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“Operation out of love for animals” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Raja & the Whales

Raja & the Whales
Ranked #1 of 54 Tours in Mirissa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We are a local family, providing environmental and sustainable whale watching in Mirissa, Sri Lanka since 2008. We are very keen on protecting the whales and also have been doing research about them for many years now. We are very proud that we are recommended in the new Sri Lankan lonely planet and by so many users of tripadvisor. For bookings please send us an email (anytime), give us a call (between 2 pm and 8 pm) or visit our office in Mirissa Harbour (2 pm to 6 pm). Our price is 6000 LKR for adults and 3000 LKR for kids. Small kids (<6 years) are free of charge. A refund of 50% is given if we do not see any whales on the day of your trip. Please help to protect the whales!
2 reviews
“Operation out of love for animals”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2013 via mobile

The team is currently using a bigger new boat. They sent a tuk-tuk driver to pick me up in the early morning and provided hot tea, ginger biscuits(for seasickness, how considerate!) and motion sickness medicine on shore. Fresh fruit plate, toast and omelet came along later on the way.

I was not so lucky with the sickness that day. The crew set a bed for me in the cabin and kept checking me out the whole time. They even took my camera and took a lot of pictures and videos for me. I kinda liked the way they encouraged me to get up and watch because they didn't want me to miss a thing!

Check out their notice board on Mirissa beach, you can find everyday watching update there.

While the whale watching scene is booming in Mirissa these days, it is delightful to see a local business still truly caring about those animals being watched.

Raja's love for animals is undoubted. He is trying his best to balance tourist's need for eye-opening experience and animal's life undisturbed. He is taking what he is doing very seriously not so much a business as a lifelong pursuit, promoting whale watching as an alternative to his former job as a fisherman. He found this a way of calling attention to marine animal conservation in Sri Lanka, and ever since has been giving back to the ocean in return.

His effort is respectable and worth supporting. I would love to come back to Mirissa and sail out with Raja & the whales again.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank yamayour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“The best Whale Watching by miles!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

Raja and the Whales is the most professional whale watching company in Mirissa. They put the whales first and the customers second which is great and very important for the conservation and sustainability of whales in Sri Lanka. We have been whale watching with raja twice. The first time in September we didn't see any whales and the sea was very rough. We were given all our money back so decided to try again late October.

In October we were lucky enough to see two whales, a mother and calf. Once spotted Raja slows down and let's the whales do what they want. We waited for around half an hour with the whales in sight surfacing and diving every few minutes. After a while the whales came right up the the stationary boat of their own accord and it was just amazing! Patience and an understanding of the whales is clearly what Raja has over his competitions and he is positive that if you show the whales distance and respect they don't mind being watched and will come and investigate on their own. One problem that Raja faces however is other boats following him. As we were stationary watching the whales two boats came racing over . He can no longer stay still and watch as the other boats now follow him around, disturbing the whales and charging a cheaper rate for customers.

Raja is very passionate about the whales and is currently doing research with the university on their patterns and the effects that tourists boats coming too close may have on the whales. He makes it clear that he will stick to world guidelines and asks customers not to request to get closer as his first priority is to make the whales feel comfortable. He is afraid if tour boats keep getting closer and closer to the whales it will disturb there migration patterns and impact on their future.

The crew on the boat cannot do enough for you. They want to make your morning as comfortable as possible and as soon as you board they offer tea and biscuits as well as sea sickness tablets. On board you also get a plate of fresh fruit and eggs and toast for breakfast. We got picked up directly from out guest house at 6.10 am and set off around 6.30.

Although Raja and the Whales is a bit more expensive than other tour boats the quality cannot be beaten. Research and conservation is there priority and they go out everyday to track and record the whales. Tourism helps to pay for this and part of the money that you pay for the trip gets out back into the whales.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Chelsea R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great Company”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2013

We tried to go whale watching but unfortunately the weather turned stormy and we did not see any whales. However and his crew were extremely friendly. My boyfriend got very sea- sick so they made him a bed in the cabin. At the end of the trip they gave everyone their money back because we did not see any whale. A very decent company and certainly one to support. I would highly recommend, as many friends have used this company before and all had good experiences.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Fibibitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Nice breakfast cruise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

No whales, but we saw dolphins. We were at the sea about 6 hours. So I think it was nice breakfast cruise to me. And breakfast was tasty and good. Some people get sick there, but the staff take good care of them. They are very professional and I really felt safe there. Because I didn't saw any whales Raja gave half of my money back! How many actually do that? Go with raja!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Susarope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“No whales but still great”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

Went out with Raja in October 2013. Didnt get to see any whales as they had moved further out. It was quite rough and some people on the boat weren't able for another hour at sea to get to them. But thats the luck of the draw! However we did see loads of spinner dolphins. And Raja gave us half our money back and offered a free trip out during our stay. Unfortunately I didnt have time to take him up on his offer. Breakfast is included. A lovely fruit plate and eggs.

The main reason I am recommending Raja is you can tell whales are his life, and not just a way to make money. He had researchers on the boat with us and follows the Be Whale Wise guidelines which is important to me. I want to see whales, but not distress them in any way!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank narfsnonsense
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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