Cape Town  - Penguiuns, Boulders Simonstown

The Boulders Penguin
Colony Simonstown

The small beach at the Boulders

Boulders beach is situated about two kilometres outside the main village of Simonstown has over the last few years become a tourist attraction. Every tour party that goes to Cape Point stops off at this quaint little beach with its large boulders and safe swimming.


The penguins!

A breeding pair of penguins in their rocky nest

A number of years ago two penguins arrived on this beach and made it their home. Their arrival started a breeding colony of Jackass penguins and now there are hundreds of them.

The African penguins have established themselves on the hillside above the beach and have dug themselves nests in the sand and under the bushes where they lay their eggs and raise their chicks. In South Africa, penguin colonies are mainly found on islands along our coastline and here at the Boulders is the first mainland colony. Penguins are cute as they waddle up and down the beach looking like little soldiers in their black and white uniforms.

A pair of penguins amongst the people on the beach

What is unique at the boulders is that the public can get very close to them and in fact in places share the beach with them. The penguins go about their business between the sun worshippers and people swimming just off the beach. On both sides of the beach wooden walkways have been built which allow people to see the penguins without disturbing them.

When they are nesting and have chicks people on the beach would surely step on their eggs and chicks. As with any such attraction the authorities have to earn a buck or two and charge R45.00 per adult and R20.00 per child to get onto the walkways. For those who are not prepared to pay this fee to get up close there is another legal way to see them. A tarred pathway winds its way along the slopes of the mountain above the beach and if you follow it you will come across the breeding grounds of the penguins. You are able to get up real close and see their eggs and chicks when they are breeding. There are also some good views down onto the beach where you can see the penguins communing with the people at the water's edge.

Standing looking down from one of these gaps I saw some sights last Sunday. An old lady dropped her costume without covering herself and proceeded to get dressed in front of everyone. Another young lady decided it was a good spot for topless bathing.

Parents of young kids must have been having a fit. It's summer in Cape Town and on a secluded beach like the Boulders I suppose everything goes!

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Penguins Boulders Simonstown