Meet and Greet Massive Whale Sharks

sHARE TO facebook twitter mail
expdetail

Snorkeler with whale shark, Oslob. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino

Known in the local tongue as “butanding,” the whale shark is the largest extant specie of fish, reaching lengths of almost 13 meters. Don't be put off by their shark-ness: these creatures are gentle giants, filter-feeders that feed solely on microscopic plankton.

Whale sharks have made top tourist hotspots of Donsol, Sorsogon and Oslob, Cebu, where one can “meet and mingle” with them. From the beach, tourists can hire rowboats to the butanding’s feeding grounds and snorkel for half an hour whilst the gentle giants swim about. The tour itself will clock in at three hours, during which tourists can kick back on the boat and look on at the whale sharks from above.

Whale shark season is from November to December in Oslob, and December to June in Donsol. In Oslob, whale watching rates are at PHP500 (US$11) per head. To swim with the whales, local tourists pay an added fee of PHP500 and foreign tourists PHP1,000 (US$22) apiece. In Donsol, boats (good for 6-7 persons) can be rented for PHP3,500 (US$75). Local tourists are required to pay a tourist fee of PHP100 (US$2) while foreigners pay PHP300 (US$6) per head, on top of optional fees for snorkeling gear (PHP150-300, or US$3-6).

Bear in mind that feeding or touching the whale sharks is prohibited. Be wary of tours that implement feeding as a way to lure whale sharks into view. Ecologically responsible tours advocate the least possible interference with these majestic creatures.


Canoes circle Oslob's whale sharks. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino.


Snorkeler with whale shark, Oslob. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino.

Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
For other unique animal experiences in Southeast Asia, go to Cambodia to see river dolphins in the Mekong, or watch birds in their natural habitat at Tonle Sap. A little further afield, you'll find the great Komodo Dragons of Indonesia around the Flores islands.


TOUR packages

View All
Amazing Journey: 9 Southeast Asian Countries
tour packages

This comprehensive 29-day, 28-night tour of nine Southeast Asia countries will fill up your soul as surely as it will fill up...

VIEW DETAILS
Trekking, Driving and Cruising Through Four Countries
tour packages

Trip worth remembering! From Yangon in Myanmar , you'll head to the Golden Triangle dividing three countries, and end at ...

VIEW DETAILS
Brunei & Sarawak, City to City
tour packages

Jaunt between borders covering two neighboring cities: Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei; Miri in Sarawak, Malaysia; and everythi...

VIEW DETAILS

MASTERCARD'S PRICELESS EXPERIENCES

View All
Universal Studios Singapore®
tour packages

Exclusive Privileges at Universal Studios® Singapore

VIEW DETAILS
Accor Hotels
tour packages

Enjoy every moment of your stay with Accor Hotels in Asia Pacific

VIEW DETAILS
Viceroy, Bali
tour packages

• Helicopter Tours - Kintamani Volcano Sky Tour, Bedugul Lake Sky Tour, Uluwatu Coastline Sky Tour, Kuta Beach & Ta...

VIEW DETAILS

AIR AND CAR BOOKINGS

View All
The Best Way To See Asean
tour packages

Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...

VIEW DETAILS
Hertz Car Rental Deals
tour packages

Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% off

VIEW DETAILS

HOTEL DEALS

View All
Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh
tour packages

Rate is per room per night inclusive of breakfast and internet but subject to 10% VAT, 2% Accommodation and 10% Service charg...

VIEW DETAILS
One Farrer Hotel & Spa
tour packages

Reach for the sky with our exclusive deals! Enjoy a peaceful and leisurely stay in our Skyline Hotel, and wake up to beautifu...

VIEW DETAILS
Holiday Inn® Atrium
tour packages

Enjoy a well-deserved break at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium.

VIEW DETAILS