Whale and Dolphin Watching in Sri Lanka

Do you love whales and dolphins and have a trip in mind to watch them live? If you are not sure of where to go, then we recommend the warm Indian Ocean of Southern Sri Lanka as one of the best places to spot different species of whales and dolphins.

Whale and dolphin watching in Sri Lanka is one of the fastest-growing tourism activities in Sri Lanka and its popularity is increasing day by day. Whale watching in Sri Lanka offers you the opportunity to observe blue whales and also other species of whales. But blue whales will be the main target of any tour.

The main whale and dolphin watching areas in Sri Lanka

Mirissa in the south-west of Sri Lanka

Mirissa is arguably the best and most popular area to go whale-watching in Sri Lanka. It is believed that 26 different species of whales traverse this region. There are also different types of playful dolphins found in this region. What makes it an ideal spot for whale-watching is its geographic position. This is where the coastal land (continental shelf) is at its narrowest, where the depth of the ocean reaches 1 km, within a few km offshore. Journeyscapes offers exciting dolphin- and whale-watching excursions, starting from Weligama Bay. You can witness those gigantic animals at a safe distance so that you can watch them responsibly. There will also be a naturalist guide so that you will have an opportunity to learn more about the whales and their behaviour. The types of whales you will see in Mirissa are blue whales, bryde´s whales, sperm whales, fin whales, and sometimes killer whales. You can also meet friendly dolphin fish such as common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, Rizzo’s dolphins, striped dolphins, and also flying fish and turtles. The best time for watching whales is from November to April. During this time the ocean is calm and whales migrate from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. The waters around Mirissa during these months serve as a feeding ground for whales, and hence there is a 98% chance of spotting the whales at this time.

Trincomalee in the north-east of Sri Lanka

Trincomalee is rapidly emerging as another internationally recognized whale-watching destination. Blue whales in particular and a small number of sperm whales can regularly be seen around six to eight nautical miles east of Trincomalee (about 30 min by boat). Dolphins, mainly spinner are also regularly seen. The tours usually take between March/April and August/September, as whales continue their migrations from the south coast.

Kalpitiya on the northwest coast

Kalpitiya’s continental shelf lies within close range of the shoreline; therefore, the coastal waters are often the haunt of marvelous dolphin pods and whales. This is the best spot to watch massive pods of dolphins swimming alongside and diving under your boat. The spinner dolphin is in great demand, other species seen here include bottle nose, spotted, striped, humpback, Risso, and Fraser. When it comes to whales, sperm whales are most common and other species include the blue whales, minke, melon-headed, pilot, brides, and dwarf sperm whales. The peaks in the movement of whales are high between November and December and again between March and April.

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