In 1999 British marine biologist Charles Anderson proposed a theory that there was an annual migration of blue and sperm whale between the Bay of Bengal and around the coast of Sri-Lanka to the Arabian Sea.
This theory lead to the dramatic discovery that Sri-Lanka was sitting alongside one of the world’s great cetacean migratory routes. Since then Sri-Lanka has been offering sightings of these beautiful majestic creatures for almost 10 months every year from various coast lines.
There are mainly three coasts which Sri-Lanka offers for whale and dolphin watching:-
In 2005 large pods of spinner dolphins were spotted along the Kalpitiya peninsula and it never looked back. Today Kalpitiya is touted as one of the best places in Asia for dolphin watching. The spinner dolphins can be spotted in hundred sometimes thousands swimming alongside the coast line which is known as “dolphin line”.
They sometimes dive under your boat and ride waves in perfect synchronization and leap out of water in a joyous display causing absolute delight amongst its audience.
Other dolphins that grace this coast line are bottlenose, Risso’s and humpback. Sometimes the sperm whales can also be spotted here. The North West coast off Kalpitiya is also ideal for spotting pods of Dugongs, sting rays and the endangered marine turtles.
The best time to spot them is from November to March outside the monsoon season. Guides and organizers generally leave at 6 am and the sighting lasts 2-3 hours and costs about $40 per person.
This place is the perfect spot for whale watching in Sri-Lanka. It is one of the most popular places for whale sighting. The ocean depths are narrowest here ranging from 1km to 6km. The sperm and the blue whale both descents to this coast line.
The best time to catch sights of whales here are from December to April. Many operators work along the clock to show the tourists a sighting of these whales.
Trips leave early morning around 6-7 am and last 3-5 hours and can cost anywhere from $50 to $80 per person. A little more expensive trip will take you further in the sea beyond the reef in search of these majestic creatures.
This is an up and coming coast line in Sri-Lanka. Although not developed as the other two it offers an excellent spot for whale and dolphin watching. Fewer tourists descend here, so if you are a person who loves the peace you can head here for the watching.
Blue whales can be easily spotted here around 6 to 8 nautical miles from Trincomalee. This place is also good for spinner dolphin sightings. These sightings mainly occur during the months of March/April and August/September.
Tours mostly depart around 6am but this place is comparatively cheaper at around $35 per person and it gets cheaper if you travel in groups.