When someone first told me that I could get really close to penguins on the beach in South Africa I must admit I thought they were mad. But wait….it’s true!
There has been a colony of African Penguins at Boulders Beach in the Western Cape of South Africa since 1983 and despite a slight decline in numbers of recent years there are still around 2,100 penguins here. This is a unique chance to get really close to these marvelous creatures without intruding on their natural behavior.
Boulders Beach is looked after by the SANparks organisation and they have built a series of connecting raised wooden walkways which lead down to the beach itself. The beach itself is stunning with huge boulders, golden sand and the beautiful blue Indian Ocean but with all the penguins everywhere it just becomes a magical place. The wooden walkways take you directly over the penguins and you can watch them at really close quarters as they interact with each other. Depending on the time of year that you visit you may be lucky enough to see newly born penguins being fed by their mothers.
There is something very funny about watching the penguins as they lie all over the huge boulders seemingly sunning themselves. For anyone keen on photography this is a chance in a lifetime opportunity to get great pictures of penguins really up close. The trick is trying to get a good shot of the penguins as they jump off the rocks into the Indian Ocean or as they waddle up the beach out of the water. They may not be the steadiest on their feet but they certainly are very cute.
Boulders Beach is close enough to make it an easy morning or afternoon trip from Cape Town and equally a good stop off point on the way to Cape Point. Cape Town is full of attractions and great accommodation so be sure to make Boulders Beach part of your holiday itinerary when you next visit South Africa.
How to get there
It is only a short 45 minute drive from Cape Town along the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive via Fish Hoek and then onto Simon’s Town. When you reach Simon’s Town keep an eye out for the signs for Boulders Beach leading off the M4. Park your car in the car park and head over to the entrance where it will cost you R45 (2013) if you are an adult and R20 for children. Don’t miss the delicious ice-cream shop just outside the entrance.
Boulders Beach Opening Times: