Dolphin & Whale Watching in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has developed into a major whale-watching destination over the past decade and is one of the best places in the world for seeing blue whales, with sperm whales and other species also being frequently spotted.
Blue whales are the most commonly seen off the Sri Lankan coast. Believed to be the largest animal ever to have lived on the planet, they reach over 30m in length and weigh almost two hundred tons. If you’re lucky, you may also catch sight of a sperm whale , slightly smaller than the
blue whale, though with the largest brain of any creature on the planet.
The easiest way to distinguish between the two while at sea is usually by comparing their “blows”: that of the blue whale is tall (typically around 10m) and upright, while that of the sperm whale is smaller and more “bushy”, and also typically slanted forwards and to the left. Humpback and Bryde’s whales are also occasionally spotted.
In addition to whales, numerous pods of spinner dolphins can be found around the island. These are extrovert creatures well known for (and named after) their acrobatic
spins out of the water. In parts of the island, as many as two thousand spinner dolphins have been sighted at one time, not just in whale-watching areas such as Mirissa but in other places around the coast, most notably Kalpitiya. Risso’s and bottlenose dolphins are other species known to inhabit Sri Lanka’s waters.