It was one of those perfectly still mornings at Tintswalo Atlantic, where the ocean is such a deep shade of blue that you wonder if it’s possible to get any more spectacular. The evening before, two guests got engaged in the glow of a candle-lit dinner, and the next morning were back out on the breakfast deck having coffee. Just then a pair of Southern Right Whales appeared in the bay and settled just beyond the breakers—right in front of the lodge.
Tintswalo GM Ryno du Rand exclaimed shouted: “The whales are mating!” He brought out the binocs and confirmed that the whales were indeed embroiled in an underwater mating dance, appearing every now and then on the surface to spout puffs of misty water into the air.
It’s relatively common to see whales in the bay at this time of year, but seeing a pair mating is very rare—especially this close to shore. A drone was launched over the whales to get a unique perspective of this rare occurrence. Paul Steyn took this rare video of whales mating Hout Bay.
The whale season
Southern right whales generally arrive on the coast of South Africa around June, having swum over from the southern oceans around Antarctica where they feed for half the year. They love the safety of the Cape coast as a sheltered place to calve their young, and by the end of October, they are gone again.
If you time it right, you can stand on the Chapman’s Peak mountain above Hout Bay and spot the whales breaking the surface and spraying their giant spouts into the sky.
And down on the rocks at Tintswalo, there’s a front row seat to the show.
Adds Du Rand: “It’s true that Tintswalo is renowned as one of the most romantic spots in Cape Town, a place where couples come to soak in the beautiful scenery, but we had no idea that the whales knew this too!”
In addition to Tintswalo Atlantic being an awesome ocean viewing spot, the venue also offers top class cuisine. Heads-up on times for meals at the lodge: Tintswalo Atlantic welcomes outside guests for breakfast (8am – 10am), lunch (12pm – 3pm, last sitting at 1:30pm) and dinner (6pm – 10pm, last sitting at 7.30pm). Booking is essential.