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 | Image Credit: Surf Forecast
Mirissa | Image Credit: Surf Forecast

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.


Whale Watching | Image Credit: Do Packup
Whale Watching | Image Credit: Go Packup

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?

Whale Watching Mirissa | Image Courtesy: Southern Whale
Whale Watching Mirissa | Image Courtesy: Southern Whale

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

Blue Whales | Image Courtesy : Steuart Holidays
Blue Whales | Image Courtesy : Steuart Holidays

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

Sperm Whales Mirissa | Image Courtesy:
Sperm Whales Mirissa | Image Courtesy: Blue Whale Mirissa


Dolphins in Mirissa | Image Courtesy : Lanka Leisure Travel
Dolphins in Mirissa | Image Courtesy : Lanka Leisure Travel

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

Whale watching in Sri Lanka

Head out to the deep seas from the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka to witness the glorious giants of the sea! Tourists visiting Sri Lankan paradise engage in various excursions both in land and on waters surrounding the isle. Among these popular past times, whale watching is an experience that should not be missed. The best time to spot the blue whales and if you are lucky the sperm whales in the eastern shores are from months of May to October. During your visit to the region accommodation could be found at a Sri Lanka resort such as Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa. The location of the property allows travellers the opportunity to start off their whale watching journey in the early morning.

Step on aboard to an exhilarating journey to spot the biggest spectacles of the ocean and be mesmerized as the blue whales swim in the azure waters. If you are lucky you will be able to spot whale sharks during your sea voyage in the eastern seas of Sri Lanka. The southern shores of the isle also provides visitors to the country the opportunity to go whale watching, the best time to visit would be during the months of November to April. According to Dr. Charles Anderson, a professional marine biologist, the southern coast of Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to spot Blue Whales, as most of these creatures are on migration from their North East monsoon feeding grounds to the South West monsoon grounds in the Arabian Sea. Whale watching in Sri Lanka is possible throughout the year however if you pick the right season and the spot the chances of seeing these marvellous creatures will be high. Your expeditions will also provide you with plenty of photo opportunity and memories to take back home.

Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.


An Exhilarating Experience

The tropical climate in Maldives makes it the perfect destination for sea swimming, diving and soaking up the sun. Not many are aware that apart from these activities Maldives is one the best locations to see whales. It has been recognised as one of the top five places for viewing such marvels of nature. There are several species of whales that roam around in the ocean surrounding the Maldivian islands. Short fin pilot whales, Bryde’s whales, Cuvier beaked whales, False killer whales, Melon-headed whales, Blue whales and even species such as the Sperm whale and Killer whale can be found in Maldivian waters. From what has been recorded there are around 23 species of these creatures and dolphins surrounding the islands. It is difficult to see some of the larger species such as the blue whale because it shies away from humans.

Maldives has a group of these species that are hard to find in any other region. The Dwarf sperm whale, Tropical bottlenose whale and the Melon-headed whale have been spotted in the ocean surrounding Maldives. The best way to see these creatures is to pay for a cruise or a safari boat. The boats get quite close to these animals and you could see them dive and then rise above the sea level. It is fascinating to watch them as most of the animals travel in enormous schools and you can watch them swim right in front of you. The most commonly seen species during a trip is the pilot whale. If you are not familiar with the different species don’t worry yourself too much about it. There are expert guides on board in each of the trips and they are sure to inform you about the varieties that you see.
The trips are guaranteed to entertain you with some amazing views of these gentle giants, but you may not see much of the bigger species as they are harder to find and most often swim in deep waters. If whale watching is part of the Maldives itinerary then one should stay in a Maldives resort. The types of hotels that one should look into are Maldives bungalows that have some great offers on these tours. For luxurious accommodation, amenities and value-for-money deals book a room at Anantara Veli Maldives.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.


Whale Watching in Trincomalee

Sri Lanka, a tiny island paradise, boasts of the world’s longest and finest whale watching season in any part of the world. The speciality of Sri Lanka being Blue Whales has a sighting period that extends from March to August in Trincomalee and December to April in the small town of Mirissa. In both these areas, blue whales, sperm whales and dolphins, be it spinner dolphins or bottlenose dolphins can be seen in large numbers. Sometimes sightings of even 200 or more have been seen at one spot.

Travel just 6-8 nautical miles from Trincomalee and you can spot these magnificent creatures of the sea. With the world’s 5th largest natural harbour, famed Koneswaram Temple, hot water springs and its association with the legend Ramayana, Trincomalee has more than enough attractions on land to delight any tourist. The added chance to watch wonderful whales is the cherry on the cake. In fact the rocky outcrop on Koneswaram Temple has the fame of being the world’s best on-shore whale watching sight.

Your encounters with whales and dolphins will be very close and many have enjoyed spontaneous performances by the dolphins, untamed friends of the sea doing stunts for our entertainment. The site is also great for snorkelling and scuba diving, which means you can experience more of the rich and colourful marine life that is unique to this country.

Many tour operators as well as the Sri Lankan navy offer cruises to watch the whales, ranging from luxury to more modest choices. However it is important that you choose one that is not only cost effective but also is authorized to engage in such activity. Responsible tourism in this case is very important not only for your safety but to also ensure the survival of these endangered creatures.

You can always ask your hotel to arrange a cruise for you or opt for one of the many sri lanka tour packages. There are many Sri Lanka tailor made tours that can be arranged for your specific needs. Shanti travel Sri Lanka is among the island’s foremost tour operators with strong emphasis on eco tourism.

Umanga Kahandawaarachchi is a passionate travel writer who writes under the pen name, Maggie Tulliver. Her field of writing covers a wide array of content and articles related to travel and hospitality industry. Google+

Whale Watching

Just off the coast of New Zealand the conditions are perfect for one of the most charming activities out at sea – whale and dolphin watching. People flock to these waters to get a glimpse of these playful yet majestic creatures in the breathtaking backdrop of the southern seas. But the best sightings can be found around New Zealand’s south island of Otago.

The unique features along the eastern shores of Otago – where the continental shelf plunges into a series of underwater gorges – create an ideal home for several types of whales, who prefer to feed in deep waters. As the warm currents from the equatorial regions mix with cold currents from the Antarctic seas forming an upward movement underwater, the nutritious waters of the deep are brought to the surface. This creates a great food source for plankton and krill, which in turn become food for whales and small fish, the preferred food of dolphins. The continuous motion of this cycle sustains an eco-system that keeps all this marine life concentrated into this area.

Although New Zealand’s seas turn quite harsh and cold in the winter the resident populations of sea life can be seen all year around. Pods of sperm whales – that grow a humungous 15 metres in length – have made a permanent home along the coasts of Kaikoura. The migratory humpback whales come looking for cooler waters in June and July, while the killer whales (Orcas) reside in the warm summer waters from December to March. Watch out for the tall sprouts of water from their blowholes as they surface for air. Try to spot the distinctive markings in each tail as they splash copious amounts of water with one playful flip. Many times large pods of dolphins are spotted around the boats as well, accompanying the visitors to their destinations. Their colourful personalities are a delight to watch as they swim alongside the hull and jump over the waves. All this activities make wonderful photo opportunities and even better memories for all.

To reach the whale watching hotspots, take the picturesque scenic routes to the south island. As the tours depart at sunrise, a stay one of the South New Zealand hotels is preferred. Afterwards, relax in the stunning surroundings on land. Millennium & Copthorne Hotels NZ has a variety of properties throughout the country including one situated in the middle of the city of Dunedin, the second largest city in Otago. One of the finest Dunedin hotels, it not only gives access to the hottest business, food and shopping centres in town, but also provides a gateway to the beautiful countryside.