There is diving at nearby manta point where whale sharks and manta rays are often seen at a depth of 20 meters. Where to dive ethically with whale sharks in the philippines. You will spend hours on a boat with whale shark spotters searching for. Donsol is one of the few places in the world that can offer almost assured whale shark sightings from november to june. In the philippines, the whale shark tourism done in donsol, sorsogon, is considered responsible and ethical. The best time to visit donsol is definitely during the whale shark season.
May 31, 2016 philippines one of the top destinations in the world where travellers can swim with whale sharks is the philippines. Why we dont recommend the whale shark activity in oslob. There is a 100% chance you will see 4 whale sharks. Get there early for the best chances to see whale sharks anyway. Donsol, sorsogon whale sharks in donsol bay, sorsogon. There are two popular places in the philippines to snorkel with whale sharks, donsol and oslob. Half day donsol whaleshark interaction whale shark. Donsol is located in the sorsogon province in the philippines. Donsol is probably one of the few places in the world that can offer an almost assured whale shark sightings during the season. They are not feeding the sharks here, unfortunately in peak season it does. This easter holidays provided just the right opportunity as it is the peak season for this activity. The best places to swim with whale sharks in the philippines are leyte, tubbataha, donsol and oslob. But in terms of peak season, it runs from february to may.
Donsol is the best place and something worth sharing to the world. During the month of november all the way through to june whale shark season is on in donsol, sorsogon. The best time to see whale sharks is from february to april, which is donsol s peak season. Jan 10, 2019 donsol is one of just a few places in the world that can almost guarantee sightings during the whale shark season. Now from the months of november to may filipinos and foreigners alike flock to this site to get up close and personal to these gentle giants. Hence the reason why i decided to visit donsol before oslob. We are focusing on giving our client satisfaction on what they expect for and makes their holiday a memorable and fun that they could pass it on to their friends and love ones. One whale shark could go for s25,000 in the china and taiwan fish markets, selling not only the meat, but fins. The best places to swim with whale sharks lonely planet.
Your intrepid writer saw 15 when she was there one march and she barely even tried. Swimming with whale sharks butanding in donsol, sorsogon. The whale shark guardians of the philippines and the case of the. Donsol, a small coastal fishing town, 600km away from manila, on the southwest coast of luzon, philippines is frequented for several years by whale sharks, called butanding in local filipino dialect.
Should you swim with whale sharks in the philippines. But the locals believed these gentle giants were dangerous. You can go to donsol and swim with whale sharks on a public transport day trip from legazpi if you wake up at 4. The best time to swim with whale sharks is from february to may.
In donsol bay whale sharks come up close to the surface to feed. I heard already before our trip to donsol, that there has not been so many whale shark on this year. Experience and recognized the whale shark capital of the world, a small island yet home of the giants. Manta bowl is a shoal at about 20 meters deep in the middle of a channel between luzon and. Donsol is a peaceful, fishing village that is relatively untouched except for the few seaside resorts catered for tourists whose sole purpose is to visit the butandings meaning whalesharks in tagalog.
Donsol travel tips philippines things to do, map and. Apr 03, 2014 the tropical beach front location is dripping with lush beauty and the resort is staffed by a friendly welcoming team. Oslob, in cebu, is the most popular, but also the most infamous, with a record of dubious responsibility towards the whale sharks, and a welldocumented practice of feeding them to entice them into the area. One day of butanding whale shark interaction 3 hours peak season 4 to 5 hours regular firefly river cruise 1 to 1. Apr 06, 2019 history during the early 90s hunting whale sharks was the main source of income for the small fisherman town of donsol. As this is a whale shark protected area, only snorkeling is allowed in donsol bay. I tried my hands at this whale shark spotting because i wanted to help ensure we see one.
Apr 03, 2016 they are the only shark species which feed on planktons. Other places in the world famous for whale sharks sightings are ningaloo reef in australia and cozumel in mexico but in donsol it is that much easier as they are very close from the shore. Swimming with whale sharks in the philippines oslob and donsol. We were the only boat heading out that day from the centre.
Whale sharks are much bigger and i could really swim next to them and follow them. Scuba is not allowed at this particular site, but you can snorkel with them here. On a good day you can see 20 and some people have even seen as many as forty five whale sharks in one day. Whale sharks aggregate in the area between december and june with peak season between february and may. But there is one place in the philippines where you can have an almost guaranteed encounter with a whale sharks during the right season, and that is in donsol which should not be confused with oslob. In some cases, you can ask the bio to accommodate an additional nonswimmer for example, grandparents, toddlers and maids. Long famous for its scuba diving, the philippines also pleases with whale shark encounters.
