Penguins - Boulders Beach, Cape Town
Seeing these penguins, in their natural habitat, was a delight. The route is well chosen, the pathways are signposted, and the penguin coves are pristine. The behaviour of these fascinating creatures is interesting to watch. They squabble, they march and are totally aware of the visitors that are watching and snapping away with their cameras. Also many small wild Cape fauna around.
There is a nearby tearoom, serving tea or coffee & delicious home-baked South African cakes
As part of the bus tour which I took, they brought us to this African Penguin Sanctuary, just a few minutes from the center of Simons Town (just before we arrived at Cape Point).
The place is called Boulders because of the large granite stones that form the sheltered bays where the penguins swim. We entered a little building which had access to a raised boardwalk over the Foxy Beach and our guide pointed out that these penguins were MONOGAMOUS and were nesting at the time we visited (February).
Some tourists just stay on one part of the boardwalk, but try to go to the other side for a better view and also a view of the tourists themselves as the penguins see them. The place also has a nice gift shop and I bought a nice pair of penguin shirts for the twins!
This is Just one of many beaches which you will pass on your way to Cape Point. Its situated in Simons Town.
Well if you wanna get a real view of Penguins well this is the perfect place to go. Its Perfect for the whole family. The penguins does`nt seem to be bothered with the poeple so its perfect as you can get really close to them.
It cost R25 per person that allows you to go see the penguin colony and give you acceess to the beach whereby you can swim side by side with the penguins.
Boulders Beach is world famous for its colony of African penguins that have been living here since 1983, when the first couple of these interesting birds appeared in the neighbourhood. Today there are about 2500 individuals in the colony.
There are two possibilities of observing penguins at Boulders Beach. The first one is free of charge. From the car park you can take a path called Willis Walk. You will see penguins among the vegetation along the path. When you reach the end of it there's a small car park from which you have a view over Boulders Beach and recreational area which is accessible for those with the tickets. The other option is to enter the Boulders National Coastal Park ( admission fee is R 30 = 4.20 US dollars). Here you can see the birds from specially designed board walks and viewing platforms. This main penguin viewing area is called Foxy Beach and is only for penguins use. Through another entrance, near the end of Willis Walk you can get down to the Boulders Beach where you can observe penguins from a short distance or, especially in summer, share a swim with them. But be careful not to get too close, as the penguins are said to have a nasty bite.
African penguins are not big. They measure about 50 cm and weigh between 2.5 and 3.7 kg. Their characteristic feature is a black stripe curving across the top of their chest. Their young have the blue/ grey backs and white bellies without that black stripe. African penguins are "steady in love" and have the same partner for years.
What you didn't know about penguins now you can!!
The jackass penguin is named after their donkey-like braying call
They can swin at an average speed of 7km/h & stay submerged for up to 2 minutes
Their black & white dj camouflage is white for underwater predators looking upwards & black for predators looking down onto the water
Penguins have very sharp beaks & can cause serious injury if they lunge & bite (bite first - ask questions later)
This beach is fairly sheltered & you can swim amongst the penguins, as mentioned they are not petting animals & could give you a nasty nip. They like to nest in holes & cracks in the rocks.
This is a beach which you pay to visit in 2005 Adults R20 & children R6
Watch out for high tide as it could trap you on the beach
In high season this beach is fairly packed with picnicing families
The Cape Peninsula National Park, Boulders hosts many Penguins.
First I was a little astounded: Penguins in Africa? But yes, here you can find them.
And not only find. They are so accustomed to humans, that you can get quite close. A lot of them were also sitting on eggs (directly next to the path).
They breed here since 1983, numbers have gone up to over 2000 adult penguins...
No dogs allowed (the reasons are obvious).
You will get a leaflet how to behave: no running or handwaving because this disturbs them. Stay away from nests 1 m
African or Jackass Penguins can be seen only in three places along the South African coast - one of them being the Boulder's Beach at Simon's Town. Don't miss this chance to see the colony of around 3000 penguins - they are adorable!
