Whale and Dolphin Watching

You will never think that the huge animal ‘whale’ belongs to the animal group called mammals. Whales have a highly developed brain and are among the most intelligent of all animals that look much like a fish.

Most whales are enormous creatures. One kind of the blue whales is the largest animal that has ever lived. Blue whales may grow up to 100 feet (30 meters) long and can weigh more than 200 metric tons. Some kinds of whales are much smaller; for example Belugas and Narwhals grow only 10 to 15 feet. (3 to 5 meters)

You can see whales have the same basic shape as fish, but they differ from fish in many ways; the most visible difference is the tail. Fish have vertical tail fins whereas whales have sideway tail fins. Fish breathe by means of gills, which absorb dissolved oxygen from water. Whales on the other hand have lungs and must come to the surface to breath. But they can hold their breath for long period; sperm whale can hold breath up to 75 minutes.

On that time we can see mischievous whales put on a show while some of the oldest and the largest sea creatures, the 'humpback' and the 'blue whales' will nonchalantly glide past you, when you embark on a whale watching excursion in Southern, Eastern, or the West coast of Sri Lanka. The ideal location for whale watching in Sri Lanka would be Dondra Head, the Deep South in Sri Lanka (accessible from Gallle, Hikkaduwa, Mirissa) and Trincomalee while the sea off Kalpitiya is known for dolphins.

In the sea off Mirissa and Dondra Head of Deep South of Sri Lanka, you can see Blue Whales, Bryde's Whales, Sperm Whales, and Fin Whales while common dolphins such as Bottle-nose dolphins, Spinner dolphins and Stripped dolphins can also be seen there. Sometimes you can see turtles and various kinds of fish species such as blue fin tuna and flying fish in and around Mirissa area.

The whale watching season in Mirissa starts in November and lasts up to April. During this season, the ocean is usually warm & calm. Sometimes you will be able to see them in October too.

Sri Lanka Coast Guard has increased their vigilance in monitoring the implementation of sea mammal observation regulations and control in order to ensure that the regulations are adhered to by boat operators and tourists engaged in whale watching .The members of the Rohana Coast Guards Base are observing whale and dolphin watching activities in Mirissa. The coast guards also make sure that the boats operators, crew and the tourists follow the safety precautions and regulations before and during their tour of observation.

The good news is that in Sri Lanka you can see so many whales within minutes from the island's eastern shores. The whale watching season in Sri Lanka's Eastern Coast is from May to October. Owing to the changes of seasons, you have the opportunity to watch whales in Sri Lanka throughout the year either in eastern coast, western coast or southern coast. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a top spot for watching Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and Dolphins.