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Whale & Dolphin Watching

Sri Lanka one of the easiest places in the world to spot PYGMY Blue Whales (a subspecies of blue whale – the second largest animal in the world), Sperm Whales and also Dolphins. A high concentration of blue whales and sperm whales has been repeatedly spotted in the seas off Mirissa and Trincomalee.

Blue whales are the largest animals on earth growing up to 80feet in length and weighing, up to 180 metric tons. They feed on krill, a shrimp likemarine invertebrate.

Sperm whales are not as large as Blue whales, but are known to have the Largest Brain compared to any other species in the world. Approximately 67 feet long and they feed primarily on squid.

Dolphins are a migrant species not as large as whales. Spinner and bottle nose dolphins are the most commonly spotted dolphins in Sri Lankan waters.

Where can I go Whale watching in Sri Lanka?
What is the best time to see Whales in Sri Lanka?
What are the chances of spotting Whales and Dolphins during the trip?
Factors to keep in mind

Where can I go Whale watching in Sri Lanka?

There are three locations in Sri Lanka to spot whales and dolphins, namely; Kalpitiya, Mirissa and Trincomalee.

Mirissa is the best place in Sri Lanka to spot Blue Whales , Sperm Whales and Dolphins. It is approximately 5km south west of Matara, one of the main cities in Sri Lanka. The best time to watch whales and dolphins are from November to April.

Trincomalee is approximately 287km from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Whale watching starts when the Blue Whales and Sperm Whales migrate to the deep waters of Trincomalee. The perfect time to watch whales are May to October months. During this period you can see a large number of Dolphins.

Kalpitiya is 165 km away from Colombo towards Puttlam. This area is best known to spot Dolphins and the best time to see them is from end October to April. Naturalists say that the chances of spotting dolphins here are 95%.

What is the best time to see Whales in Sri Lanka?

Whale watching is best done in the morning. The boat usually leaves the bay at 6 in the morning. So you would have to start the journey approximately at 5.00 am leaving enough time to get to the bay on time.

If you choose to go whale watching in Mirissa there are two points to take off, one being Mirissa and the other Galle. If you choose Trincomalee then the pickup point will be from the main bay at Trincomalee

What are the chances of spotting Whales and Dolphins during the trip?

There is a 10% probability where you might not see the whales.

Factors to keep in mind

  • Make sure you wear comfortable clothes, covered shoes, comfortable sandals or slippers.
  • Sri Lanka is a sunny country therefore it is recommended to bring sun block, hats and sun glasses.
  • If you get sea sick, it is recommended that you take necessary medication before boarding. First aid facilities are also available on the boat.
  • Make sure you do not throw bags and any other items or feed the dolphins or whales because you could pollute their natural habitat
  • Please refrain from urging the guides to take the boat near the whales because it will disturb the habitats of the whales.