I figured the best post to kick off an exciting Cape Town series would definitely have to be about PENGUINS! Before visiting, my family had told me all about the small, African Jackass Penguins (yes, that’s really their name) that roam some of the beaches surrounding Cape Town. Once I heard this wonderful news, I obviously put this at the top of my to-do list (right under shark cage diving).
In my opinion, everyone who visits Cape Town should go visit these lil’ guys. Not only do you get to see wild penguins, you also get to view them while standing on a stunning beach. As you can see in my following photos, these African Jackass Penguin friends are probably some of the strangest animals you’ll ever meet. They have strong, goofy personalities and make the craziest donkey noise (hence the name).
HOW TO GET THERE
Boulders Beach is located in Simon’s Town, which is about a 45-minute drive from Cape Town’s city center. However, we took a route that avoided the interstates that I would highly suggest. It has a few more steps than a straight, normal taxi ride, but I would definitely recommend it.
We took an Uber from Cape Town and had it drop us off in Muizenberg, one of the first, quaint beach towns along False Bay. From there, we purchased a cheap train ticket and were able to take one of the most beautiful train rides right beside the water to get to Simon’s Town. After that, we hopped in a taxi for a short ride up to the park entrance to Boulder’s Beach.
Boulder’s Beach is absolutely breathtaking and a perfect place to relax and explore! For only 70 Rand (about $5ish) to enter, kids (and adults young at heart) will love climbing all over the granite boulders and splashing around in the small pools. The clear, turquoise water adorned with African Penguins makes this one of my favorite places in the world!
Since you can encounter the penguins face-to-face on this beach, just remember they’re wild (and have very sharp beaks), so it is probably not the best thing to attempt to feed, pet, or bug them. As tempting as it is, just let this cute, but endangered species enjoy its space.
VIEW FROM THE BOARDWALK
A short walk around the corner from Boulder’s Beach, you can encounter even more colonies hanging out and sunbathing on Foxy Beach. This can actually be one of the best areas to view the penguins because you have easy access to a smooth, wheel-chair accessible boardwalk that leads around the nesting area and to the sandy beach. On the day we visited in May, we were able to walk along the boardwalk to see fathers guarding their nests of fluffy babies and mothers sitting on large eggs. We also saw a significantly higher amount of penguins on this beach than we did at Boulder’s Beach. However, due to this, the boardwalk got a bit crowded with folks, like myself, trying to snap photos of these guys.
As you can see from my extremely cheesy grin, I was SUPER pumped to be visiting the African Jackass Penguins in their natural habitat. The penguins were so much fun to just simply watch for a while. Who knew bird watching was fun until now? ;) Our whole group had an awesome time seeing them waddle, trip, dive, attempt yoga poses, and snuggle in the sand.
The best thing about Boulder’s Beach is that people of all ages will have a blast. The park even provides informational brochures if that tickles your fancy. It is a wonderful thing to see wild animals in their natural habitat, so make sure you put this at the top of your Cape Town bucket list!