Witnessing the largest animal on earth, the blue whale, in its natural habitat is a dream-come-true for most of us. Sri Lanka is perhaps the best place in the world for sightings of a blue whale and sperm whale aggregations.
A variety of cetaceans including blue whales, sperm whales, fin whales, orcas, Bryde’s whales, Eden's whales, bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins and Risso’s dolphins frequent the Sri Lankan maritime regions.
Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Galle and Trincomalee are the best-known locations for whale sightings, whereas Kalpitiya is home to an abundance of dolphins. With the newly built expressways, and given the size of the tiny island, any of these hotspots can be accessed within a matter of hours.
There is no off-season in Sri Lanka for whale watching. During to the monsoon, the period from September-May is the best time for such excursions in the east of the island. October-April is best for whale watching in the west.
The early hours are the ideal time for whale watching. Most tours start at around 7.00 am on weekends, and go on for about 3-5 hours, so you can enjoy a blissful morning out in the ocean, and head to a coastal restaurant for a hearty lunch. The ocean breeze is sure to make you ravenous!
Anyone of any age is welcome to go on a whale watching excursions, and most tours don’t charge children below five years of age. Average cost per person is about USD 30, inclusive of breakfast on board.
Sea sickness pills and sunscreen
Don’t forget to pack your sunglasses, hat and sunscreen, as well as sea sickness pills if you’re prone to motion sickness. A camera would also come in handy to capture a shot of a smiling dolphin or two.
Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka follow international whale watching rules. Whilst having a good time, it’s important to remember that you must not go too close to the animals, feed them, or litter in the ocean. As mere visitors to their natural habitat, it is important to make sure their peace and lifestyle aren’t disturbed.
King of the ocean
The dolphins with their adorable faces will be sure to entertain you and make you coo with delight, whilst the majestic kings of the ocean, the whales, will glide past gracefully, filling you with sentiments of awe and wonder. So if you’re visiting Sri Lanka, be sure to experience the unique adventure. It’s money well spent, and you will certainly not regret it.