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The whale sharks of Donsol are possibly the largest school in
the world, making it one of the places to definitely visit during
the peak time. The sharks are protected here, only snorkeling is
The whale sharks of Donsol are possibly the largest school in the world, making it one of the places to definitely visit during the peak time. The sharks are protected here, only snorkeling is allowed in Donsal Bay, although it is possible to dive with them in nearby areas. The best and most reliable interactions are in Donsal Bay, where these sharks come right up to the surfaces. During the interaction sessions, you can go out in small boats with a guide and spotter. The local fishermen have been retrained as guides and spotters and will find you the whale sharks. As soon as they spot one, you can dress up with a mask, snorkel, and fins, as the boat positions its self so that there is time to jump in the water before the sharks reach you. Then you can swim along the gentle giants.
Diving is also available at other places nearby including Manta Bowl, where there is a good chance of spotting them on scuba along with other pelagic. Since these are wild animals, there is never a guarantee of spotting one but here it comes guaranteed. One a good day you can spot at least 20 and some have seen up to 45 a day. And the best part is that it is a very reasonable package, costing around $300.
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean. In Donsol, typical whale shark size is about 4-12 meters. The largest record being 12.65 meters but some report up to 18 meters. They weigh up to 40 tons. Donsol is home to schools of these amazing creatures as they migrate here in vast numbers to take advantage of the dense food concentration of plankton and krill which is their main diet. The main spotting season is from December to May, best being February to April, which is also the busiest time, so book in advance. So when in the Philippines, do swim with the whale sharks.