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 bluer or more spectacular.
The evening before, two of our guests became engaged by the glow of a candle-lit dinner and were now out on the breakfast deck having their morning coffee; no doubt in a blissful daze, enjoying what must have been the perfect morning. But little did they know that their morning was about to get even more romantic.
A pair of Southern Right Whales appeared in the bay and settled just beyond the breakers—right in front of the lodge. As the couple sat down to eat their romantic breakfast, they were treated to a magical display as the whales frolicked, turned, rolled and waved their giant flippers in the morning sun.
“The whales are mating!” exclaimed Ryno, Tintswalo’s General Manager.
He brought out the binoculars 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. Luckily, we managed to find a drone and launched it up and over the whales to get a unique perspective of this rare occurrence.
The whale season
The 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.
Our newly-engaged couple spent the morning on the deck, looking up every now and then to see the whales break the surface. 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 new this too.
A perfect morning at Tintswalo had become something for the books, and it’s safe to say that the happy couple left even more in love than when they arrived.