Dolphin Watching In Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka
There is something about watching whales and dolphins that is unlike any other experience. If this appeals to you, you will appreciate dolphin watching in Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka. This part of the world is rapidly becoming a top tourist destination for many reasons.
Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of the subcontinent of India. One of the reasons for the popularity of the region, is the warm tropical climate. This makes the area a perfect vacation spot for getting away from the cold winds of winter.
Although some parts of Sri Lanka get quite a bit of rainfall, the northeast area (where Kalpitiya is) is one of the driest sections. This area is famous for its amazing diving opportunities. This gives you the chance to observe marine life in their natural habitat.
Sri Lanka is a marine protected area (MPA). The local marine life are protected from over-fishing and the cultural and natural resources are protected from commercial exploitation. An MPA is the best place to observe the ocean and all its life forms, as this will provide the safest experience for you and the creatures.
Sri Lanka is surrounded by water on all sides, and Kalpitiya is made up of many small islands. This part of Sri Lanka is perfect for dolphin and whale watching, because you will not have to travel far off to sea to enjoy them.
It is sometimes possible to see dolphins right from one of the island shores. This is due to the fact the continental shelf is much closer than reported in admiralty charts. In fact, in late 2010, the sea floor was mapped and it revealed the shelf actually runs near and alongside the shoreline. This is the reason you can see many types of marine life just a 15 minute speedboat ride away.
You can visit Kalpitiya any month of the year, but if you come for dolphin viewing, any time from November through April is excellent. This is the best time for several reasons. The monsoon season will be over and you won't have to worry about rains and all the problems that the rainy season may bring. The seas are much calmer after monsoon season. When seas are calm, your boat ride will be pleasurable and it is easy to spot many kinds of marine life, and you can see them from a distance. With still waters, you will receive a safe boat journey and no problems associated with choppy waters or rough seas. In addition, November through April is autumn and winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and a good time to vacation somewhere warm.
If you are into whale watching, you should visit Kalpitiya in March or April when many sperm whales are nearby. The sperm whale is the largest of all predators (that have teeth). This whale species is currently on the endangered list. In fact, many of the sperm whale species are now extinct, due to many years of whaling. You can easily spot one of these mammoth creatures by their enormous heads, and they have the largest brains of any animal on the planet.
The sperm whale gets its name from the unusual fluid inside of its head. It is believed to help the large mammal stay afloat, but science does not really understand its purpose. The fluid turns to a waxy substance in cold waters. You will often see these huge creatures in pods of about seven whales. However, 15 or 20 is not uncommon, and pods as large as 50 have been spotted.
Where you see sperm whales you may also see pelagic seabirds. These birds live out on the sea and hunt for fish. They may come ashore for mating purposes, but you will need to be out to sea to observe them.
2000 Spinner dolphins super pods
Long snouted or spinner dolphins are very common in Northern Sri Lanka. These are perhaps the most fun and entertaining of all the marine life in the area. Spinners are very playful and acrobatic. In fact, they get their name from the many spins they sometimes perform when they jump out of the water. They can spin as many as five times in one jump, and sometimes perform tail or head slap moves, flips, and salmon jumps
Spinner dolphins often travel in large groups and it is not uncommon to see many at one time. In fact, they have been seen in groups of a thousand or more, and sometimes you might encounter a super pod (around two thousand). You will not see things like this anywhere but Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka. Beside the spinner dolphin, humpback and bottlenose types also inhabit the area. The humpback species has a noticeable hump on its back and is often seen close to shore. The bottlenose dolphin is known for its distinctive snout and it is highly intelligent, and sometimes communicates with squeaking noises.
Before you go out on a tour it's best to know a few things. Most excursions last for anywhere from two to three hours. You will have to wear a life-jacket and you must obey all rules for safety.
Do not forget to bring at least one camera with your on your tour. If you think you might become seasick, take Dramamine or other seasickness medication before you leave. This will ensure your tour will be pleasurable.
During the tour, some marine life may come close to the boat. Please do not feed them or throw things in the water. Do not ask your guide to get too close to whales or dolphins. They will come close if they feel comfortable with the situation. For safety reasons, never attempt to reach out and touch marine life.
If you are operating a boat on the water, do not get too close to the creatures. Never chase them with the boat or attempt to startle them. Please be respectful of the local marine life and other tourists, and do not yell loudly or create a lot of unnecessary noise to attract attention. Follow these tips and you should have a most enjoyable time on the water.