once you get to know the great white shark (GWS, to friends), you can only come to one conclusion...this fish is the coolest. In other words, a certain 1970s shark movie you’ve seen many times was wrong and actually a bit of slander. Big Animals Expeditions operates two departures: both departures are on the new vessel, Southern Sport, and feature six days on board and four days of diving. Our underwater photography expedition to scuba dive with this epic predator takes place 180 miles off the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California, Isla Guadalupe. With pristine, clear waters providing visibility from 60 - 100 feet, and a comfortable 68-70 degrees, you’ll have ideal conditions for both in-cage and out-of-the-cage encounters with one of the world’s most misunderstood creatures. (Yes, for an additional fee, some of us do venture out of the cage as well, after thorough preparation and with very close supervision). We’ve been cage diving with the Great White in Australia, South Africa, and Guadalupe since the early eighties. With gradual experimentation, we began out-of-the-cage diving in South Africa. Since 1995, we’ve been swimming free with the Great Whites peacefully and without mishap. $5,900 per person. Cageless operation starting at $3,900 extra fee.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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Orcas | Norway

November 28 - December 6 , 2014

When a killer whale shows up anywhere, it’s the star of the show. Our favorite show takes place during the winter season along the majestic coastline of arctic Norway. For those of you who are able to join us, we will give you front row seats in the form of snorkeling, scuba diving, and underwater photography. What sort of show can you expect from the orca pods? In a word, lunch. Like everyone else who lives in Norway, the “resident” orcas of the fjords love fresh herring, and from October to December they follow the enormous herring migration off the coast to the magnificent northern Loften Islands. That’s where we’ll find them, concentrated in the protected fjords, snacking on their favorite meal. $9,800 per person based on double occupancy.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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Blue Whale Costa Rica

Blue Whales | Costa Rica

January 17 - February 1, 2015

Biodiverse and rich in plankton blooms, the Costa Rica Dome is the winter home of the blue whale, the earth's SuperGiant, measuring an impressive 70 to 90 feet long. Between the months of January and MArch, whales gather at the dome to eat, play, mate, and most importantly birth and nurse their calves. This makes the Dome the only place in the ocean where blue whales can be observed in all stages of their lives. For this reason we call the Costa Rica Dome the "Blue Whale Cafe," the ultimate gathering place for the sea's SuperGiants. $12,900 per person - prices exclude airfare and are based on double occupancy.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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Sperm Whales

Sperm Whales | Dominica

January 31 - February 7, 2015 & February 7 - 14, 2015

It is time to celebrate! As on of the most hunted animals, sperm whales were driven almost to extinction. However, there is hope. They have made the best comeback in the history of wildlife, and today, there are 250,000 sperm whales in the wild — almost as many as one hundred years ago. Sperm whales are the easiest to approach of the cetacean family. Reaching up to 65 feet in length, the sperm whale is the largest carnivore on earth — the only whale that has teeth. They openly socialize in pods of five to thirty, and everyone participates — male, female and young. The younger whales are the most curious of all, and are the first to get close to humans. $6,900 per person.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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Special Expedition Antartica

Special Expedition | Antartica

February 14 - March 10, 2015

From mid-February and early March fledgeling penguins begin exploring the waters to practice their swimming skills. The adults, meanwhile, venture out into the open waters to hunt for food to feed the chicks. This is the perfect time for one of the two only apex predators in Antarctica - the leopard seal - to feed. Posing motionless as harmless rocks, the seals wait in shallow waters to take advantage of the playful young penguins. On the other passage, a pod of Orcas, in an amazing cooperate maneuver predate on a Crab Seal that rests on a drifting iceberg. Witnessing these two epic feeding behaviors can only be achieved from on board a small vessel. Only intimate teams like BigAnimals are permitted to stay multiple days among remote bays in which such action is taking place. $29,900 per person.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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2 Week Adventure

2 Week Adventure | Galapagos

June 6 - 22, 2015

This trip — with its specially-designed eight-to-nine day itinerary at Darwin and Wolf islands — maximizes encounters with the big animals arriving to the Galapagos. Our timing — at peak of summer — means we have multiple opportunities to dive with the gigantic whale shark, massive parading schools of hammerheads and much more! This offering has been overwhelmingly successful with many of the guests repeating their experience year after year. They have witnessed a wide range of Big Animals, from whale sharks and hammerheads to giant mantas, Galapagos sharks and ocean sunfish. Occasionally, bait-balls form around Darwin and Wolf islands — last year, we took the rare opportunity to dive and see the exciting phenomenon of yellowfin tuna, dolphin and shark feeding on the school of mackerels. We will also spend two to three days exploring some of the islands that, with their vegetation and diversity of wildlife, have inspired biologists through the ages — including Charles Darwin. $12,900 per person (master cabin) upper level. $12,400 per person (deluxe cabin) lower level.

Operated by Amos Nachoum Big Animal Expeditions

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