Two Penguins Find their Way Back to the Sea

photo of penguins

Every morning at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront’s Tobago’s restaurant on the Atlantic Ocean’s edge, staff and guests are greeted with the sounds of crashing waves along the breakers. You may wonder what this has to do with two penguins finding their way back to the sea, but you will soon see. Let’s go on!

In the distance is the call of seabirds including seagulls, gannets and cormorants. In the past the property has experienced surprise visitors too, such as an otter who ceremoniously left the salty ocean in order to take a dip in the hotel pool! In the distance, dolphins, whales and sea life can be seen gliding past the kayaks and giving the guests a show as they swim along the bay. 

Being an hotel uniquely set along the aquatic biosphere that is the Western Cape’s Atlantic Seaboard means that the hotel, its staff and all patrons are confronted daily with the reality of a need for wildlife and nature conservation. 

The hotel and its team are firm advocates for the well being of the surrounding wildlife, and make a concerted effort to play an active role in local outreach activities. So for example, this year the team adopted two penguins at the seabird rescue organisation SANCCOB. So here is the story of the two penguins you were waiting for!

Penguins are an iconic part of the Cape Town landscape, with tourists and hotel guests flocking to spots such as Boulders Beach in Simonstown to experience them up close. With guests always enquiring about the penguins, it made sense for the hotel to be involved in their protection.

The Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront’s penguins, which they named Bluey and Tobi, were rehabilitated and after meeting all health requirements, were released back into the ocean. Hotel guests received memorabilia of this project on the past New Year’s Eve in the form of a thank you postcard from both Bluey and Tobi with a penguin keychain to remember them by. 

“Each postcard included a thank you to our guests for the role that they played in the rehabilitation story.” says Nicol Carelse who kick started this project for the hotel. “We want guests to know that when they choose Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, they are also choosing the support of local wildlife, conservation of our environment and upliftment of local communities,” she adds.

It’s also important to remember that sustainability is about more than just the environment. People and community play an important role too. That’s why the hotel has partnered with the Secret Love Project, a non-profit organisation that provides free heart sticker packs to members of Cape Town’s unhoused community, which they can sell on to support themselves. The hotel purchased 750 sticker packs that are given to its guests during the month of love. The hotel has also acquired an additional 250 sticker packs that are available and sold at the hotel, as another way to raise money for the charity and benefit the community.

secret love project

“The Secret Love Project and our choosing to back it, and offer the packs to guests, is a story of spreading a message of unity in Cape Town. Through Secret Love, our hotel and guests from countries around the world and all walks of life support local community members in need of their own place to stay,” comments Porche Benjamin, hotel Training Manager and the hotel’s key person when it comes to Responsible Business projects.

“We believe in the message of the Loveconomy that the project seeks to promote. And it goes further than the project itself. The Loveconomy and the spreading of those hearts across Cape Town speaks to the importance of humans helping each other and conserving wildlife, fauna and flora alike,” Benjamin notes. 

“Hotels aren’t just able to drive sustainability through their own actions but can also help their guests participate in sustainability initiatives in the destinations they visit. I am proud of our team for not only being wonderful in their everyday roles, but also for taking the initiative and being good citizens of Cape Town,” concludes the hotel’s General Manager, Clinton Thom. 

Adopted penguin Tobi

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