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Oslob Whale Shark Watching
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Reviewed January 17, 2019

Yes, I agree with many other travelers, the sharks may have been "domesticated' and the crowds of tourists that flock to this place don't make much sense, but in the end, when you return and want to tell about your Philippines trip, for sure you will talk first about this.
It is such a special activity that you will find no parallel. It is not dangerous, nor adventurous, everything is closely monitored and planned. But when you look at the pictures you cannot gasp, wow, that is me with the shark!
There is just a short ride from the shore, maybe 100 yd, and you stay on the water for about 30 minutes. It is enough to get a feeling of this attraction. You will probably not do it again, but you are happy that you did it!

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank LATraveller_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 13, 2019 via mobile

I'm also aware of the controversial discussion of the whaleshark-event in Oslob. If it helps to raise sensitivity for nature to a wider public then it might also have positive effects. I can't assess if it's extreme stress for the animals or if over times they just got used to it. Before they have been hunted, now they were attracted by food and exposed to hundreds of tourists every day. I hope this is still the better option for them, undoubtedly it's a fascinating experience to swim so close with these beautiful animals.

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank andy_am
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 12, 2019 via mobile

Against my better judgement, I went to swim with the whale sharks. I totally regret going.

This is pure exploitation--both the animals and the tourists. The sharks have been domesticated and they follow a boat that feeds them. Meanwhile the tourists are crammed into boats and the boats are so close to each other that they physically touch. You get in the water and there is so little room that you are pretty much guaranteed to be kicked by or to kick another tourist. You are supposed to be at least 5m away from the animals, but the distance between the tourist boats and the feeder boat is only about 2-3m. So you actually have to avoid the sharks to protect yourself from getting hit by their tailfins. The water stinks from all of the food being thrown into the water, and it's quite cloudy as well. Disgusting, disgraceful, exploitative and ignorant.

Please don't support this hideous industry. If you go out diving and happen upon a whale shark, that will be a true experience. Don't fall for this tourist trap.

Date of experience: January 2019
10  Thank Steve T
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 9, 2019

We snorkeled with the whale sharks at Oslob which was awesome. The only down side, as so many reviews say, is the pure volume of people who are both waiting and swimming. Its best to get there as early as possible and if possible avoid weekends and public holidays. Once you have paid, you join a briefing session telling you what you can and cannot do. Then you wait for your available boat to take you out and tie up in a determined location along with all the other boats. Small boats go up and down, leaving a trail of food in the water, which the whale sharks follow. This enables you to get very close up for around 30 minutes. Well worth it.

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank NEMO3
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 8, 2019

This is an activity that I have wanted to do for sometime and finally managed to plan it in my itinerary.

We stayed at Downsouth 118 a resort about 20 mins away from the whaleshark activity. Beautiful clean budget resort right on the waeer.

They arrange the activity transportation towells etc for 1500p per person. I think it is around 1000P per person for the activity so can be done cheaper if organised oneself.

Get there well before 6am and it gets very busy.

I know that there has been an ethical debate about this activity but I see nothing wrong with it.

There is a compulsory briefing with the dos and don't. There are watchers in the water that ensure you don't touch or go to close. The boats are not motorised so as not to stress or scare the whales.

It was an absolutely amazing experience and a must do.

Date of experience: December 2018
2  Thank tommomelbourne
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