In a short 9 day series I’m going to show you all the best bits about Cape Town and all the reasons why you should visit the beautiful city I live in!
Reason # 2:
The African Penguin Colony
A trip to Cape Town wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t go and visit our cute black and white penguins waddling about in their natural habit.
Most people associate penguins with Antarctica, but colonies of African penguins live in South Africa. They favour cold water, so even if the air temperature is hot, they can use the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean to cool off. Although the water there is slightly warmer than our other beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard side, the water is still refreshing! This penguin colony at Boulders Beach in Simons Town is one of the biggest in Southern Africa.
Situated in Boulders Bay, near Simon’s Town, Boulders Beach along the False Bay coast is a sheltered enclave of white sand and clear blue waters, formed by inlets between massive 540 million year old boulders. African Penguins are small black and white penguins and the adults will come to about your knee in height. Their colouring works to camouflage them from predators. Their black backs make it difficult to spot the penguin from above while they’re swimming in the ocean and their white bellies makes it difficult to spot them from below if predators are looking up towards the surface of the ocean.
These penguins, which can be seen wandering freely in a protected natural environment, make a braying noise like a donkey and when in water can swim incredibly fast. But once you see them waddle on land, it’s hard not to suppress a giggle or two and it’s sure to delight both young and old alike.
Visitors can see the penguins wandering free along the sands of Boulders Beach, but can get especially close from the boardwalks along nearby Foxy Beach. A boardwalk has been built round the dunes so you can get up close as you watch the entire colony eating, breeding, preening, swimming and chit-chatting away.
It’s forbidden to touch the penguins, or feed them, (take note Charlie) but it’s easy to get just a few feet away from them. These are wild penguins and they can get quite grumpy especially when protecting their eggs.
Swimming with penguins at Boulders is a real thrill. There is a small public beach that is set apart from the main penguin colony that resides on Foxy Beach, but that doesn’t stop the penguins from sitting on your beach towel, waddling over your sand castle or darting around your legs while you take a refreshing dip in the slightly warmer False Bay waters. For you see penguins like to walk about and generally ignore fences! So not only can you get up close to the little birds but you can also get up close to the little birds and swim with them in the turquoise blue waters. This is something which you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
So for a day of fun with family or friends at the seaside, head to Boulders Beach near Simons Town to experience Cape Town’s famous “penguin beach” and if you up for it combine your trip to Boulders Beach with a visit to Cape Point to explore the beautiful Nature Reserve or make your way to the historic naval town of Simons Town.
One thing is for sure, where these little penguins rule the roost, you are sure to have the best day out and that is why our beloved African Penguins feature at #2 on my reasons why you should visit Cape Town, South Africa.
~ All Photos By Me ~