Whale Watching in Mirissa -Have a Whale of a Time!

At up to 29.9 metres in length, the Blue Whale is said to be the largest animal to have ever existed in the world. Seeing these magnificent creatures is a must at least once in a lifetime. So head over to Mirissa in Sri Lanka, and feast your eyes on this glorious beast!


mirissa beach aerial view

Mirissa beach aerial | Photo by dronepicr , Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The coastal hamlet of Mirissa is tucked away in the south of Sri Lanka, in the Matara District. It’s close to three hours away from the Bandaranaike International Airport so you will have to come prepared to stay in Mirissa. Accommodation won’t be a problem as there are plenty of options ranging from budget hotels and hostels like those by Yoho Bed to even luxury resorts should you want to splurge a bit.


Mirissa Whale Watching

Mirissa Whale Watching | Photo by kwan kwan , Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

There are quite a number of whale watching tours available in Mirissa but do your research first, read up on reviews and find out what is best, because it’s very important that you go with a trusted service provider in order to avoid any scams or worst, accidents. The most trusted option would be to go with the Sri Lanka Navy, they offer tours that cost US$ 60 for foreigners (US$ 30 for kids). A typical tour would last for up to 4 hours.

What to Take?


Sunscreen | by Tom Newby Photography, Flickr , (CC BY 2.0)

Sunscreen! Make sure to apply it way before you set out. And take care to also take a hat and some sunnies. Since you’re gonna be stuck on the boat for four hours at sea, best to pack a few snacks too. Some tour agencies offer this as part of the package but it’s always best to take some food of your own. And most importantly, if you’re prone to be sick at sea be sure to take medication for it.

And Finally, What You’re Going to See!

Blue Whales

It’s said that the waters around Mirissa are rich in plankton, a kind of micro-organisms which the whales feed on. Because of this, marine biologists believe that there is a resident population of blue whales resulting in constant sightings, especially during the peak season between November to April.

Sperm Whales


Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+


Top snorkeling spots around Tioman – promising an experience of a lifetime

Snorkeling is one of the all-time favorites of water sports lovers and underwater explorers with a flair for enjoying marine life under the blue water surface of the sea. As you float through the sea passing beautiful coral reefs and watching schools of colorful reef fish, you will enter into a whole new world full of serenity and wonder. Mesmerized by the beauty of it, you almost forget that you are a creature of land.

There are many tour destinations that offer snorkeling practice, one such amazing place being the Tioman Island in Malaysia. The lower expense is one of the better factors about snorkeling in Tioman, while also having the opportunity of enjoying a comfortable stay at a best beach hotel. Pulau Tioman is home to several idyllic resorts that offer a complete tour package for relaxing, snorkeling or scuba diving and also sight-seeing, one such being the Berjaya Tioman Resort on the western shoreline.

Around the Tioman Island, there are many ideal spots to practice your snorkeling skills. If the best of them are listed down it will include Coral Island and Malang Rocks, Renggis Island, Marine Park and Salang Beach. Out of these, the Coral Island and Malang Rocks and the Renggis Island are more famous for their coral reefs and associated marine life while the other two places are better known for a spectacular view of many varieties of shallow water fish like clown fish.Another plus point for Tioman Islands when you are looking for a snorkeling spot is that there is no need to wear heavy and complicated snorkeling equipment. The natural surroundings of the Tioman Islands with some water currents create a suitable environment for snorkeling, even for beginners. It is widely accepted that your snorkeling experience will be at its best when you travel in small groups, sharing the joy and exchanging your moments.

snorkeling by Robert De Bock via StockSnap.io


Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+

Safari Holiday in Yala – A Must Visit Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka for Nature Lovers


The Yala National Park which is also known as a leopard spotting hotspot is a must visit place on a safari holiday if you are a leopard lover. It is believed that Yala has the highest population density of leopards in the world. Local car rental Sri Lanka companies the likes of Casons Rent a Car not only offer vehicles that can be used to tour such parks, but tour packages too. Driving through the seemingly endless tracks in Yala witnessing the amazing wildlife and magnificent sceneries is definitely a rewarding experience.

