Infanta Whales Accommodation wins welcoming prize

  • 20 July 2015 | Cassidy Parker
Infanta Whales Accommodation is located in Cape Infanta, near Swellendam in the Western Cape.

Rita Badenhorst, the owner of Infanta Whales Accommodation in Infanta in the Western Cape, is the first prizewinner in Welcome South Africa's social media competition, which will be running until the end of July 2015.

Rita submitted her story on Welcome South Africa's Facebook page, and immediately impressed the judges with her warm and welcoming demeanour. 

In her entry, she said: 

"When our guests arrive at our small fishing holiday resort I greet them with a smile and ask them which language they would prefer me to speak, Afrikaans or English. I make them feel at home by showing them around and telling them about the whales in the bay when it is whale season. I also tell them about the birds they are likely to see in the garden, and ask if they want to feed the birds and the small buck that roam around at night. If so, I give them seeds and apples, as well as a pair of binoculars they can use while they are staying here. From the balcony you can see the whales frolicking in the water and having a pair of binoculars is a huge advantage. 

"My hubby then informs our guests where the best places are to fish, whether on the rocks by the sea or on on the river. They are always welcome to ask about tips on fishing if they are beginner fishermen. After the first night, I will always go and ask my guests if everything is OK and if they had a good night's sleep. I will then respect their privacy and only engage with them when they need me. Most of the time, our guests love our friendliness so much that they invite my hubby and me over when they have a braai or for a glass of wine. It means a lot to me to know my guests are happy. #WelcomeSA"

Infanta Whales Accommodation is located in the beautiful fishing village of Infanta, about 90km on a gravel road from Swellendam. It is a small self-catering guesthouse that can sleep four adults and two children. 

Infanta is a remote and picturesque village, approximately two hours from Cape Town. Image courtesy of Infanta Whales Accommodation

It is situated on the banks of the Breede River. Image courtesy of Infanta Whales Accommodation

Rita says that her customers are often Cape Town locals looking for a break from the city. "They come to fish in the sea or in the Breede River," she says, "or to look at the whales or explore the area's walking trails." Rita receives more international visitors during whale season, between June and November.

The area boasts the last remaining hand-driven pont in South Africa, and a walk from the cottage to the river will reveal resident springbok, other buck, zebra and even a zonkey (a baby zebra-and-donkey hybrid). 

Thank you for sharing your welcoming story with us, Rita. Your iPad Mini will be on its way to you soon. We are sure that you will continue to be welcoming to all your guests, and to inspire others in the industry to do the same.

Welcome South Africa’s social media competition will continue to run until the end of the month, when a second iPad Mini will be awarded as well as the grand prize, a full-day Welcome business training session. Send in your entries using #WelcomeSA.

Rita's zonkey always welcomes guests. Image courtesy of Infanta Whales Accommodation