Though today Sri Lanka is world-renowned for its spectacular pods of whales and dolphins that traverse the Indian Ocean throughout the year, this was once hazy knowledge. It was in the 1980s that early research was initiated with the aim of monitoring sperm whales suspected to be circling the East Coast. The result was not just a spectacular revelation into the density of sperm whales in the area which amounted as the highest in the world: it also offered a look into the existence of the mighty blue whale, alongside other whales such as fin whales and humpbacks, as well as dolphins.
Sri Lanka is now the proud host of a wide variety of these graceful, behemoth mammals and schools of playful dolphins that have entranced tourists for years. Different times of year sees them surfacing in different parts of the island’s vibrant ocean and, from May to October, it is time for the Eastern coast to shine. Right now, they can be spotted along Trincomalee’s stretch of sea, with Uga Escapes’ Jungle Beach providing an excellent spot from which to set off on whale- and dolphin-watching excursions.
Jungle Beach is one of Uga’s key properties, particularly owing to its unique treehouse-like setup. Its name reflects the property’s natural plant life that has been entwined in its design and architecture. Uga has artistically blended nature with luxury, resulting in an enigmatic mix that offers guests an experience they never even knew they needed. Travellers can take their pick from three types of rooms, which include facing the beach, overlooking the lagoon and views of the jungle.
Also located in the vicinity, is Uga Escapes’ luxury beach resort, Uga Bay. Though this too offers a fantastic location from which to experience the thrills of the ocean, it is vastly different from Jungle Escapes. It is elegantly positioned on one of Sri Lanka’s most admired beaches, Pasikudah, famed for its pristine sandy coast and cerulean sea.
Trincomalee is buzzing with activity especially during the whale-watching season, so visitors can look forward to snorkelling escapades, diving, jet skiing and sailing. The hot springs are also prime for a visit, as is Koneswaram temple. If guests are heading out for a spot of whale and dolphin watching, Uga Escapes recommends booking an early morning slot, as they are most active at dawn.