Scuba diving donsol, philippines art of scuba diving. The whale sharks come to donsol bay and stay for 67 months feeding on the rich nutrients that flow down from the mouth of the donsol river. Maximum of six 6 swimmers per whale shark butanding. The resort is away from the bustle of donsol town and a perfect place to relax and unwind. Ive been to two of the most popular whale shark sighting areas. Here you can check the calendar markings for january, february and march 20. What it does offer is one of the most incredible experiences you can have with a truly wild and free animal. The whale sharks come to donsol bay and stay for 67 months feeding on the rich nutrients that flow down from the mouth of the. Whalesharks can be found in the area reliably from january to may, although, as i said, april is peak whaleshark season in donsol. If youre keen on swimming with donsol whale sharks, youll be pleased to know that going from legazpi to donsol is a quick and easy trip. If you want a more natural experience, visit donsol bay where whale shark tours are highly regulated. Whale sharks are protected and it is only allowed to snorkel with them in donsol bay. The whale sharks come to the donsol area from january to may to mate and also because then there are large amounts of plankton.
To join a whale shark tour, you simply head to the whale shark interaction centre. Manta bowl is home to a large convergence of manta rays located in ticao pass. Because of the plankton rich water, whale sharks can be spotted in donsol year round. The whale shark in this area are now a huge tourist attraction, and any form of. No whale sharks in donsol this year silent gardens. The whale shark season is from november to june but the peak season is february, march, april and may. They can be seen in large numbers at a time, sometimes up to 1520 whale sharks at a. Private boat charter, butanding interaction officer, spotter, boat crew, life vests exclusions. Donsol is, in my opinion, the more environmental friendly option, compared to oslob because in donsol there is no feeding and no guarantee to see whale sharks, but during peak season between december and may, you will probably see at least one. Refer to the chart in the sidebar for details about the monthly average rain volumes and rainy days whale sharks are usually around from november to june. The best times for seeing them in donsol is between april and may, which. Jan 21, 2020 in donsol, whale sharks are not fed by the locals. The presence of whale sharks in the town of donsol was known to the local residents over 100 years. Whale sharks, locally known as butanding, gather in the donsol area six to eight months a year, sometimes migrating as early as november and staying as.
The whale sharks are visible on the dive sites near donsol from november to june. Unique lifetime experience swim with the gentle giants. Is it correct that the peak season for whale shark sightings is from april to may. Southern leyte is not that well known resulting in a much more authentic experience and uncrowded waters for whale shark interactions. Swimming with whale sharks, locally known as butanding, was featured as the best animal encounter in asia by time magazine in 2004. I took a guide and a private boat and we started to look for real wild whale shark really quick during peak season. The best times for seeing them in donsol is between april and may, which is also the summer vacation time in the philippines. My intention is to let it be known how very possible it is to not see butandings in donsol. Roundtrip airport transfers legaspi airport donsol legaspi airport roundtrip land transfers metro manila donsol. Only snorkeling is allowed in donsol bay, although it is possible to dive with them in nearby areas. Donsol is one of the few places in the world you can have whale shark interaction in their natural habitat, with responsible ecotourism. Whale sharks can be seen between november and june, with presence peaking between february and may. After reading the forums and other literature, it seems that whale shark sightings are less likely outside of this time period.
Dive donsol, whale sharks philippines,philippines dive. During the months of january to june, whale sharks appear in the area of donsol, sorsogon for feeding. Whale sharks donsol philippines diving interaction. Donsol is the place to find whale sharks in the philippines. Suddenly an onlooker spots a dark shadow and the shout goes up. Tourists ride boats accompanies by spotters, who then signals them of sightings. Whale sharks can be found throughout the philippines with the best times of year being january to may. Apr 26, 20 a butanding interaction officer bio, or trained guide on whale shark interaction, said only one 4meter shark had been seen roaming around this season, that started in november last year. Donsol is the lesser known destination where its possible to swim with whale sharks in the philippines. At donsol, the whale shark capital of the philippines, the aim is getting close to sharks. Had mixed feelings about this place but we ended up loving it. Whale sharks can be seen from november to june but the peak season runs from february to may. Donsol whale shark interaction 2020 all you need to know.
Rental of snorkeling set at p300setday mask, snorkel and flippers. Swimming with whale sharks in the philippines oslob and donsol written by stingy nomads on february 15, 2019 in this article we tell you all about our experience swimming with whale sharks in oslob, donsol and ligazby and about whale shark swimming opportunities in leyte and tubbataha in the philippines. The ethical solution to diving with whale sharks in the. The peak season is from march to june its year where every diver has a chance to see the oceanic manta rays that measure about 6 meters. The whale sharks start to arrive in november and reach their peak numbers in january. In fact, from november to june when the waters around donsol have a high plankton density, donsol is known as the whale shark capital of the world. However they could start arriving as early as october and november. Oct 11, 2016 peak season generally runs from december to may, but you can maximize your chances of spotting the gentle giants by timing your visit between february and april. Donsol travel tips philippines things to do, map and best. Swimming with whale sharks in the philippines oslob and. In peak season, donsol is definitely one of the best places to see them. Sep 05, 2016 swimming with whale sharks oslob vs donsol.
Donsol is one of just a few places in the world that can almost guarantee sightings during the whale shark season. While oslob has been heavily criticised for being a whale shark disneyland, donsol had pitched itself as the more ecofriendly experience, as this article in aljazeera describes. During the 2018 season, the number of individual fish encountered fell to just 46. The best period to visit legazpi donsol and avoid the rain season are the months of february, march, april and may. This was just the beginning of the whale shark season, in late november, but in peak season. Best diving sites in donsol philippines scuba dive. Accommodation in donsol joining a whale shark tour. It is possible to dive and to spot manta rays all year long but the best period is from december to june when the sea conditions are good. Whale sharks, locally known as butanding, gather in the donsol area six to eight months a year, sometimes migrating as early as november and staying as late as june.
