Whale & Dolphin Watching
Timor-Leste is a premier destination for whale and dolphin watching in Southeast Asia. In October 2016, a scientific trip with Conservation International came to assess the country’s whale diversity. They encountered 2,287 cetaceans from 11 species, including superpods of up to 600 individuals. Additionally, out of the 90 species of cetacean anywhere underwater in the world, they surveyed 30+ living in Timor-Leste. These include both native breeds like melon-headed whales and migratory species such as humpback whales.
You are coasting to Ataúro on translucent seas when, all of a sudden, hundreds of dolphins jump out of the water and race alongside your boat. You look to the other end of the ocean and can see the world’s biggest living creature: a blue whale. This once-in-a-lifetime experience seems like a dream, but is a fairly regular occurrence here. As the island lies directly between the Wetar and Ombai Straits, it is a major migratory route for whales and dolphins from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans.
Although, whales and dolphins can be seen year round, October, November, and December are peak migratory season. Pods of hundreds of varied species, including the internally renowned blue and humpback whales, can be viewed at this time. Seeing these majestic in the wild is an unforgettable experience, made even more memorable when you are within 5 meters of them!
For whale and dolphin viewing charters during migration season, contact ATKOMA to help you organize a tour.
Note: Keep your eye out heading over by boat from Dili. Sightings are common at any time of year!