Whale and dolphin watching is one of the most exciting wildlife viewing tours you can do during your trip to Sri Lanka. Blue whales, the world’s largest animals, roam the deep seas around this small island, and Mirissa, Kalpitiya, and Trincomalee are the best places for whale watching in Sri Lanka for most of the year. Mirissa is one of the best of the best places in the world for blue whale watching. The percentage of seeing a blue whale in Mirissa is 90%.
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Top Places For Blue Whale Watching in Sri Lanka
26 species of whales have been identified in the sea area around Mirissa, Kalpitiya, and Trincomalee. Blue, Humpback, Minke, Killer, Pygmy Sperm, Fin, False Killer, Southern Bottlenose, Watermelon, Bleriday, and Short Fin Pilot Whales can be seen often.
The deep sea around Mirissa, a small town on the southern coast, is the best place in Sri Lanka to see dolphins and whales, and one of the world’s top spots for watching blue whales.
Mirissa is the most attractive of the three whale-watching spots in Sri Lanka due to its warm beaches, nightlife, and improved whale-watching facilities for tourists.
Whale-watching season in Mirissa
The best time to see blue whales in Mirissa is from November to April and the probability of seeing a whale is 98% at peak times. The period from April to October is the off-season and during this time whales roam around the area, but due to the rough seas in the region, fishing activities as well as tourist whale-watching trips are temporarily limited.
How to get a whale watching Mirissa?
Whales watching boats operate daily from Mirissa Harbor from November to April. It operates from 6 am and should reach there before 7 am. A boat seat reservation should be done in advance before the journey and the boat service will provide you with breakfast and water. The full journey takes usually between 3-4 hours to complete.
What type of whales can you see in Mirissa?
Among the types of whales you can see in Mirissa, the blue whale is the main one. Additionally, sperm, fin, Bryde’s, short-finned, dolphins, and rarely killer whales and whale sharks can be seen. Also, turtles and flying fish can be seen a lot.
The Kalpitiya area in the northwestern sea region is also the most famous for water activities. Kitesurfing is the main and in addition, there are many activities including surfing and diving.
the area has been the best place to see dolphins in Sri Lanka for a long time and nowadays it is also a famous place to see whales that have made their home in the area. Six different species of whales are frequently seen in the deep waters off the coast of Alankuda and Kalpitiya.
Whale-watching season in Kalpitiya
Kalapitiya whale watching season is from November to April. Here, relative to Mirissa, the probability of seeing whales is low, but large herds of dolphins can be seen.
How to get a whale watching Kalpitiya?
For Whales and Dolphins watching around Kalpitiya, a reservation should be made in advance, and for this, they use both small boats and big boats. They also start the tour before 7.30 in the morning and Kalpitiya harbor or nearby small ports are the starting points for this.
What type of whales can you see in Kalpitiya?
The sperm whale is the main type of whale you can see in Kalpitiya, and blue, minke, pilot, Bryde’s, melon-headed, and dwarf sperm whales can also be seen.
The deep Sea area around Trincomalee in the Eastern Province has been home to whales since the 1980s. but due to 30 years of war, this area had been left as an unprotected sea zone. But after the end of the war in 2009, the security of the sea region is controlled by the Navy and now the area is open to tourists for whale and dolphin watching. Now Trincomalee is 3rd best place to see the blue whale in Sri Lanka
Whale-watching season in Trincomalee
The best time for watching whales in the Trincomalee Sea area is from May to August and the probability of seeing a whale is only 80% in this time period.
How to get a whale watching in Trincomalee?
Whale-watching tours in Trincomalee are currently only operated by the Sri Lankan Navy. For this purpose, a ship owned by the Navy is used and this tour can be arranged by pre-booking.
What type of whales can you see in Trincomalee?
Among the types of whales you can see in the Trincomalee sea area are humpback, blues are the main ones and sperm whales can also be seen occasionally. But so many dolphins can see normally
What Makes Sri Lanka Unique for Blue Whale Watching
Sri Lanka’s significance as a blue whale-seeing destination is not just due to its stunning locations, but also it’s unique geographical positioning. The island is located within the migration path of blue whales, making it a prime spot for sightings. The warm waters, rich in krill, provide a perfect feeding ground for these massive marine mammals. This makes Sri Lanka a year-round home for blue whales, and their presence is almost guaranteed during the respective seasons in the mentioned locations.
There is a population of whales in the waters around the island throughout the year and depending on the changes in the sea there are periods when they can be seen. Accordingly, the best time for blue whale watching in Sri Lanka is from December to March every year. The southern and western seas are very calm during this time and it is very easy to see them in the Mirissa and Kalpitiya regions during this time.
During this time, since the eastern coast is quite rough, the best time for East Trincomalee is from March to August and the best time is from May.
What time of the day is blue whales most active?
There is no specific time of day to see whales and they can be seen in the morning, afternoon, or evening. But the recommended time to go whale watching is early morning. The reason for this is that the sea calms down in the morning and instead of the tourist boats roaming in the areas where the whales hang out all day, all the boats go to see the whales in the morning and the rest of the day is free time even for the whales.
However, the late afternoon is the most active time of the whale’s daily routine. The whale’s favorite food is Krill shrimp and they tend to come to the surface of the water in the evening. At the same time, the whales begin their hunting activities and often hunt in herds. At this moment they are so fast and so active than any other time of the day
Can you swim with whales in Sri Lanka?
Swimming with whales in Sri Lanka is prohibited by law. An official permit from the government is required to enter the water around the whales roaming spot. This permit must be applied for and obtained in advance. However, some water activity organizing companies are offering these activities to tourists
Other Marine Life
While blue whales steal the show, Sri Lanka’s waters are home to an array of marine life. Dolphins, orcas, sperm whales, and sea turtles are commonly spotted during whale-watching excursions. The diversity of species makes every trip a unique experience, providing something for every wildlife enthusiast.
There is a rare chance to see the magnificent blue whales in their environment in Sri Lanka. Whale fans may enjoy whale-watching experiences on the island, from the tranquil seas of Mirissa to the hidden gems of Kalpitiya and the glories of Trincomalee. Remember to travel responsibly and contribute to conservation efforts to save these gentle giants as you organize your journey. A journey to Sri Lanka for whale watching is not like any other; it’s an unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime.
- 1. When can you see whales in Sri Lanka?
Whales can be seen in Sri Lanka throughout the year, but the best time for whale watching varies depending on the location within the country.
- 2. What is the best season to watch whales in Sri Lanka?
The best season for whale watching in Sri Lanka typically corresponds to the following periods:
- Mirissa: November to April
- Trincomalee: May to October
- Kalpitiya: November to March
- 3. What is the best month to see whales?
The best month for whale watching in Sri Lanka would depend on your chosen location. For example, in Mirissa, February and March are considered excellent months for blue whale sightings.
- 4. What time of year are blue whales in Sri Lanka?
Blue whales are present in Sri Lanka’s waters year-round, with different regions having peak seasons during specific months.
- 5. Can you swim with whales in Sri Lanka?
Swimming with whales in Sri Lanka is not a common practice and is generally discouraged to protect the well-being of both the whales and tourists. Whale-watching tours focus on observing these majestic creatures from a safe and respectful distance.