Our Whale Shark Experience
Sorry for starting this article a bit skeptical. Swimming with whale sharks sounds like an amazing experience, and it is. But after seeing how this works at Oslob, we felt bad. We didn’t read any bad things about swimming with whale sharks in Oslob, so what we expected was a lot of people on a big boat, sailing away from the coast out on the sea. From there, we would jump into the water and see the whale sharks. However, the situation was much less attractive.
The people who run the company feed the Whale Sharks every morning, and not in the middle of the sea but just 50 meters away from the beach where we stayed. That’s a weird spot to swim with whale sharks, don’t you think?
Now that we’ve explained the real scenario, we still like to provide you with information and tips about this activity, in case you still want to do it.
Swimming with Whale Sharks in Oslob, The Philippines
It’s best to stay in or near Oslob. Don’t book a tour to the whale shark diving spot. Arrange a tricycle, jeepney, or taxi and get to Tan-Awan village, 10 km to the south of Oslob.
Good to know before swimming with whale sharks:
- Get up early, be there around 5:45, and you’ll be on the first boat.
- Do not put sunscreen on! This isn’t healthy for the whale sharks.
- When you’re in the water, try to keep a certain distance (6+ meters) from the animal. Never touch this protected species, and watch out for their tails.
Swimming with whale sharks is safe as long as you stick to the rules.
How to get to Oslob?
Ride a bus to Oslob at Cebu South Bus Terminal, which lies just beside the Elizabeth Mall. Don’t worry about getting on the wrong bus because there will be boards displayed clearly to guide you on which bus goes where. If you want to be absolutely certain, the guards and staff are friendly and will be more than happy to offer assistance.
Whale Sharks in Donsol
Probably a better place to watch Whale Sharks is in Donsol. As far as we know, they don’t feed the whale sharks here, so spotting them can be more difficult. They are very clear about the rules and will make sure you stick to them, making this a better place to go to. Scuba diving and flash photography are prohibited, for example. Check out Bicol Dive Center in Donsol, the Philippines.
Where to Stay
If you’re choosing to go swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines, Donsol is the better option. Both here and in Oslob, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options.