Thought of as the most intelligent beings in the water, dolphins are friendly and playful. Now, you have the opportunity to enjoy dolphin watching in Kalpitiya - an unforgettable experience of your life. Many varieties of dolphins gather in large schools off the Kalpitiya coast of Sri Lanka. Once hunted for their meat, all dolphins are now protected species in Sri Lanka, hence their numbers have improved. The clean, warm waters in the area are the perfect habitat for these playful and friendly creatures. November to April is generally the best period for dolphin watching as they migrate from colder waters during the winter months. Among the types of dolphins that you will be able to see are common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, and humpback dolphins.
Sri Lanka Day Tours will take you on a boat to the best spots for dolphin watching. See the different species of dolphins leaping out of the water or just coming up for a breath of fresh air. Hear them communicate with each other and frolic in the rich waters. The waters around Kalpitiya are also known for a few species of whales - mostly sperm whales - visible during this period. More elusive than the generally playful dolphins, you can consider yourself very lucky if you manage to spot one of these magnificent giants.
Spinner dolphins are encountered quite frequently during dolphin watching in Sri Lanka. These dolphins are the entertainers of the ocean and have long, slender snouts, growing up to 2 meters. They are most commonly known for their acrobatic skills and famous spins through the air as they leap out of the water. Their performance of beautifully synchronized somersaults and flips is truly a sight to behold. These dolphins are extremely sociable and have been known to travel in very large pods that number as many as a thousand dolphins. Super pods have been known to have as many as 2,000 dolphins. On extremely clear days, spinner dolphins can even be spotted from the shore.
Apart from the spinner dolphin, the humpback and bottlenose types also inhabit the coast of Kalpitiya. The humpback species has a noticeable hump on its back and is often seen close to the shore, while the bottlenose dolphin is known for its unmistakable snout. The bottlenose is also highly intelligent and uses high-pitched squeaks to communicate.
Risso's dolphins can also be spotted in these waters and are noted for their characteristically square heads and long dorsal fins. While being able to grow up to 4 meters, these dolphins often have scars on their bodies from their playful fighting.
Kalpitiya is firmly fixed on the map for dolphin watching because of its location and close proximity to the international airport. Pods of over 1000 dolphins live just offshore throughout the year, but it's possible to see dolphins during December to April when the sea is a lot calmer and small fishing boats can travel.
» ou will be met at 7:30 a.m. at our center and then be ushered to the boat. After a briefing, we will depart to the sea.
» Kalpitiya is a relatively new destination in Sri Lanka, gaining prominence as late as 2005 when large pods of Spinner dolphins were spotted off its coast. They were mainly seen in a belt that ran parallel to the Kalpitiya peninsula, which was commonly known as the Dolphin Line. Kalpitiya is now one of the main attractions in Sri Lanka, especially among tourists looking for water-based adventures.
» The best time to go dolphin watching in Kalpitiya is from November to March/April. Conditions are perfect during this time to catch a glimpse of a number of different sea mammals, as the waters remain relatively calm. The calmer ocean also allows you to spot dolphins from further away, as visibility improves.
» Spinner Dolphins are among some of the most commonly spotted dolphin species, while Bottlenose, Risso's, Indo-Pacific, and Humpback Dolphins are seen regularly
One option is to drive 10km north of the resort, then exit the lagoon. The advantage of this is that you can also snorkel at Bar Reef. Keep in mind that Bar Reef has been bleached due to the El Niño effect, so there are no reefs, but there are fish in the area.
The other option is that we will transfer you to the other side of the sandbank, from where you will be picked up by boat to continue your tour.
The government has recently implemented a discriminatory fee of $10 per foreign visitor.
SEASON - Dolphin watching is from mid-October to May, while the best months for whale watching are February, March, and April. However, you may still see whales during the dolphin season.
DEPARTURE TIME - Around 7:00 AM
DURATION - 3 – 4 Hours
DEPARTURE LOCATIONS - From vlampuri kite resort
PEOPLE - Maximum 6 in a Boat
PRICE (Locals) - Dolphin watching boat prices start from LKR 12,000/= (up to 6 people can travel in a boat). Note that during the dolphin watching tour, whales may also be seen. Whale watching boat prices start from LKR 18,000/= for a boat (up to 5 people can travel in a boat). A service fee is also included.
PRICE (Foreigners) - Dolphin watching costs US$100 for 2 persons, including "Wildlife Tickets". Each additional person costs US$30, including "Wildlife Ticket". Note that during the dolphin watching tour, whales may also be seen. Whale watching costs US$130 for 2 persons, including "Wildlife Tickets". Each additional person costs US$35, including "Wildlife Ticket".
INCLUDED - Boat Transfer, Drinking Water, Life Jackets and Wild Life Ticket.
ADDITIONAL NOTES - We conduct tours only if the weather conditions are suitable. There is free cancellation up to 1 day before arrival. Each person, including children, in the boat will be counted as an adult. Breakfast is only provided for house guests. Important:
» nsect repellents, sun protection creams, etc. are highly recommended.
» Wear suitable casual clothing and footwear for outdoor activities.
» Emphasis is placed on the importance of safety standards, which we provide.
- Passengers are limited to the number of seats on the boat.
- Life jackets are provided to each and every client.
» Obey all safety rules given by the crew.
» Dolphin sightings: There is a 90 to 95% high probability of seeing dolphins during our tours. We are doing our best to find them for you on every single dolphin watching excursion. However, on some days, even with our best efforts, it may be impossible for us to show you the dolphins. It's important to be aware that we are going to see wildlife in the blue ocean.
» Getting seasick: There is always at least a light swell in the not-so-calm Indian Ocean. If it's your first time on a boat in the Indian Ocean or if you tend to get seasick, we advise you to take seasickness medication recommended by your doctor. Avomine is freely available in any pharmacy.
» Do not feed any wild animals (yes, they are wild animals). Swimming near your boat doesn't mean they want your food.
» Do not pressure your guide/boatman to take the boat too close to the animals.