Sri Lanka might be known as “Elephant Island”, but whale watching is also excellent. These impressive cetaceans are very popular with tourists, who flock to Sri Lanka hoping to see them.
Just like dolphins, whales are animals that everyone dreams of seeing at least once in their lifetime. In Sri Lanka you can see these amazing sea creatures and discover how beautiful and gigantic they are. In fact, from January to April blue whales migrate between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, passing through Sri Lankan waters and in particular near Dondra Head and the village of Mirissa.
Whale watching in Sri Lanka
Whale watching has become of the main activities on the Sri Lankan coast. The island started to offer whale watching excursions in 2006. It’s usually former fishermen who offer this boat excursion. They take sightseers off the coast to see whales. According to many scientists, Sri Lanka is the best place in the world to go whale watching. Whales migrate regularly but a recent study showed that there was a colony of blue whales living off the Sri Lankan coast all year round.
There are a few points to watch out for when going on a whale watching trip. Many legitimate businesses organise these trips, but also many independent fishermen. Be aware of safety and check which services are offered. Prices can vary widely from one operator to another, however the average price is around 50 euros for a morning. Also, remember that the sea is fairly rough, which can be a problem for people who get sea-sick.
This excursion will be unforgettable and you will experience amazing sensations when you see a whale surging out of the water. The best time to go whale watching is in December and January. Apart from blue whales you can also see other cetaceans such as dolphins, sperm whales, killer whales and humpback whales.
Where to see whales in Sri Lanka
Whale watching boat trips leave from all along the coast. The city of Trincomalee is renowned for having a high concentration of dolphins and whales, however the site is remote. Most of the trips leave from Mirissa, a peaceful village with a magnificent beach.
This is a list of places – among many – that make good departure points for whale watching excursions. You can take a trip from Weligama, which means “sandy village”. This resort is well-known for its beautiful preserved beaches. Boats also leave from Matara where you can see colonial remains. The town of Tangalla also offers this excursion. It’s the biggest port in the region and also a good base if you want to visit the Mulkirigala rock temple. In Dondra, you can visit the temple dedicated to Vishnu and also go on a whale watching trip. Unawatuna is a beach resort renowned for its wonderful beaches and another place you can go whale watching from. The beaches are protected by the coral reefs and therefore ideal to go scuba diving.
Sri Lanka is an island that respects nature as a whole and it will amaze you. Not only does it have an exceptional natural heritage , but it also has a rich cultural heritage. Choosing a tour will give you a comprehensive view of the country and be an unforgettable experience.