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The Whale and Dolphin Company | Whale & Dolphin Watching

Blue Whale, Sri LankaBlue Whale mother and calfBlue Whale, Sri LankaSperm Whales, Sri LankaSperm Whales, Sri LankaSpinner Dolphins, Sri Lanka

Blue Whales are our speciality! We run superb small-group holidays of one or two weeks duration, taking day trips out to see Blue Whales as well as other whales, dolphins and seabirds.

We run small-group whale-watching trips in Sri Lanka, mainly to see the wonderful, and plentiful, Blue Whales. In February-March, the best place to see them is off the NE coast near Trincomalee. From November to April they can be seen off the south coast near Dondra Head, with April being the best month. During both our Trinco and south coast trips we stay in good quality hotels, and take day trips out to watch the whales. In addition to the Blues we see a nice variety of other whale and dolphin species, and good numbers of seabirds. On land there are additional opportunities for birding (or relaxing), and some trips have extensions to see Elephants and Leopards.

All trips are organised and run by Dr. Chas Anderson, renowned marine biologist and whale-watching guide. He was the first person to predict the regular presence of Blue Whales off the south coast of Sri Lanka; the first person to visit southern Sri Lanka specifically to look (successfully!) for Blue Whales; and the first to lead groups to southern Sri Lanka for Blue Whale watching. Many companies are now running whale watching trips to southern Sri Lanka, and they are all following our lead.


January • February • March • April • November • December


Half-day (3-6 hours) • Full day (6-9 hours)

Vessel types

Small boat (0-50 passengers)

Times and prices

Ours are multiday small-group tours, including 5-7 day trips out to see the whales. All trips include hotel accommodation, and some trips include elephant and leopard watching as well. Contact us for details of dates and prices.

About our skippers and naturalist guides

Our skippers and crew are locals, mostly from fishing families with generations of experience in these waters. Naturalist guides include both highly experienced Sri Lankan naturalists and Dr. Chas Anderson, the pioneer of whale and dolphin watching in this region.


Access to wheelhouse • Deck with 360?vision • Naturalist guide(s) as well as skipper • Onboard research • Posters / displays / maps • Public participation in research • Reading material available • Snacks / drinks • Support conservation • Swim / snorkel included • Use a code of conduct

We frequently

See a whale's tail • See leaping dolphins • See leaping whales • Watch whales and dolphins

Baleen Whales

Blue Whale • Bryde's Whale

Toothed Whales

Sperm Whale

Ocean Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphin • Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin • Pantropical Spotted Dolphin • Spinner Dolphin • Striped Dolphin

Other wildlife and points of interest

Occasionally seen whales/dolphins include Short-finned Pilot Whale, False Killer Whale and Risso's Dolphin. We also see plenty of seabirds, including several rare tropical species and migrants from both north and south. There are occasional sightings of manta rays, turtles and sunfish. All trips take place within sight of the scenic Sri Lankan coast. And on land there is a wealth of natural, cultural and historical sites to visit.

The Whale and Dolphin Company, PO Box 2074
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Guy Presland
An exceptional whale watching experience
Traveled: 2012-04-14, Reviewed: 2012-05-08
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
An excellent trip led by the marine biologist, Dr. Chas Anderson, combining opportunities to see whales, dolphins, leopards, elephants, other land animals and numerous species of birds.
I have always wanted to see blue whales and this holiday did not disappoint. Blue whales were seen on every boat trip with excellent views of flukes, blows and even on one occasion a dolphin bow riding a blue whale. Spinner, bottlenose and striped dolphins were also encountered, often in large numbers. All this was thanks to the experience of Chas Anderson and the boat crew, who were indispensable in spotting whales often from a great distance.
Another highlight of the whale watching experience was the occasional evening talks given to our group by Chas about whale migration, etc., which were both interesting and highly informative.
But all was not over after the first week, because the second part of the holiday was spent visiting the Yala and Udawalawe National Parks during which we had close encounters with leopards, elephants, other animals, and many bird species.
Overall I would highly recommend this holiday to anyone who is interested in wildlife. Chas Anderson is an excellent and friendly group leader with an exceptional knowledge not only of whales and dolphins but also of birds and land animals. The boat crew and drivers for our various excursions were highly professional, friendly and helpful, and also had a high regard for the welfare of the wildlife we encountered. All of the hotels were of a high standard and the food was both plentiful and very good. This holiday was an experience not to be missed.
Ian Robinson
World Class Whale Watching
Traveled: 2011-04-16, Reviewed: 2011-10-15
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Trip meets expectations
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
Our first visit to Sri Lanka in April 2011 was on a small group trip led by ‘Chas Anderson’ a professional marine biologist working in the Maldives. Sri Lanka is already well known for its wonderful wildlife, especially Leopard, but we were not quite so sure how things would work out when it came to seeing Blue Whales.

Our south coast base was a wonderful hotel in Galle and we had six excursions planned to maximise our chances of seeing a good selection of whales and dolphins.

Our first day out on the water however quickly dispelled any doubts and it was soon very apparent that we were experiencing one of our best whale watching trips ever. Within an hour of leaving the harbour we had been visited by a group of about 100 spotted Dolphins, soon followed by at least 30 Sperm Whales which completely surrounded our boat. Heading out a little further to check out distant blows, we were delighted then they were confirmed to be four feeding Blue Whales. What a fantastic first day!

The best was still to come, we saw Blue Whales on every trip with a maximum day count of 25 – 30 animals, including one large, presumed male which breached at least twice in front of our boat. Spinner Dolphins, including groups of 500 plus was often seen along with Manta Rays and a Whale Shark. Several feeding flocks of Whiskered and White-winged Terns along with sightings of Pomarine Skua, Red-billed Tropicbird and Flesh-footed Shearwaters kept the birders happy.

Chas is an excellent leader with a wealth of knowledge on cetacean behaviour and all marine life, which he gladly shares with you. Along with a local, very experienced crew, all ads up to a very responsible whale watching operation.

We can certainly recommend The Whale and Dolphin Company Blue Whale trips and if you have a few days to spare head east to Yala, you will not be disappointed.
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