Donsol Butanding Tour

Donsol, Sorsogon

Swimming with whale sharks was featured as the Best Animal Encounter in Asia by Time Magazine in 2004. Whale sharks can be seen between November and June, with presence peaking between February and May.

The presence of whale Sharks in the town of Donsol was known to the local residents over 100 years. But the locals believed these gentle giants were dangerous. In 1997 a group of scu ...

ba divers interacted and came in contact with the Whale Sharks.

Copy of video footage taken by the group was passed on to the media and the WWF-Philippines. By March 1998, Donsol became world-class tourist destination and now known as the "Whale Shark Capital of the World".

Interaction with the whale sharks is regulated by the local Department of Tourism office. WWF guidelines are generally observed to protect the sharks. Rules include limiting the number of swimmers per boat to six, no scuba divers and staying further than three meters from the sharks.

Donsol Butanding Eco-Tour Whale Shark Watching News

  • Assignment Asia Swimming With Whale Sharks

    Whale shark tourism is a growing industry in the Philippines, attracting thousands of visitors and generating millions of dollars in income every year. But environmentalists say excessive interaction with humans and the practice of feeding the whale sharks are harming the endangered species. Barnaby Lo traveled to Oslob and Donsol, two coastal towns with different ways of giving people close encounters with the gentle giants of the sea.

  • Whale Sharks And Eco Tourism In The Philippines

    When I was growing up I was adamant I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, I had posters on my walls of dolphins and other cetaceans. The sea and the ocean were a big part of my childhood growing up near the coast and rummaging around rock pools, catching crabs with my two brothers was entertainment.

    After deciding that finding actual work as a marine biologist might be a challenge I ventured down the path of pharmaceuticals and ended up studying pharmacology at university only to be turned off at the prospect of working for the pharmaceutical industry. My passion for the ocean however has neve ...

  • Tourism Exec Says More Butanding Sightings In Donsol In 2017

    The whale sharks or "butanding", known to show up between December to May off the waters of Donsol in Sorsogon, are slowly coming back.

    "There are now three to eight sightings reported daily," said Maria O. Ravanilla, Department of Tourism (DOT)-Bicol director.

    Over the past several years officials have been noting a lesser number of sightings of the whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), popularly known as "butanding" in Donsol.

    Ravanilla said it was less than five sightings during the past years with around one to two in 2014 and less than five in 2015 and 2016.

    The dwindling number of ...

  • Planning To Swim With Whale Sharks In the Philippines? Read This First

    Animal attractions are a lot of fun and they make for good Instagram photos. Especially swimming with whale sharks. It's in many tourists' bucket list. How cool is it to actually swim with the biggest species of fish in the ocean?

    Swimming with whale sharks is generally okay, as long as responsible practices are followed. But this isn't always the case. In the Philippines, two areas are visited for its whale shark tourism. Oslob is the more popular one, but it's also questionable ecologically speaking. On the other hand, Donsol is the better, ethical choice.

    Whale sharks: Get to know the ...

  • Donsol 2017 On The Trail Of Whale Sharks

    Like many divers, I have been on the trail of whale sharks. From Malapascua to Ticao Island, Apo Reef (Occidental Mindoro) and Sogod Bay, I took Travel Dive Connect where there was the possibility of a whale shark encounter in the wild. I had imagined such encounter to be one of those gasp-inducing wow moments. And, true enough, it was.

    Donsol 2017 – which I now call "my best dive trip, so far" – was my lucky turn, a first encounter with whale sharks that's also a bitter-sweet glimpse of an idyllic municipality built around ecotourism.

    Donsol, Sorsogon, dubbed as a "prime example of ...

  • Best Places To Visit In The Philippines

    Let's start this 2017 with a round-up of the best places to visit in the Philippines. This list features every must-see attractions in the Philippines, from the islands in Palawan to recent highlights such as Kalanggaman Island in Leyte — as recommended by local and international travel influencers.

    This list of best places to visit in the Philippines is useful as a checklist for local travelers ("Have you visited them all?") or as a guide for foreign travelers spending a few weeks in the country.

    Cavite

    Tagaytay

    Tagaytay is definitely a must-see in the Philippines. When you visi ...