Whale news


On Saturday afternoon a Whale Shark beached on Camps Bay Beach, rough seas and high swells complicating the operation on Sunday to remove the Whale Shark, which died when attempts to return it to the ocean failed.  (more…)

In what appears to be unusual, killer whales (also known as Orcas) have been found to be on the attack of Great White sharks in local waters. Even more unusual is that the organs of the Great White sharks have been targeted, and removed by the Orcas. The Orca attacks are making international headlines, this being such a rare phenomenon.  (more…)

imageLast Saturday evening my friend Giulio Loggerian and I dined at La Sosta restaurant in Swellendam, which won Eat Out Best Italian restaurant in 2014. It was an unusual experience in a number of respects, especially in that the owners themselves describe La Sosta as an ‘Italian restaurant with a twist’! (more…)

Humpback whale breaching Optus commercialWe are very partial to whales, as is obvious from our company name.  It was on Facebook that I saw the most wonderful and moving TV commercial for Optus, the second largest communications company in Australia, created by M&C Saatchi Sydney.

Wishing to communicate the client’s efficacy at communication, the (more…)

South-African-Airways-3-720x330-702x330 pouring wineCity Press reported over the weekend that SAA sommelier and Global Food and Beverage Manager, Bongi Sodladla, was feted with bribes and incentives to offer wine purchase contracts to those wineries which greased her palms.  Had Bribery Bongi not been going through  a divorce, and had her still-current husband Wonga Sodladla not been so generous with information sent to SAA last month about his wife’s misdemeanours, SAA, the wine industry, and the South African public would never have known what was going on behind the scenes of SAA’s wine buying!

We first heard of Bribery Bongi in October last year, when she appeared in an episode of Season 3 of MasterChef (more…)

Bocca Interior Whale CottageThe opening of Bocca (meaning ‘mouth’ in Italian) Restaurant on Bree Street was eagerly awaited, having been held up by a last piece of paper to be approved by the City of Cape Town.  Three weeks after opening the Italian-style restaurant, seating about 90, is packed to the rafters, doing more than 200 covers per day most days.  Following a lunch last week, waiting for a car repair a block away, I enjoyed a special lunch with tastes of a number of the dishes on the Bocca menu on Tuesday.  The restaurant had been introduced to me in August already.

I was invited by Five Star PR owner Janie van der Spuy, with freelancer writers Jenny Handley and Bianca Coleman, Mail and Guardian‘s Amit Raz and Brent Meersman, and Katharine Jacobs of Eat Out.   We were joined by co-owners Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, who opened Burrata at the Old Biscuit Mill in 2012.   Having bought two pizza ovens from Naples when they opened Burrata,  it was a long-term plan to open a second pizza restaurant in CapeBocca Neil Grant Whale Cottage Town. Pizzas bake at  a temperature of up to 485°C.  The two owners looked at a number of properties in the city centre, but the unusual venue on the corner of Bree and Wale Streets grew on them, allowing them space to add a mezzanine level, as well as an outside deck, which is already a hit, and attracts attention from passers-by. More space is available if they need more in future. Bocca is the only pizza restaurant on Bree Street. Natural oak wooden slats have been used throughout, from the exterior cladding, to steps into the restaurant, on the deck, and inside the restaurant, on its walls, and serving as banisters on the metal staircase, giving an (more…)

Camps Bay beach Blue FlagThe Western Cape has 27 Blue Flag beaches, the largest percentage of the 45 Blue Flag beaches awarded in our country in total this year. More than 4000 Blue Flag beaches have been accredited world-wide.  In addition, five marinas and six whale-watching boats were accredited, and some pilot Blue Flag beaches have been announced.  All the beaches in the Hessequa Municipality (Stilbaai, Witsand, Gouritzmond, and more) have achieved Blue Flag status.

The Blue Flag status of each beach is done by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, based on international standards for water and beach cleanliness, water and sand quality, and environmental education and management, set by the Foundation for Environmental Education.  The number of Blue Flag beaches awarded locally is growing year on year since the beach accreditation system was introduced in our country 13 years ago.

The Blue Flag Beaches, and accredited marina and whale-watching boats, in the Western Cape are the following: (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   British Airways has been fined R21,7 million by the South African Competition Tribunal for fuel surcharge price-fixing with Virgin Atlantic between 2004 – 2006, on the SA and UK routes.

*   Cape Town and Camps Bay have been featured in the Indian dance show ‘Dare2Dance‘, SA Tourism Country Manager for India Hanneli Slabber having sent links of two videos.  The Camps Bay dance scene with a blindfolded dancer on a platform dangling above the ocean, with Camps Bay in the background, is breathtaking, and sure to create huge interest in the suburb.

*   Hermanus is one of nine ‘The best places in the world to be right now’, according to The Daily Telegraph, for a ‘front- (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Good news for our local tourism is the updated forecast of the economic growth of the UK, now at 3,2%, for 2014, the highest growth of all developed countries!   The UK was once the most important tourism source for Cape Town.

*   five hundred at The Saxon is the only South African restaurant to be included in Huffington Post‘s international list of Best New Chef”s Tables, praised for its six course Tasting Menu, each course prepared by Chef David Higgs paired with Ruinart champagne.  Cost is R4900.

*   We are delighted to have been included in the 100 Africa Travel Experts on Twitter list.

*   Wesgro has released a video to promote Cape Town and the Western Cape, with a host of activities locals and visitors (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  The 2014 World Cup is done and dusted.  Official airline sponsor Emirates received a last minute ‘branding’ boost when its distinctly uniformed stewardesses brought the medals to be awarded to the teams of Germany and Argentina.  They remained on the stage, standing behind German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the winning German team, guaranteeing excellent coverage for the airline.  A viewership of more than 1 billion is estimated.

*   New Social Media records were set during the World Cup Final last night. The number of Tweets peaked at 618275 per minute, up from the 580166 peak in the Semi Final against Brazil.  However, the total number of 32 million Tweets during the Final failed to beat the record of close to 36 million set in the Semi Final.   German player Lukas Podolski’s selfie of him kissing Bastian Schweinsteiger was retweeted 88620 times, and was favourited 78169 times.  His selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was retweeted 25000 times, and favourited almost 30000 times.  Similarly the sporting event was the most written about event on Facebook, with 280 million posts, likes, and comments during the Final last night coming mainly from the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Indonesia.  Its previous record was 250 million for the Super Bowl last year.

 *   Cape Town is ranked number one on a list of 20 most beautiful cities in the world, ahead of Rio de Janeiro and (more…)

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