It's the mating season for humpback whales off the coast of Gabon.
And the huge mammals also have a number of human admirers
SOUNDBITE 1 Julia (woman) tourist (French, secs):
"It was really great - you really can't imagine what it's like before coming here - leaps, backflips really spectacular things. At one point they came right alongside us. We were a bit scared but you have to deal with it - anyway, at that point you think either make the most of it, or we capsize!"
In his small boat, Arnaud has been getting up close to the whales for twenty-five years.
Groups of female whales are ever more numerous during the mating season and authorities say the increase is due to a drop in the number of fishing boats.
SOUNDBITE 2 Koumba Kombila (man) Head of Fishing, National Parks Agency (French, 12 secs):
"This year we've enforced restrictions on fishing and respecting fishing levels - So activity near the coasts is less intensive this year."
Gabon's tourism industry is still lacking in infrastructure - with just two ships offering these whale-watching cruises.
This makes for an even more memorable experience, for those lucky enough to get on board one of the ships.
Libreville and the surroundings, 12/ 21 August
(Source : AFPTV)
-MS of a whale jumping from the sea
-MS of whales under the water
-MS of skipper and three passengers
-MS of a boat
-VAR of whales jumping from the sea/underwater
-VAR of whales and a passenger taking photos