Imagine a meeting with a whale, preferably a Blue Whale: cleaving the vast blue ocean spreading till the distant horizon, the biggest mammal on earth turns a lazy somersault; likely to be the most impressive sight anywhere in the world, the one thing you’ll never forget and recall in dreams. To witness this is possible only a short drive (and then a short cruise) from Colombo. While the Eastern coast season for whale watching has petered out by now, you can still meet them in the south.
Sri Lanka is fortunate to be a destination for watching whales all year round. The best Southern destinations are Mirissa and Dondra, while Aluthgama, Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa are catching up fast.
Out of the 80 species of whales known, 26 have been recorded up to date in and around the seas of Sri Lanka. These include the Blue Whale, Humpback Whale, Fin Whale, Killer Whale, Minke Whale, Sperm Whale, Pygmy Sperm Whale, Dwarf Sperm Whale and Bryde’s Whale. Some of these giants are occasional visitors while some are permanent residents around Sri Lankan waters.
Most of them are glimpsed on their way from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. Your best chance would be the coast of Dondra from December to April, when there is a high concentration of Blue Whales and Sperm Whales.
An average trip with a boat or tour operator would take up to 4 hours, but they would be made of precious moments you’ll cherish forever: moments of solidarity with these intriguing, intelligent, and highly prepossessing mammals. Grab a pair of binoculars and soak in the sun as you have a once- in-a-lifetime experience.