The park is also famous for its large herds of majestic elephants that freely roam in the natural terrain. Besides leopards and elephants, the park is a thriving natural habitat for deer, buffaloes, sloth bears, peacocks, crocodiles and jackals. It is the home to a large number of mammal varieties and bird species too. This wild kingdom was once supposed to have been home to one of the greatest civilisations, believed to have existed more than 2000 years ago. Traces from that era still remain with dilapidated tanks reflecting a bygone time period where agriculture took centre-stage. Yala was named as a Sri Lankan National Park in the year 1938. It covers a massive area of land that consists of scrub areas, light forests, grasslands, lagoons and tanks.

Yala wildlife sanctuary is divided into five sections and two of them are opened for visitors while the others are reserved for animals as breeding grounds and places of rest. The park is connected with the Indian Ocean on one side which provides a panoramic landscape for nature lovers. The memorial of those who died during the devastating Tsunami that hit the park in 2004 can be seen by getting off the vehicles. The tanks seen in this epic wildlife reserve provide much-needed water during the extremely dry seasons for all animals and help to keep them sustained.

Yala National Park.

Yala National Park. Image Courtesy:[Kumendra Dharmadasa]

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+

Best Adventure Activities to Try in Abu Dhabi – Things to Make your Heart Skip a Beat

The Legendary Arabian Oryx, sir bani yas island

The Legendary Arabian Oryx | Courtesy: Desert Island Resorts & Spa by Anantara

A visit to this glistening Middle Eastern city is not just about being pampered in the lap of luxury at one of the Abu Dhabi resorts. It is also about getting your heart racing, your adrenaline pumping, and enjoying an array of adventure activities that are not possible anywhere else.

You could start off your list with a visit to the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club. This is a property of the Royal Yacht Association and has a beach that is one hundred metres long to call its own, in addition to yachts and boats that you can rent to explore the sea. You could revisit the grandeur of Old Arabia, with a visit to the Arabian Nights Village. There is no guarantee that what you think are myths, are actually myths. You could visit the homeland of popular Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, Sir Bani Yas Island which is a manmade wildlife park that has over 10,000 animals roaming free among its luscious foliage. If seeing a leopard during your safari doesn’t set your heart racing, seeing it chase down an oryx might. You can have your mind reset itself by watching Camel Races. Not only can you place your trust in the animal you think is most likely to win, but the speed with which these usually lethargic animals race is sure to give you a whole new perspective on Arab as a whole. Visit the Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi for an adrenaline pumping motor drive or a goose bump inducing roller coaster ride. Try flyboarding in the sea to see if you are more dolphin or bird. There is so much to do in Abu Dhabi that moves above and beyond the traditional vacation. It is definitely worth taking a risk.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world.


Corals in Hikkaduwa – Explore a whole new world under the waves!

If anyone asks what are the best Sri Lanka beach destinations, a long list will follow as the answer as this tiny island nation is blessed with many beaches of unimaginable beauty. Out of these, there is one that is sought-after by many travellers who wish to experience nature, golden sands, and frolicking waves all at the same time. Hikkaduwa, on the western coast, is this delightful beach.

Lovingly called Hikka, this beach resort town is famous for its colorful corals. So if you’re planning a visit here, make sure that you book with a hotel that organizes trips to the reef such as those offered by Cantaloupe Hotels. As part of the excursion, you will be taken on a glass-bottomed boat to the Hikkaduwa National Marine Park. Those fear of the waves can enjoy the beauty of the coral from the boat itself while the more adventurous souls can try out scuba diving on the reef.

The wide range of coral to be seen at Hikkaduwa includes species such as the Faviidae and Poritidae corals which are located in the inshore areas of the reef in massive colonies, while cabbage, elkhorn, staghorn, brain, star and table corals are all present in the reef.

