Up close and personal with African Penguins

Africa Penguin at Boulders Beach Simon's Town

Just a few kilometers south of naval town Simon’s Town lies Boulders Beach. Named after the enormous 540 million years old round Cape granite boulders that shelter the cove from currents, wind and large waves and provide shade, making the white sandy beaches safe to swim. Taking a dip in the warm ocean and relaxing on the beautiful beach are not the main attractions though. You might no have expected to find penguins on the northern hemisphere, let alone in South Africa, but here you’ll come up close and personal with the endangered African penguin. They’re also know as ‘Jackass Penguins’ , because their call sounds a lot like the sound a donkey makes.

Boulders Beach is the home to some 2000 penguins.

The colony decided to take up residence here around 1985. Since then they live the easy live at the beach, breeding and nesting, seemingly unbothered by their human neighbours.

Boulders Beach is a part of the Table Mountain National Park and is a Marine Protected Area. To have a good view of the animals, a walkway was put up.  The cute looking birds come up pretty close.  Don’t get too close, they have been known to bite a finger or nose if they feel like it! You don’t want to find out how sharp their little beak is the hard way! Just a short walk from Boulders lies Foxy Beach. This is also an awesome place to get within meters of the penguin.

African penguins coming ashore on Boulder's Beach near Cape Town, South Africa
African penguins coming ashore on Boulder’s Beach near Cape Town, South Africa

This area is paradise for young and old. Be honest: you’re never to old to coo at a creature as cute as a penguin. Imagine how the little ones will absolutely love this trip! (And you, for bringing them here!) Sandy beaches, safe swimming and penguins at arms length: for a kid, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Other birds and small animals also live in the park, In the bay you may spot dolphins, seals, whales and even sharks.

Simon’s Town and Boulder Beach are easy to get to by car. It’s an easy hour from Cape Town. You may also want to take the scenic Southern Line Railway route. Boulders is approximately 2 kilometers from Simon’s Town train station. A lovely train ride, passing an ever changing landscape with the rail line edging the ocean from Muizenberg with views of the coves and beaches along the coast as a highlight.


Kid looking at Penguins

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