Sri Lanka is increasingly gaining popularity as a major spot for watching whales and dolphins because its coastline falls within a major whale and dolphin migration route. The major ports of whale and dolphin watching in Sri Lanka include the east coast of Trincomalee, remote locations in Alankuda beach in Kalpitiya in the West coast and Mirissa or Dondra Point down south. In addition, the western coastal cities of Alutgama, Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa also offer whale and dolphin sightings. south africa whale bitten in half
Alankuda beach in Kalpitiya has become popular as the best place for watching dolphins during November to March. Again, a huge number of sperm whales and blue whales have been spotted out in the seas off Dandra during the months of January to April. Whale and dolphin sighting is also possible during June to September off the eastern shores of Trincomalee.
The path of migration of whales
Marine biologists have observed many migratory blue whales along with the regional whales in the Dondra point, crossing over to Arabian Sea from the Bay of Bengal. In January, the whales on their way to Bay of Bengal pass Sri Lanka. In April, they could be spotted in the south coast passing Maldives to the Arabian Sea.
Whale watching – Dondra Head
A group called Mirissa Water Sports was documenting whale sightings since April 2006 and they reported the recent sightings of whales in the southern seas. These sightings have played a major role in crafting the route of whale migration around Sri Lanka during January and April.
However, with improved infrastructure and vital data at hand, whale watching tourism is gathering remarkable impetus in southern Sri Lanka. The rise in sights of both sperm whales and blue whales off the southern coast has unfolded a new horizon for whale watching tourism in the island’s Deep South. The marine biologists consider the deep sea off Dondra Head to be one of the prime locations to watch whales in Sri Lanka, for its nearness to the coast. December to April is the peak season because during this time, there is a huge chance of spotting Sperm whales and blue whales as they migrate just off the Dondra head.
There are arrangements of a three-hour Whale watching Trip off Dondra Point in fully insured trawler boat, equipped with life jackets and lifeguards offering complementary breakfast and water.
Apart from Mirissa, the closest point to Dondra head with decent accommodation are Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna, Weligama, Mirissa and Tangalle, which are prime beach locations in Sri Lanka.
The documentation of the whale watching in the Trincomalee bay by marine biologists of the research vessel The Tulip, initiated the commercial whale watching in Sri Lanka in the 1980s and the whales of Trincomalee also found its place in the award winning film “Whales weep not.” However, security constraint has restricted the popularity of the area.
Dolphin sighting – Kalpitiya
Besides watching whales, if you are interested in dolphin watching, visit Kalpitiya, during November to March, where you can witness around 1000 – 1500 dolphins at a time. Accommodation facilities are available in the holiday cottages or the elegant beach villas in the Kalpitiya area.
So, if you are heading Sri Lanka recently, then do not forget to add the “whale watching trip” to your itinerary.