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“Excellent, knowledgable and ethical”
Review of Raja & the Whales

Raja & the Whales
Ranked #3 of 66 Tours in Mirissa
Certificate of Excellence
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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 visit our website. The price for a whale watching trip is 6500 LKR for adults and 4000 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!
Reviewed 17 November 2013

While you can find cheaper whale trips in Mirissa, from what we could see Raja is a cut above the rest and worth paying a premium for. Free hotel pickup, large boat (solid, clean and stable - for sea sickness sufferers) and food and water on board. The staff are very knowledgable about the whales and care about making sure your trip doesn't disturb them. While we didn't get quite as close (as other, smaller boats chase and harass the whales), we stayed out for longer and as a result had a great experience. On our trip we saw three Bryde's whales (no Blue unfortunately) and had a really nice dolphin encounter.

Thank JamesTP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 107 reviews
"fruit platter"
in 88 reviews
"cake"
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in 158 reviews
"blue whale"
in 229 reviews
"whale watching"
in 336 reviews
"ginger biscuits"
in 53 reviews
"these guys"
in 97 reviews
"email address"
in 14 reviews
"toast"
in 41 reviews
"marine life"
in 57 reviews
"cooked breakfast"
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Reviewed 17 November 2013 via mobile

We read about the great reviews of Raja & teams from LP - and couldnt agree more.

- Pick us up from our hotel by sending us a tuk-tuk on time.
- Provide tea/coffee and mineral water
- A plate of fruits & Ginger biscuits
- Seasickness medicine (I didnt take)
- Bread & Omelete/Fried Egg
- Juice

We noticed that Raja's boat was the first one to leave the harbour and after every sighting alot of other operators will come chasing our boat (counted 8 boats).

Raja made it very clear that he has no intention to be close to the whales. It is up to the whale whether they would like to be close to us.

I feel in the whole trip we r not directly intruding to the whales activities and we were lucky when we were stationary a blue whale resurface close to the boat (100-150m) away.

Raja & team charged 6000LKR vs. other operators quoted us 4500LKR (plus..confirm sighting n near to the whale)

Iv

Thank annovix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

Thank yamayour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

1  Thank Chelsea R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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.

2  Thank Fibibitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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