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Sperm whale watching in sri lanka


Sperm Whales in Sri Lanka

SPERM WHALE – Sri Lanka’s coastal waters are a marine biologist’s delight. Not only is its waters frequented by Blue Whales for several months of the year, it also attracts super pods of Spinner Dolphins, a very common sight. The oceanic waters surrounding Sri Lanka are rich in nutrients and therefore attract the bigger and more impressive marine giants.

With the continental shelf being so close to Sri Lanka’s west coast, the meeting of the warmer and colder waters bring together a rich feast of nutrients on which the Sperm Whale feeds. Earlier reports and maps indicated that the shelf was much further out. However, according to new research, it appears that the Continental Shelf is much closer to land than was originally believed. This is the reason why Sperm Whale sightings are possible so close to Sri Lanka’s shores.

The Sperm Whale lives in pods and is rarely spotted swimming solo. It has the largest brain of any animal, weighing up to 9 kilogrammes (20lb), and the whale itself can measure up to 20 metres (60 feet) in length. The Sperm Whale also has the largest head of any animal and is approximately one third of its length. The head will usually have visible scars and sucker marks inflicted on it by giant squid which the Whales are known to hunt and eat.

Sperm Whales are the deepest divers in the cetacean family, reaching incredible depths of down to 3,200 metres (10,500 feet), but are more commonly seen around 1,200 metres (4,000) feet. They generally congregate to the ocean’s surface to breathe, but dive deep to hunt for giant squid and other prey.

It is now recognised that in Sri Lanka, the best spot for Sperm Whale sightings is on the west coast off the town of Kalpitya. Conditions are perfect for these magnificent creatures up to 8 sightings of individual Sperm Whales have been seen on a single trip.

Big Game Camps can accommodate a whale watching trip to Kalpitiya on the way to or on the return journey from the Wilpattu National Park experience. All you have to do is let us know in advance. This is an experience you will never forget.

Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Department is making concerted efforts to ensure that these magnificent ocean dwellers are protected, by creating widespread awareness as to the threat that these animals face. It is imperative that these animals are given the sanctuary that they deserve in Sri Lanka’s waters.

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