Whale and dolphin watching

Experience Sri Lankan wildlife

Witness whales and dolphins in their natural environment

Enjoy Kalpitiya’s richness and biodiversity


The marine reserve

Kalpitiya peninsula is a treasure for nature and animal lovers. It marine reserve is a jewel in the middle of the indian ocean.

From the end of Kalpitiya peninsula to the Gulf of Mannar, in the north, the Bar Reef goes all along the coast. It was declared a marine sanctuary in 1992 and now represent one of the rare coral reed systems in Sri Lanka.The reef welcomes more than 150 species of coral and 280 species of fish, which represents the greatest biodiversity in the water around India.


Whales and dolphins

From december to march, Kalpitiya peninsula is the best spot for dolphins and whales watching.

There is a resident pod of spinner dolphins in this area. According to the last report of the ORCA (Ocean Resource Conservation Association), a pod may be composed of an average of 2000 individuals. It can reach 5000 individuals occasionally. Less common but also found in the marine reserve, the fraser’s, the rough-toothed, the spotted, the striped, the risso’s, the bottlenose and the indo-pacific humpback dolphins.

The sperm whale is the most common whale of the reserve. Their groups are composed of 4 or 5 animals staying around 12 kilometers from shore. Still according the the ORCA report, we report one record of them approaching the coast as close as 5 kilometers from shore. Other groups of whales also compose the marine reserve : blue whales, mink whales, bride’s whales, humpback whales, killer whales, melon headed whales …


Learn more about whales (link to the whales page) and dolphins (link to the dolphin page)  watching


The diverse fauna

In addition to the mammal presence, the marine reserve is also made of plenty of birds including turns, gulls, shearwaters, petrels… Other studies also demonstrate the presence of whale sharks, sea snakes, olive riddley sea turtles etc.

Also, the variety of fish is impressive. Around the reef, Kalpitiya peninsula represents the best area for diving. You are guarantee to witness a myriad species of fish and other beautiful tropical inhabitants such as mollusks, manta rays, sea turtles and reef sharks. Also, the amazing colorful corals is the largest reef coral of the island.


This amazing biodiversity is however weak and faces many issues like coastal erosion, pollution, overfishing… A long term vision for it sustainability had to be found, and in 1999, a Coastal Resources Management Project has been implemented in Sri Lanka to deal with coastal resources issues.


At Kalpitiya Dolphin hotel we are concerned about these issues and take our responsibilities. We try to bring the change and reduce our impact on environment as much as possible. Discover our sustainable projects (link with Community&sustainability page)