During your escapades of scuba diving, you will be able to meet a wide variety of extraordinary marine creatures such as multi-colored schools of fish, dugongs, blacktip reef shark and sea turtles including the Olive Ridley turtle, the hawksbill turtle, and the Green Turtle.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Spectacular Sea animals to be seen in Southern Coast Sri Lanka

The tropical island of Sri Lanka is the ideal destination for anyone and everyone. Tourists who head to the sunny country are endlessly amazed by the myriad of options and activities available in the country. Sri Lanka is blessed with wild animals; both on land and sea. When you head to Sri Lanka, wild life safaris are a definite must do during your holiday. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean that surround this beautiful country are home to dozen of aquatic creatures that are a delight to watch in their natural habitat. After arriving in Sri Lanka, head straight to the south of Sri Lanka to begin your sea safari! Most resorts and Galle hotel in Talpe will be able to organize a safari for you, such as Cantaloupe Aqua. Sri Lanka is home to a variety of turtles – all of which are on the endangered list. In the aims of conservation of these beautiful species, a number of turtle hatcheries and conservation centres have been established along the south coast. Those eager to start their marine safari, towns like Mirissa are most popular for whale and dolphin safaris, with many boats leaving the harbour at the break of dawn in the hope of seeing majestic creatures of the sea frolic around. Once you start on your sea safari, be sure to keep a keen eye for whales and dolphins! Whale watching is a popular tourist actitvity to the south of Sri Lanka and the most commonly seen whales are the Blue whales, Bryde’s whales, Sperm whales, Killer whales, Melon headed whales and Cuvier’s Beaked whales. Dolphins such as Spotted dolphins, Spinner dolphins, Fraser’s dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins, Common Dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins. Watch as these adorable creatures splash and frolic along the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Other common marine species that can be spotted around Sri Lanka are Rays, Eels, Clown Fish and many others.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Dutch Reformed Church Galle -Standing legacy of a colonial past

If you go through the itinerary of things to do in Galle provided by tour agents, popular hotels like Cantaloupe Aqua, or even if you are to talk to a local, each and every one of them would mention the Dutch Reformed Church as a must-visit. The Dutch Reformed Church is found within the Dutch Fort. It is hard to miss, as it has a prominent position right near the entrance of the Fort. Built in 1755, this is considered one of the oldest Protestant Churches in the country to still function. The current building is the third of its kind to make a mark inside the Fort. The original building was built close to the famous clock tower, whole a more detailed building was then constructed opposite the current location of the Church. Of the two initial buildings, only the belfry of the second building can be seen today. It is said that the current church is built upon the foundations of a Portuguese Capuchin Convent, and stands at the highest point within the Galle Fort. Reflecting the nature with which Sri Lanka changed hands over the period of a century, the Church also has elements from each era. The British rule saw to a stained window being installed at the west façade in 1830, while the communion rail was added to the south side of the church. Restoration of the Church was undertaken with funding from Netherlands. Today, the restoration has been done to a perfection, with visitors feeling transformed to time gone by as they enter the Church. Walking in the Church gardens you would see a line of headstones standing at the periphery, while two Burial Chambers lie next to them, barred with iron gates. While there is no entrance fee to the Church, and you are at liberty to take as many pictures as you want, visitors often make donations for the Church’s maintenance.

A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, Joanna James ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought. Her interests include Politics, law and Philosophy. Google+

Safari in Minneriya National Park -A journey to the centre of wildlife

Minneriya National Park is the prominent national park in Sri Lanka for elephant viewing. Centred around the giant Minneriya tank, elephants from the park, as well as from the adjoining Kaudulla National Park, make their way to the tank towards late afternoon to cool off. Thus, the best time to visit the Park would be during the dry season, when most of the life revolves around the tank, which becomes the sole source of water.

