We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Circus which should be boycotted!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Oslob Whale Shark Watching

Oslob Whale Shark Watching
Tan-awan | Oslob, 6025, Philippines
+63 925 897 8687
Improve this listing
Ranked #15 of 106 Activities in Cebu Island
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Whale sharks can be seen in a small barangay Tan-awan, which is 10 km away from the center town of Oslob. Whale shark watching in Cebu started last September 2011 and it became popular all over the world when the news hit in the internet last November 2011. By December 2011, local fishermen's interact with the whale sharks by feeding them that result to flocking of tourist to the beach of Tan-awan. Large numbers of tourists began arriving in Oslob not just to see the whale sharks being fed but also to snorkel or dive with them.
Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
“Circus which should be boycotted!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Living in the Philippines, I had to go and check out what all the rumors were about... Well, it surely didn't let me down!

First of all the entrance fees are ridiculously high (not mentioning that they charge the foreigners 3 times what they charge the locals), the fees are the equivalent of a week diving in Tubataha.... It is high way robbery for a 30 minutes experience!

You then have to listen to a compulsory briefing given from people who have no understanding about whale sharks...

And then the circus starts! You will go in what was used to be a 2 men fishing canoe and you will have 30 minutes of snorkeling or diving with the whale sharks. One of the ex fishermen will round the whales sharks up by throwing food at them and they will follow the small boat.

You will see them heads up, tail down, rocking the canoe for more food, a non natural behavior at all. You will see callus on their mouth as they have been rocking the boats so many time. Some of them have propellers cuts....

It was a really poor sight... In all honesty, go to Donsol where the fees are reasonable and you will whale sharks behaving naturally.

Boycott this place!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

425 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Once in a Lifetime Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Had the most remarkable swim with the group of whale sharks, what heavenly creatures they are. A word of caution, the current can be quite strong, so if you are not a good swimmer, make sure you have a life vest on, should you decide to snorkle with the sharks. An experience, you will not regret.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

Its a must to see and experience the majestic sea creature in oslob, you can also do snorkling and have a close encounter with this sea creature. its very educational and its highly recommended for family:)

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“A Once in a Lifetime Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The main reason for visiting Cebu was to see the Whale Sharks at Oslob. We were able to find a local driver to take us for the day for 2,500 pesos from a resort in Moalboal. We left at 04:30am and it took us two hours to drive from Moalboal to Oslob. (on the way back we checked out the waterfalls) This was one of the best days I have ever experienced. For 1,000 pesos (tourists) 500 pesos for Filipinos you can spend 30 minutes snorkelling with the whale sharks just a few hundred metres of shore, absolutely magnificent. It was an amazing once in a life time experience. As other people have mentioned in their reviews, go weekdays and get there early. We arrived at 6:30am and were in the water by 7am. With less people and less wind it was worth getting there early. You have a short briefing and are advised not to touch and keep your distance, 3 metres I think they said. The whale sharks however will come up so close as the fisherman are feeding them. We didnt touch them but were within inches at times and saw about 5 whales sharks ranging from 5-7 metres long. It was so good we went back for another 30 minutes after we had a break. The second time, about 9am, was already much busier and increased wind, so the first experience was better. There have been other comments about the possible negative effects of the fisherman feeding the whale sharks but there are many positives here! They are only fed in the morning and they are not fed anywhere near enough to sustain such large creatures so they must be naturally feeding for the rest of the day. Having the almost 100% guaranteed chance to swim with these amazing Whale Sharks promotes conservation also. This experience is truly amazing, anyone who visits will go back and tell everyone what a brilliant time they had and this also cannot only increase awareness but will help to protect such wonderful creatures. By visiting here you get an unforgettable experience, you help the local economy and promote the protection of the whale sharks. This experience was one that I can now tick off on my bucket list. You have to travel a bit to get here but it is definitely worth it.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quezon City, Quezon City, Philippines
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“This attraction became the highlight of my first Cebu trip.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

And it ought to be.

Just going to the city from the main city of Cebu will let you see a soul-soothing constant view of the sea and the shore. You'll pass by a series of interesting cities with their own attractions that will build up your spirits until you reach Oslob.

The whale shark watching adventure was one of the best things I have done, and I will probably do it again. It is cheap and affordable and will let you see and realize the majestic appearance of the biggest creature in the sea.

I was lucky to have been there on a weekday that is why there are only a few tourists in the area. people were helpful and friendly. They also improved on the rules and handling of the whale shark to make sure that these creatures are not abused.

Compared to Donsol where these creatures are becoming rare, Oslob is visited by 10-18 whale sharks daily and that is a lot!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Oslob Whale Shark Watching also viewed

Oslob, Cebu Island
Moalboal, Cebu Island
Cebu Island, Visayas
Malapascua Island, Cebu Island

Been to Oslob Whale Shark Watching? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Oslob Whale Shark Watching, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.