One of the most famous attractions of Cebu Island is swimming with whale sharks at Oslob!
Where is Oslob? How to get there?
Oslob is located at the south point of Cebu Island, so if you are in Cebu City it takes 6 hours of bus ride from the South station of Cebu City without hazards. Or if you are from Moalboal (if you follow my route) 2h30 by bus. From Moalboal, take the bus at 4AM (be patient). Stop at Samboan and take a second bus to Oslob.
So I’m sure you’ve seen these incredible pictures on Instagram of super good girls and boys swimming a whale shark? And of course, when you see this kind of photos, the magic of Instagram + egocentrism of the human being that YOU WANT this photo too.
Well, know that these instagram photos hide a lot of truth ..
1. The mass of tourists
2.It’s a real business
In reality, Whale sharks are in a “net fish cage” so that they cannot espace the shore. As you can see from this drone shot, it is very well organized! Boats are lined up while whale sharks are being fed on each side of the boats so that tourists can see them, swim next to them (snorkelling or scuba diving).
Tourism is not a bad thing, actually locals need it to support financially themselves. But it would be better if it was ethical and in respect with the wildlife and environment.
3. Photos are hard to take!
From my experience, I remember the water being so salty, the waves kind of strong that it was actually very really difficult to swim down and take #instagramworthy photos! Plus, I was pretty nervous to swim by the whale sharks as their were enormous! I could have been easily swallowed by one of them! And even though you are not allow to touch them, they were still very close to you and their long tale could accidentally touch your feet if you don’t pay attention! It was hard to navigate around them but at least…thanks to my friend I have my photo..! Do you like it?! haha #kungfukick
Now the question is, Is it really worth it?
To be honest, no. It’s not ethical for the environment and the whale sharks natural behaviour and habitat are being jeopardised.
As a visitor, I’d rather explore a place in respect with the environment.
However, there are other places than Oslob where you can ethically swim with wild whale sharks that are actually protected! The spots are, Donsol, in the south of Leyte and the Tubbataha Reef.
Comment below to share your thoughts! Would you swim with whale sharks or not?
Author: Léah with an H