Whale Huys & Sustainability

In all that we do, we try to have as light a touch as possible on the environment while still providing a comfortable and relaxing stay.

Most of the electricity at Whale Huys is generated by the solar PV panels located on the adjacent building. There is also a battery back-up, so that in addition the environmental benefits, the lights and essential sockets stay on, even if the grid power goes off. We are also connected to the grid, so even on long periods of clouds, you never need to worry about running out of power.

The solar geysers provide most of our hot water and this is supplemented by an electric boiler. If at any point you need more hot water you can press the red buttons on the far left of the controllers in the cupboard in the upper second bedroom (first on the left). This will switch on the electric supplementary heaters. They turn off again when they reach 55 degrees.

The lighting at Whale Huys is also fitted with low-energy LED lighting and the slow combustion fireplace is designed to optimize heat while reducing the amount of wood used. All of our new appliances, like the dishwasher, oven and refrigerator are A rated (or better) for low energy consumption.

The eco-wood deck is manufactured from recycled plastic rather than unsustainably harvested hard woods. As much as possible we choose for environmentally friendlier products, including the Afriearth shampoos, soaps and other amenities. The thatched roof keeps Whale Huys cool avoiding the need for traditional air conditioning. Each room is fitted with a fan. The diaphanous white mosquito nets not only provide a romantic ambience in all rooms, they also reduce the need for chemical repellents.

We are fortunate that De Kelders does not have a water shortage or any water restrictions, but nonetheless we try to minimize water wastage. All taps are low-flow and we harvest rainwater for use in the garden.

Gansbaai was chosen as the most responsible destination for tourism by the Responsible Travel organisation and website, and we are proud to be part of this community.

You can help by ensuring you turn off all lights when you leave Whale Huys and avoiding water waste whenever possible. In a place of such amazing natural beauty, conservation just makes sense.

Surrounded by nature

At Whale Huys you will discover that without the noice of roads and cities, that sounds of nature emerge. The sound of the waves and dozens of species of birds, each with their own signature call. During whale season you may will likely hear the tail slaps and breaching sounds as well as some of the calls they use to communicate with each other. But there are many other peaceful residents near by. We regularly see cape mongoose — there are lots of them, but we call “him” Manny. You will also likely see dassies, tortoises and a variety of lizards. On the rare occasion, we have also been fortunate enough to see cape otter, cape gennet, and even a small bokkie. The house is also surrounded by many different types of natural fynbos. We are delighted to have such a bounty of nature directly surrounding us. We do all we can to not disturb this natural environment, and encourage our guests to do the same.

The South African Reforestation Trust

While we have tried to reduce our impact to a minimum, we have also partnered with Trees for Tourism so guests can easily offset the emissions of their travel and other activities through a certified tree planting programme in a nearby indigenous forest. You can sponsor the planting of one tree for just R130, and you will receive a personalised certificate of offset.