Over the past five years, Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the world’s major whale-watching destinations, thanks largely to the work of pioneering British marine biologist Charles Anderson, who in 1999 first proposed the theory that there was an annual migration of blue and sperm whales between the Bay of Bengal and around the coast of Sri Lanka to the Arabian Sea (heading west in April, and returning in the opposite direction in Dec/Jan). Anderson’s theory led to the dramatic discovery that Sri Lanka was sitting alongside one of the world’s great cetacean migratory routes, with sightings of these majestic creatures almost guaranteed for large parts of the year, and the possibility of seeing both sperm and blue whales (as well as spinner dolphins) in a single trip.

Mirissa is perfectly placed for whale-watching expeditions, being where the continental shelf on which Sri Lanka sits is at its narrowest, with ocean depths of 1km within 6km of the coast – ideal whale country. Sightings are most regular from December to April (with Dec & April being the best months).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Sri Lanka features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Sri Lanka: 10 tips for first-time visitors

Sri Lanka: 10 tips for first-time visitors

Sri Lanka’s heady mix of British colonial heritage, beautiful landscapes and incredibly friendly locals make it a beguiling destination. But the tropical isle…

29 Aug 2017 • Chloe Cann insert_drive_file Article
The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

11 Aug 2017 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Why Sri Lanka should be the next place you take your kids

Why Sri Lanka should be the next place you take your kids

Sri Lanka is blessed with all the essential ingredients for the family trip of a lifetime. Comparatively compact, with a colourful cultural identity, incredible…

24 Jul 2017 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month