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Whale Shark watching in Oslob

Posted by on 2013-02-08
Whale Shark

Whale Shark

Philippines became world famous for Whale Shark watching due the fact that those huge creatures seasonly pass near the shores of Donsol.
Things changed when in 2011, the fishermen in a small place called Tan-awan, 10km south of Oslob, started to daily feed the Whale Sharks.
Allowing to watch them all year-round, and for longer [periods of time.
White most travelers reported to be an unforgettable experience, others felt more like being in a zoo because the animals are still being feed by the fishermen.
If you want to take the best of this experience and make it unique, my advice is:

  • Go by yourself, not on a tour
    Even if you are on a time constrain.
  • Go as early as possible. Preferably around 6am
    This way you will arrive before the hordes of tour boats
    The best is to overnight in Tan-awan
  • Choose a day with good visibility and when the tide is low

Whale Shark Video with Jaws theme song


Entrance Fee

In 2011 it was only required to give the fishermen a fee, but as it grow in popularity so did the fee. At the time of the writing(2013) the entrance fee is already 1000php.

Budget Accommodation

In 2012, a dorm open in Tan-awan, with 300php per bed. More hotels, resorts and hostels are expected to open over time.

To Dive or to Snorkel

If the day is sunny and the tide is low, the conditions are perfect to observe every detail of the animal from the surface. Diving is not necessary to fully feel the experience.
If you prefer to observe from all angles then diving is possible and offered at the location.

How many

In a normal morning, you can observe from 1 to 5 whale sharks. Some people reported me to have seen up to 9 whale shark in a single morning.

Map to Tan-awan full screen


Getting there From Cebu

Take the Bus in the direction of Oslob from the Cebu South Bus Station.
The journey takes about 3h-4h depending on the traffic.
Ask the bus driver or the ticket seller to drop you of where are the Whale Sharks. The price differs from Non Air-con to Air-con.
Plus, there is a small terminal fee to be payed in Cebu South Bus Station.
If you are coming from the Cebu Airport take a taxi(ask where are the white taxis. They are cheaper) to the Cebu South Bus Station.


Whale Shark

Whale Shark


Getting there From Dumaguete

From downtown, near the Vintage Inn, take a jeepney to Sibulan Boat Pier then take the boat to Lilo-an. For last, In Lilo-An take the bus to Tan-awan, in the direction of Oslob.
Just tell the bus driver to drop you at the Whale Sharks.
Although the distance between Dumaguete and Tan-awan is short, with the waiting distances, it can take from 1h to 2h to get there.

Finding the place

At the drop off point on the main road, just walk a bit and look in the shore direction for a gate with whale sharks painted. You can’t miss it!

 
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16 Responses to Whale Shark watching in Oslob

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    • traveltoix

      I went to Oslob, about one year before I wrote the post.
      A year later, I went to Moalboal, and advice many travelers to go to Oslob to see the whale sharks, and then they give me feedback.
      I wrote the post while I was in Dumaguete. There was already many travelers going to Oslob.
      I collected all the feedback, but none was able to give some details like: bus price and the name of the dorm that opened nearby.
      Within one year, the tourism industry boosted there, so any further information might become quickly outdated.

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      • Noe

        Hi Daniel,The pattern is not yet known in Oslob. Feeding the whlshaearks in an effort to get them to stick around for the tourist is a rather new development.In Donsol, Luzon November is a slow season but I have seen 3 in one day in November before. In Donsol the migration is natural and the peak season is Feb and March. ( but I have had good sightings in Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, April and May in Donsol but best in late Jan to April )In Oslob, Cebu no one really knows what will happen maybe the whale sharks will become permanent residents.Sogod Bay in southern Leyte gets a few whale sharks at times too, and the water and coral there is superb. Limasawa Island off the south end of Leyte near Padre Burgos gets some good sightings too. I see dutch harbor in your email address are you from Alaska?cheersdp

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      • Gaofen

        Hi, Great blog! You had mentioned seoewhmre accommodations in Oslob, Tanawan? I can’t find it. Could you please let me know the phone number and name, contact details again? I’m in Cebu now and heading towards Oslob due to reading your blog! thanks, C

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