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Cliff Lodge is a stylish seafront guest house, superbly positioned on the dramatic cliffs of De Kelders, overlooking Walker Bay...

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Walk to beautiful white beaches in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and swim in hidden coves.

Cliff Lodge offers luxurious accommodation and excellent personal service, with sea views that will take your breath away.

De Kelders offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. The Southern Right Whales come very close inshore to the sheltered deep waters between June and December each year.

Cliff walks, beach combing, and hikes in the mountains around Gansbaai to explore the bird life and fynbos.

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Whale Nation

Published by : gill
On 2012 September 18 12:57

This poem – a beautiful tribute to whales by Heathcote Williams – is a wonderful celebration of one of the most mysterious, gentle and intelligent creatures of the marine world.

“From space, the planet is blue.

From space, the planet is the territory

Not of humans, but of the whale.

Blue seas cover seven-tenths of the earth's surface,

And are the domain of the largest brain ever created,

With a fifty-million-year-old smile.

Ancient, unknown mammals left the land

In search of food or sanctuary,

And walked into the water.

Their arms and hands changed into water-wings;

Their tails turned into boomerang-shaped tail-flukes,

Enabling them to fly, almost weightless, through the oceans;

Their hind-legs disappeared, buried deep within their flanks.

Free from land-based pressures:

Free from droughts, earthquakes, ice-ages, volcanoes, famine,

Larger brains evolved, ten times as old as man's . . .

Other creatures, with a larger cerebral cortex,

Luxuriantly folded, intricately fissured,

Deep down, in another country,

Moving at a different tempo.

And the whale's lips formed their distant, humorous curl,

When we were clawed quadrupeds,

Insect-eating shrews,

Feverishly scrabbling at the bark of trees.

Whales play in an amniotic paradise.

Their light minds shaped by buoyancy, unrestricted by gravity,


Like angels, or birds;

Like our own lives, in the womb.

Whales play for three times as long as they spend searching for food:

Delicate, involved games,

With floating seabirds' feathers, blown high into the air,

And logs of wood

Flipped from the tops of their heads;

Carried in their teeth

For a game of tag, ranging across the entire Pacific.

Play without goals.

Like Buddhists,

They are not compulsive eaters.

They can go for eight months without food;

And they do not work to eat.

They play to eat.

After dinner, music.

Ethereal music that carries for miles,

A siren's song,

Leading sailors to believe,

As the sounds infiltrated through the wooden hull,

That their vessels were haunted

By spirits of the deep.

Webs of elegant cetacean music stretch around the globe.

An indication that there are creatures, other than man, still evolving.'

Taken from Whale Nation by Heathcote Williams



  “Simply this: The most beautiful view of the ocean, any ocean in the world”
David Doubilet National Geographic USA

“ From De Kelders there is a superb view over the great sweep of Walker Bay where whales flirt and laze, and white sand dunes rise in strange contrast to the blue mountains of the coastal range.”
T.V. Bulpin; Discovering Southern Africa

“…this little town is able to offer some of the world’s best boat and shore-based whale watching and unquestionably the world’s best white-shark diving. The sensational marine tourist attractions should not be the only things to lure you, however. Some of the Cape’s best-conserved fynbos adorns the mountains in the area and numerous walks and trails criss-cross it. After a week spent wandering the streets of Gansbaai and its surroundings, we can comfortably say that this, truly, is the gem of the Overberg.”
Cameron Ewart-Smith; Getaway Magazine March 2003


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