The Orca or Killer whale ecotype seen around Madeira are transient or oceanic and rarely seen.

Orca • Killer Whale

Orcinus orca

Orcas or Killer whales are a rare sight around the island of Madeira, typically seen only 2-3 times per year. Killer whales are the most widely distributed marine mammal around the world with distinct eco-types of Orcas that have adapted to ocean conditions in their regions. These eco-types varieties include; resident, transient and offshore. The pods seen in Madeira are believed to be transient or offshore eco-types. Orcas have distinct family groups that have unique dialects, traditions and hunting areas. They live in matrilineal families with the oldest female being the head of the group.

Orcas or Killer whales are a rare cetacean species to see around the island of Madeira.

Species Information

The Orca is a very rarely seen species on our dolphin and whale watching tours.
  • Length: males 8 meters and females 7 meters

  • Weight: males up to 6,000 kg and females up to 4,000 kg

  • Lifespan: males up to 60 years and females up to 80 years

  • Diet: based largely on food availability and eco-type

Rare sightings of Orcas around the island of Madeira.


Orcas, or Killer whales are one of the least common cetacean species sighted around Madeira. But they are amazing to see in the crystal clear ocean as they are such a large and majestic species of dolphin. A few times per year there are a lucky bunch of guests that join our tour and win the cetacean lottery with amazing sightings of Orcas as they patrol our coasts.