If you are familiar with the country, you could go to the entrance of the Park on your own and hire a jeep for the safari. However, it is easier to make this reservation through your hotel. Jetwing Vil Uyana, for example, offers safaris that are dedicated for their guests, which means you will have complete privacy – as much as you can have in an open jeep – as you observe Sri Lankan wildlife. The jeeps are designed to accommodate 6 to 8 people at once. There is a tarp covering the open back, which is often rolled away if the Sun is not too severe. There are benches or high seats at the back of the jeep for you to sit on. However, most visitors prefer to stand, holding on to the iron bars that run the length of the jeep, to get a better view of the surrounding. The ride is going to be quite bumpy, and you must heed the word of your driver who often acts as a guide. There are leopards in Minneriya National Park, although sightings are rare. It is only by paying close attention to your guide, that you will be able to reap the maximum benefit of the safari. They are often well-versed in English. However, if you are worried, you could inquire for an interpreter from a Sigiriya hotel. At the end of the day, there is not much that words can convey when you are sitting so close to an elephant munching on coconut fronds, that you could reach out and pat his back if you want to.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+

Cycling Holidays in Europe – a two-wheel adventure

A European holiday is on everyone’s dream vacation list, but instead of the customary modes of transportation, more and more travellers are now opting for self-guided cycling tours. Europe is the birthplace of the bicycle and the cycling culture is strong in Europe, making it one of the most sought-after destinations cycling. There are several cycling tour operators who will organise routes and provide a sturdy bicycle, bicycle tyre, and other essentials needed for the trip. A tool kit, spare parts, and tough sturdy tyres, like DSI Tyres for example, are a must when travelling by bicycle.

There are plenty of options when it comes to routes to travel in Europe, from relaxed rides around the coast to the more adventurous mountain bike treks, steep country side and even races. As well as planning your cycling route, you also need to carefully plan and select your cycle touring kit. It make sound obvious, but remember, as you’ll have to cycle with your belongings, it’s worth taking the time to make a list and selecting lightweight essentials only, and doing away with any unnecessary items.

If you’re not too confident, request for a guide to go with you. A cycle tour guide will have extensive knowledge of the route, show you the best spots to see along the way and can also offer encouragement after a hard day of pedaling. Some trips provide full support in the way of vehicles en route to offer aid when you need help, mechanics to help repair the bike if it breaks, or even just to offer respite if you’re feeling too tired.

Europeans not only love cycling themselves, but appreciate when tourists try their cycling aswell, as it is also a great way to slow down and explore their country in a unique way. Expect warm greetings and smiles from locals during your cycling tour!

Nelson Osborne is an independent freelance writer who has been sharing his expertise on a variety of subjects via numerous articles and web content over the years. Google+

Yala Adventures – exploring the wilds

The 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka, Yala is located in the country’s southern province and covers over an expansive 979km of land. The park is renowned for its large assortment of wild animals such as sloth bears, monkeys, birds, reptiles, the Sri Lankan elephant and one of the largest concentration of leopards in the world. Eco-tourists and adventure seekers eager to visit this beautiful park can easily find good accommodation among the Yala hotels, such as Wild Trails Yala, which offers Eco-friendly spacious tents with modern amenities.
A safari in Yala is the ideal way to enjoy the wildlife. Set off early morning with a guide to stand the best chance of seeing the animals as they roam freely around the park before the sun rises. Elephants, wild buffaloes and boars can be found near watering holes whiles the morning cries of the regal peacock signals the start of another day. The wild animals here are used to the sounds of safari jeeps and don’t shy away from people. Bring lots of water with you and ask your hotel to arrange a packed breakfast for you trip.
The main attraction for most visitors to the park is the Sri Lankan leopard. The native leopard is one of the most celebrated animals in the country, second to elephants, with the highest concentration found at Yala National Park. Because it is the largest predator in the park, it’s extremely comfortable out in the open, usually found perched up the trees or relaxing in the thick foliage.
Yala is made up of various eco-systems, from open grasslands and dense forests, to marine and fresh water wetlands and coastal habitat. Exploring each area is an adventure on its own with over 215 bird species and 44 species of mammals that include sloth bears, the red slender loris and golden palm civet in addition to sea turtles and crocodiles are just a few that can be seen around the park. Be sure to spend a full day roaming through the wildness to really experience the best of Yala.

Catalina Forbes is a travel writer who bases her content on many thrilling escapades experienced across the world. Google+