Located 35km outside of Cape Town, Simon’s Town is one of South Africa's oldest towns. This town is known for its rich maritime history, including the stories of legendary local sea dog, Just Nuisance, whose statue can be found among the charming shops and restaurants at the waterfront. Simon’s Town has enough attractions to validate spending a whole day there, the one we’d particularly like to share, the the colony of African Penguins that call it home.
Veldskoen Heritage Vilakazi (yellow) taking in the view at Boulders Beach
Located just past Simon’s Town along the False Bay coastline, you’ll find Boulders Beach, which derives its name from the majestic granite boulders which create a sheltered, wind free, environment. Boulders is a popular family-friendly beach that is clean and safe to swim at and you’ll get to spend the day surrounded by adorable African Penguins.
Jackass Penguins at Boulders Beach
Interestingly enough, African Penguins are also called ‘Jackass Penguins’ because they dray like a donkey. Jackass Penguins are the only kind of penguin found on the African continent. Colonies are found from southern Namibia, all along the south African coastline, as far as port Elizabeth.
In 1910, it was estimated that there were approximately one-and-a-half million African Penguins; a century later, commercial fishing, marine pollution, and habitat destruction have reduced numbers so drastically the aquatic bird was classified as an endangered species.
The Jackass penguins first came to False Bay in 1983 from Dyer Island, which is near Gansbaai. Incredible conservation efforts have grown the colony at Boulders Beach to over 3,000 birds in recent years.
These cute birds are known for their playful nature so you will enjoy sighting them slipping and sliding into and out of the water. Seeing them at boulders Beach is an experience worthy of a Cape Town bucket-list.
Just don’t feed them, or come too close to them. They may be used to parading for onlookers, but the Penguins at boulders beach are still wild animals.
After enjoying your time with the penguins and the breathtaking coastline from Boulders Beach, consider seeing some of Simon’s Town’s other attractions. There is lots to see in this town, so tighten your Veldskoen shoes for this adventure. For more amazing local experiences, check out Veldskoen Travel.