Dolphin Watching

The paradise island is gifted with an abundance of terrestrial wildlife inhabiting the many forest reserves and sanctuaries. Similarly, the country is also gifted with a unique marine ecosystem with a diverse and thriving aquatic wildlife, making the pearl of the Indian Ocean a nature lover’s haven.

One of the notable features of marine wildlife are the many pods of dolphins that seasonally migrate to island waters to find temporary refuge from adversities faced elsewhere. The turquoise ocean has made it possible for many to witness the great migrations made along the shores of the island, especially in the southern coast and the northeastern coast of the country.

These intelligent creatures are easily spotted racing each other when the water is relatively calm, blowing out their unique bubble rings underwater, and sometimes mingling with other species of dolphins. Watching the delightful dolphins swimming alongside and diving under your boat, riding waves in perfect synchronization and twirling and leaping out of the water in a joyous display; a magnificent experience and one that will be cherished for years to come.

Interesting Facts

  • Although small in size, Sri Lanka is blessed with 6 species of dolphins, namely, the Bottlenose dolphin, the Spotted dolphin, the Striped dolphin, the Spinner dolphin, Fraser’s dolphin, and Risso’s dolphin.
  • Dolphins are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world. It is believed that the Bottlenose dolphins identify one another the same way as humans do.
  • Dolphins are also considered one of the more adept swimming creatures, with its capability to acrobatically leap out of the water.
  • Sri Lanka’s southern coast, namely the seaside towns of Kalpitiya, Dondra Head, and Mirissa have been known to bring about vast pods of dolphins along the shore.
  • The northeastern coast, especially the town of Trincomalee also attracts large schools of dolphins, however, it does not attract as much as the southern coast.
  • The season for dolphin watching normally depends on the weather, especially the wind speed in the ocean, as dolphins do not really like choppy waters.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The migration season of dolphins in the southern coast usually runs from the months from November to April. The season in the northeastern coast runs from June to September. Therefore, it is important to consider the migration seasons to have the best experience of dolphin watching.
  • Since dolphin watching is an excursion out in the ocean, it is highly advised to go through a reliable and reviewed tour company.
  • Very often your lodgings will provide such services, so do not worry.
  • Please do be careful with regards to you and your belongings.

In conclusion, the friendly attitudes of the many dolphin species performing feats comparable to Olympic synchronize swimmers makes for a special experience on your adventure trip around the paradise island of Sri Lanka.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Navy

Location info






June - September

(Northeastern Coast)

November - April

(Southern Coast)

Guided Tour

Raja and the Whales
LSL Adventure Tours


Nature and Outdoors

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