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).

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