Whales & dolphin watching

Become one of the few people in the world to see blue whales, the largest ever animal to grace our planet as they feed and interact with each other in whale and dolphin friendly waters of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is becoming one of the top whale watching destinations in the world and before the south and eastern coastlines become a wash with whale watching boats we offer you the chance to see up to 10 different species of whale and dolphin on this expert guided, full board whale-watching holiday. Whilst the dynamics of the whale populations here is relatively unknown, we are aware that the blue whales and sperm whales come here en mass to feed on the plentiful krill, fish and squid. The reason for these bountiful seas is that the nutrient rich waters of the deep Indian Ocean are pushed up towards the surface by the near vertical continental shelf, which skirts the south and eastern coastline of Sri Lanka. This cold current coming to the surface is full of plankton and this attracts huge numbers of krill, which in turn attracts the krill’s predators (blue whales of course and small schooling fish), it is the blue whales which are the main attraction here but the schooling fish attract the other highlights of the tour.

Huge pods of spinner and common dolphins come to take advantage of the fish and sperm whales aggregate here to feed on the another predator of the fish; the deep sea squid. This entire food web is complex and intriguing and it is amazing to see the ecosystem working like this, it is rare to see a food web in full flow like it is here and in one morning’s whale watching it is possible to see a pod of 500 dolphins chasing down schools of sardines, followed by 4-5 blue whales in krill rich waters feeding and socializing before being surrounded by a large pod of deep diving sperm whales. Over the last few years the whale watching here has developed well and sustainably, the whale numbers are still being assessed but it is becoming apparent that for a few months these waters become as rich in cetaceans as anywhere else on earth. With our expertise in whale watching, we have a perfect success rate (100%) of seeing blue whales on our previous tours and we don’t put this down to chance.

Why Choose this Tour?

- This tour has 4 whale watching excursions with an optional 5th if you wish. This is more time on the water than other whale watching tours of Sri Lanka.
- We not only use local expert guides with years of experience in spotting the blows of whales at distance as well as understanding the movements and behaviors of the whales here. We also use a professional zoologist who has experience working with and studying whales and dolphins all over the world.

- If requested we can bring equipment such as a hydrophone (to hear the whales under the water) and an underwater camera which will attempt to film the whales and dolphins underneath the waves.

- With the help of the zoologist escort you can also have snorkeling trips along the coral reefs close by to Mirissa, we can also arrange trips to places around the area such as the locally run turtle conservation project.

- All the above reasons give this tour a perfect success rate (100%) of seeing blue whales on our previous trips.

- Unlike many tour operators we are willing to run this tour for a single person (on request).

Best time to go?

The blue whales migrate here from the Arabian Gulf and start to aggregate off the coast of Sri Lanka from November through to late April. They come here to feed and the largest numbers are typically from March to April. Sperm whales and large pods of dolphins are here periodically all year around.
Location

Blue whales are rare by nature, even in their heyday the blue whale was an oceanic wander, which was difficult to follow, and next to impossible to understand. Over the years, there have been a few different locations where blue whales are seen with any regularity (Baja, Bay of Fundy, Chile and South West Australia) but recently Sri Lanka has topped all these places. Also here are fin whales, Bryde’s whales, minke whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, spinner dolphins, long-nosed common dolphins, common bottlenose dolphins and striped dolphins which has to make these waters just about the best whale and dolphin watching areas in the world.

Fitness levels

As there is no real walking involved in this tour, there is no need to a high or even medium level of fitness. Anyone can participate in this tour, obviously if you wish to snorkel on the tour a good level of swimming ability is essential.

Equipment

When you book onto the tour, we will send you a comprehensive pre-departure pack, which will include a full packing list of recommended equipment. However, here is a brief outline of the basics: We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or scope as well as appropriate clothing; which should be light and airy clothes as well as a waterproof coat as it may rain whilst on the boat. Insect repellent is handy as there can be mosquitoes about during the evenings and nights. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also, do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sunglasses, as the sun can be strong here during the day. In addition, if you have your own mask, snorkel and fins they are always good to have, as the snorkeling is great.

. We also use excellent local whale watching naturalists, with years of experience in finding the whales and dolphins of the area. They know the exact areas the whales usually locate and their ability to spot whales at distance is phenomenal to see. A comprehensive species list (which states the relative chances of seeing animals based on past tours) is included in the pre-departure pack. We include more whale and dolphin watching trips than any other tour operator around.

With more than 13,000 km of coastline, warm 28-degree waters and marine life that is said to rival the Great Barrier Reef, Sri Lanka is a great location for all aquatic activities.