Although the African penguins are famous around the world, few people realise that their home is a beautiful beach within reach of Cape Town. Boulders beach, also known as ‘The Boulders’ or ‘Boulder’s Beach’ is one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches along the Cape Peninsula and the only place in the world where you get close to African Penguins. It is one of Table Mountain National Park’s many beautiful treasures hidden away on the south-western coastline which you can explore on a Cape Peninsula Tour.
How it happened
A couple of these beautiful birds came to rest here in 1982 on the soft sand of Boulder’s Beach. The beach is now home to about 2 to 3000 of these pretty creatures. The African Penguin , or Spheniscus demersus, is a species of penguin native to sub-Saharan Africa. Populations are declining due to over-fishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and irresponsible tourism activities. While a much loved species it is classified as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Boulders beach, and everything around it for a few kilometres, now form part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA). This means that you’re not allowed to collect eggs or touch penguins in any way. The Marine Protected Area was established to further protect the endangered African Penguins across South Africa.
What you can do
Boulders Beach is an incredibly special place and one of Cape Town’s most unique beaches. It is situated at the top of Simon’s Town and offers a stunning view out to sea. Visitors can enjoy some breathtakingly beautiful scenery at Boulders, whilst also being able to spot penguins in their natural habitat. The beach itself is a tranquil place with warm clear water for swimming, constantly packed with passing penguins and plenty of coastal rock pools to explore.
If you want to talk to an expert guide on these incredible creatures, make sure to visit the Boulder’s visitors centre to learn more about them.
How to get there
Boulder’s Beach is situated just outside of Simon’s Town on your way to Cape Point along the Cape Peninsula. It should take you only about an hour to drive from Cape Town City to Boulder’s Beach. You can either take the Southern Suburbs route which takes you around the mountain, past Bishops Court, Constantia Valley and Kalk Bay, which will then lead you along the Simon’s Town coast to Boulder’s Beach. OR you can take the Camps Bay route by going through Hout Bay and along Chapman’s Peak drive where you will pass Kommetjie and Noordhoek. This route is by far the most scenic.
If you want to ride the train, always be sure to buy a first class ticket. The train will take you straight from Cape Town Station through to Simon’s Town and then you can walk to Boulder’s Beach. Most hotels and tours offer transfer to and back from Simon’s Town.
What to bring along on your Cape Peninsula Tour
Bring some cash along because there will be a conservation fee of R65. Bring sunscreen, an umbrella and a hat if you plan on spending the day on the beach. Always check the weather on the day to decide what you are going to wear, especially in winter. You can’t always trust Cape Town weather.
Important things to take note of
- It is a marine protected area
- No canoes, boats or kayaks
- No alcohol or smoking allowed
- Be sure to arrive early as parking is limited in Summer
- Penguins are wild animals, do not feed them or come too close to them
If you’re wanting to come and see these beautiful penguins that you might have seen on Netflix while being able to stay in Cape Town and do the rest of the Cape Peninsula, then be sure to book a Cape Peninsula Tour with us by following this link: https://africantraveldesk.com/tour-category/cape-peninsula-tours/