Whale Watching in Sri Lanka
High chance of spotting Whales because of Whale migration paths
Whale watching in Sri Lanka is becoming very popular and even Sri Lanka navy has started Whale watching tours to cater to the high demand. There are few reasons for the high number of whale sightings in Sri Lanka. One reason is Sri Lanka is situated in International Whaling Associations protected zone in Indian ocean and another reason is the southern coast in Sri Lanka is very close to the migration path of Whales. The very first sightings of Whales near Sri Lanka were reported in Trincomalee area but commercial whale watching tours were not feasible there because of security reasons. However it was near Trincomalee the very first underwater footage of Whales in there natural habitat were taken. Although commercial whale watching tours were available in the southern coast for a long time they became popular only recently because of the exceptional increase of number of tourists arriving in the country. Below I will discuss about the best place to sight Whales in Sri Lanka and some more additional details.
Dondra Point / Mirissa
Dondra point is best place to watch Whales in Sri Lanka.It is the closest point to Whale migration path and this is the area Navy are conducting Whale watching tours as well. You have a very high chance of spotting Sperm Whales and a good chance of spotting Blue Whales. Other than that you can spot Spinner Dolphins as well. December and January are the best months to go Whale watching as there is around 95% chance of spotting Whales during those two months. March and April are two other months where the chance of spotting is very high. According to marine experts there are resident Whales in those areas so you have the chance of spotting them any time of the year, but chances of spotting is increased during the months mentioned above.
Dondra point is in southern coast of Sri Lanka where tourism is a major attraction so you can find many luxury hotels if you are looking for accommodation nearby. Beruwela, Hikkaduwa and Galle are few tourist towns that are nearby Mirissa.
Trincomalee is the area where first Whale sightings were reported in Sri Lanka and it is the location of award winning film "Whales Weep Not", the first film to capture underwater footage of Whales in there natural habitat. Although not as frequently seeing as in the southern coast there is still a good chance to spot Whales near Trincomalee. Because of security reasons commercial Whale watching tours were not conducted in the Trincomalee area but after the war tourists are coming to eastern coast in great numbers and commercial Whale watching tours are picking up.
Whale Watching Tour Packages in Sri Lanka
There are few companies that offer Whale watching tours and some travel agents have Whale watching tour packages as well with hotel accommodations etc. A typical Whale watching tour starts around 6AM in the morning and can last around 4-5 hours. You will be provided breakfast and life jackets and most boats have a trained lifeguard with them. There are toilet facilities available in most boats.
Best Places to Watch Whales in Sri Lanka (Map)
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