Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. They can reach a length of 13 meters and weigh up to 12 tons. Whale sharks are not hunters, they swim comfortably through the water with their mouths open and ingest plankton. Encounters between humans and whale sharks are harmless, but care should be taken not to get too close to the giants. A fins rash of its size has a lot of strength and can quickly cause injuries to us little people. The largest sea creatures are unfortunately on the list of endangered species. Some countries, including China and Taiwan, still hunt whale sharks today as they are considered a delicacy.
Where a dream becomes reality:
Swimming with whale sharks
The giants of the sea
Donsol: swimming with whale sharks in natural conditions
The small village of Donsol in the province of Sorsogon is original, green and familiar. Even if Donsol attracts more and more tourists, swimming with whale sharks is controlled, takes place under natural conditions and without feeding the animals. For a booked tour, a maximum of 6 people take part on one boat. A guide is on the lookout for whale sharks and when he sees one, the group jumps into the water under the supervision of the guide. By not feeding the animals, you can get close to the giants in a natural way. However, this also means that you have no guarantee of encountering a whale shark.
Tours are offered between November and June. The best chance to see several whale sharks in one day is between February and April. Sightings of up to 25 whale sharks have been reported.
Registrations for a tour are made at the Whale Shark Center in Donsol. The tour costs (as of July 2019) 3,500 pesos (63 euros) and is shared by the participants. With 6 people, a 3-hour tour costs 585 pesos. There is an additional fee of 300 pesos for tourists wishing to rent snorkeling equipment. Before the start of the tour, an information and behavioral video is shown.
Tourist crowds on whale shark hunting in Oslob
The most famous place in the Philippines to swim with whale sharks is Oslob. People flock to the small village on the west coast of Cebu every day. The experience of swimming with a whale shark is indescribable. However, you also want the animals to be well, right? Oslob has clearly made a name for himself. For the suffering of the gigantic sea creatures. We do not recommend an election meeting in Oslob. It quickly becomes clear that this is primarily about the fun of the tourists and therefore they have a nice photo on the underwater camera.
There is more of an uncontrolled mass tourism in Oslob. Numerous boats come out in the morning and feed the electoral sharks. The boats line up. Each boat is given a time window in which the tourists can then jump into the water. Touching the animals is forbidden, but very few take care of that. We don't want to diminish the experience with a whale shark, but we recommend Donsol as an alternative. There, the tourist attraction did not upset the natural rhythm of the animals.