No, its not some sort of mistake, if you visit Boulders Beach, you will see Penguins walking around in the sun on the beach.
Located in a gorgeous spot between Simons Town and Cape Point is this world renowned beach that houses the unique African Penguins that are seen as a vulnerable species.
Only about 10% of the original 1,5 million penguins are still around, so really worth seeing them.
The drive to Boulders will take around 40 minutes and is very very scenic.
(One of my favorite Lyle Lovett songs, BTW)
We visited TWO penguin colonies -- one at Betty's Bay, the other at Boulders. For photos, Boulders is the best, as there are more opportunities for contrast -- too many rocks at Betty's make it hard for your photos to turn out (although both were gorgeous places).
A large colony of penguins lives in the vicinity of Boulders Beach, which is on the eastern shore of the Cape. You can see them on the beach as well as in the woods behind the beach, where they burrow their nests into the ground. There is a walkway that goes for about 1 km behind and alongside the nesting areas, which gives you a good view of where and how they live. There are parking lots at each end of the walkway. The beach area itself is only open during the daytime. However, the walkway behind the nesting sites is open in the evenings as well.
We were there at the end of the day, and saw dozens of penguins leaving the beach to go inland to their nests. It was a very interesting sight watching them all waddling along.
The Boulders Colony:-
In 1983 a pair of African penguins were spotted on Foxy Beach at Boulders and in 1985 they began to lay. Since then the colony has grown rapidly, increasing initially at about 60% a year. By 1997 there were 2350 adult birds. Although Simon's Town is very proud of its penguins, nearby residents suffered badly as the birds invaded their gardens, destroyed the undergrowth and were generally very noisy and messy. The great increase in tourists has also been a problem. As a result, the area has now been taken over by Cape Peninsula National Park, the birds have been restrained from wandering inland by a fence, board walks and an information room have all been established. Boulders still remains the only place in the world where one can actually swim amongst the penguins as they have continued to invade more beaches. They are remarkably untroubled by people but one should avoid harassing them by getting too close or chasing them. Beware!! They have a vicious bite
Penguins are flightless, aquatic birds, which live in the southern oceans in climates as varied as Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands on the equator. There are seventeen species in all but the African Penguin is the only one to inhabit the African continent and its inshore islands. It used to be known as the Jackass Penguin
Scientific Name: Spheniscus Demersus
Average Statistics: Weight - 2,1 To 3,7 kilograms (4.63 To 8.16 pounds)
Height - 50 cm (19.7 inches)
Boulders Beach is most famous for its colony of African penguins. These are some of the cutest (and clumsiest) creatures you'll ever see and there are hundreds of them on the beach. But even without the penguins Boulders beach would be a beautiful place as you can see on the picture.
Here you will see the colony of the African penguin on the beach and by the broadway. Nice place to check out. Bring a camera you will take lots of pictures. Boulders name comes from a cluster of large granite boulders breaking the coastline and providing numerous sheltered inlets and reefs.
Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town is known for its colony of African penguins. The entry fee is around $3.00 and is a fun way to spend a few hours. The beach is very small and can not be accessed when the tide is high. This is the place you can swim with the penguins. The best place to view the penguins is from Foxy Beach which is a few meters from Boulder’s Beach. There is a great boardwalk that takes you there.
I thought it was interesting that African penguins are monogamous birds.
Boulders inSimonstown is a lovely place to visit and see the penquins. Remember that the smell is not too wonderful and we would definately not use it to create a new perfume. We were lucky to see a number of youngsters, some busy moulding and the rest just basking in the sun or taking a dip. My friend went to swim at the boulders beach and he and his little daughter of 9 was lucky enough to swim with a penguin. a great experience for them and she could not stop talking about it. It is quite safe to swim with them.
Entrance fee of R15 for adults and R5 for scholars. This gives access to the beach as well as the walkways and viewpoints
TIME NEEDED: 1-hour to view the penguins