Whale Shark Watching With Children

A question which is often asked is “is whale shark watching suitable for young children?”. The answer is it depends on the children.

Whale shark watching here in Southern Leyte involves a full day boat tour. If we are lucky we find whale sharks quickly, but occasionally it takes 2 or more hours to find them so patience is required. Most importantly you need to be able to swim competently and use a snorkel and mask to watch the whale sharks. Our youngest guest so far to swim with the whale sharks was just 7 (and quite small for his age) and he had a wonderful time and spent a long time swimming with 2 different whale sharks.

So taking a young child to see the whale sharks is perfectly feasible. A good tip is to arrange a private tour just for your family so that the day can be tailored to your needs. Also bring fins for the child as renting fins for children below 10 years could be problematic. Finally if you have children who are too young to swim with the whale sharks, they may well be able to accompany you on the tour and enjoy dolphin watching, swimming, playing on the beach, etc. Subject to conditions, young children may also be able to ride in one of the spotter’s canoes and see a whale shark from there which is what our daughter did when she was just 3 1/2. On the Padre Burgos Castle Resort tours we arrange a child-minder to accompany families and help look after children on the tour.

By the way, the oldest guest we’ve taken to swim with the whale sharks was 84 years, so whale shark watching is definitely an activity for the whole family!

P.S. We took a young couple and their 19 month old son out yesterday (6th April, 2013), and they enjoyed the full day tour with the parents being more than satisfied swimming right next to 2 magnificent whale sharks.

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