Since donsol is visited primarily for the whale sharks, the resorts in donsol are nonoperational from july to october. In donsol during peak season, it is very, very rare not to see whale sharks. Four other whale sharks usually encountered in the waters of donsol did not show up this season. February to april would be the peak season for whale shark sighting. Donsol was once a sleepy seaside village until the discovery of butandin aka the whale shark by a group of scuba divers in 1998 started making waves. Whale shark watching is a seasonal activity following the their natural migration pattern, from february to april.
The worlds best places to dive with whale sharks lonardi. The whale sharks of donsol where and when to find them. These months represent the summer season in the philippines, which means that you can expect warm water temperature and higher water visibility. Sightings are not guaranteed but extremely common during the peak season. Discover why you should choose donsol for your whale shark. However they can be seen from november to june too. The experience is nice, if not a little too fast and too hectic. Swimming with whale sharks oslob vs donsol youtube. And it turns out that donsol in the province of sorsogon attracts the philippines largest whale sharks and hosts the. You have two options if you want to travel the 60km journey from legazpi to donsol. Liveaboard destinations to dive with whale sharks the. As such, even during peak season, interaction is not 100% guaranteed.
It is the best place in the world to swim with whale sharks. March and april is usually the peak season for the whale sharks in donsol. Whale sharks in donsol malapascuas thresher shark divers. Donsol, which transformed itself from a sixthclass municipality in 2006 to a firstclass municipality last year, is known worldwide for hosting a pod of 50 whale shark or butandings during the peak season of december to may every year. During the tourist season, more than 1,500 sightseers descend each day. If you are there for scuba diving, it is good year round as well as firefly watching and kayaking tours.
Sightings are not guaranteed but extremely common during the peak season of marapr. The peak season of the whale shark interaction is between march to may. A butanding interaction officer bio, or trained guide on whale shark interaction, said only one 4meter shark had been seen roaming around this season, that started in november last year. In the months of november through june whale sharks converge in the donsol bay and stay for 6 to 7 months feeding on the rich. Tours leave throughout the day in peak season, but at the start of the season, there may only be enough people for one boat trip. As for malapascua island, the only way you can go there would be to travel through the cebu island by bus or van to maya bagay, the jump off point to malapascua. Swimming with whale sharks in the philippines oslob and donsol written by stingy nomads on february 15, 2019 in this article we tell you all about our experience swimming with whale sharks in oslob, donsol and ligazby and about whale shark swimming opportunities in. Two competing whale shark interaction projects are highlighting the problems.
In the months of november through june whale sharks converge in the donsol bay and stay for 6 to 7 months feeding on the rich nutrients coming out of the mouth of the donsol river. Whale shark season in the similan islands is in the high season from february to may. There are a few hotels in the area that are cheap and really cheap. Here, whale sharks are protected by the state, scuba diving is officially prohibited, and groups of snorkelers get permission from the whale shark center. The whale sharks of donsol are possibly the largest school in the world. Donsol sorsogon whale shark butanding watching april 2016.
One day of butanding whale shark interaction 3 hours peak season 4 to 5 hours regular inclusions. They are the only shark species which feed on planktons. Whale sharks are rarely to be seen but onsite, the gentle giants are freely swimming and eating the abundant plankton and krill. This can be done in just half day trip if you have a limited time for your holiday or include donsol to your itinerary while in the philippines. Whale shark swimming with worlds largest gentle fish. Oslob and donsol, philippines a couple of hundred metres from the. Photo credit to donsol ecotour as said above, there are still ethical alternatives to seeing and swimming with whale sharks in the ocean. Diving in donsol, philippines divingmoredivingmore. The spotter is the one who stands on the boat beam to look for a big black blotch on the water, indicating a whale shark surfacing. However, the whale sharks often come right to the surface, and snorkelers can see as many as 20 on one trip.
I am not saying that the wonderful stories ive read online are a whole bunch of lies and the account that in donsol during peak season, it is very, very rare not to see whale sharks. Donsol is one of the best tourist spots in sorsogon, a worldrenowned site for whale shark watching and interaction tours. Half day donsol whaleshark interaction a thrill and adrenalin rush will be sense to your body once you swim with this majestic creatures of donsol. Donsol unofficially called the capital of whale sharks. Donsol doesnt offer a guarantee of whale sharks and there is a season to be weary of, with february and march being peak season. They also feed on nektonic prey such as small crustaceans and small fish or squid. Donsol bay, philippines snorkeling only for a natural, ecofriendly whale shark experience in the philippines, donsol bay is the best bet.405 515 41 181 1434 15 96 906 1491 410 109 743 862 1205 1136 838 968 427 1052 301 404 552 781 493 330 1490 485 701 760 564 1290 1388 572 1193 612 971