Results 1-10of 16 Reviews
by Linda Hoernke
St. George, Utah
June 20, 2007
From journal A Tour of Cape Town
by Coronado Bob & Berie
April 25, 2005
From journal South African Magic
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
June 27, 2011
Oxford, United Kingdom
October 16, 2009
From journal Visiting the Cape Peninsula
February 6, 2003
The jackass penguins didn't appear to be threatened by humans and do not seem to mind people sitting on the boulders with them for pictures. I wouldn't suggest trying to feed or touch them because they are wild, but you can get reasonable close to see the detail of their scale-like feathers. We saw a couple of people swimming in the waters--(which were quite cold) and others playing in the sand on the small beach.
On the little paved path the underbrush is fenced in with a chain-link fence; through this it is easy to see the nesting penguins, who surprisingly dig holes in the ground for their nests. We even got a glimpse at the white speckled--(possibly just dirt) eggs when a few of the nesting penguins readjusted their sitting in our view.
Boulders Beach is also a nice place to have dinner at the Penguin Point Cafe. When we came back to our car after dinner the penguins were up on the concrete to catch some of the remaining warmth. Boulder's Beach is within a 5-10 minute drive of Simon's Town.
From journal Exploring the Cape Peninsula
October 30, 2004
We explored the small fishing village of Kalk Bay and felt a strange sense of excitement as we watched the steam-train pull away from the picturesque station and continue its coastal journey. The main street is lined with interesting, balconied shops, brightly painted in crisp colours. These are a real delight if you have an interest in antiques or porcelain. "Chinatown" is crammed with thousands of items of chinaware and, at some points, we dare hardly move lest we knock over a display cabinet. You could spend hours in this one emporium eyeing up the Wedgwood and the Minton, the Clarice Cliff and the Royal Doulton. If you’re into porcelain, I defy you to leave this shop without buying something!
Next, we drive through Fish Hoek, basically a seaside village with a small harbour, and continue south to Simon’s Town (named after Simon van der Stel of Groot Constantia fame). This town has an impressive naval harbour, a mass of maritime monuments and a "bucket load" of Victorian and Cape Dutch houses. Then south towards Boulders Beach, where we both wanted to visit, and the Penguin Colony. Apparently, almost 3,000 jackass penguins live here. There are the obligatory souvenir stands – we did pause to look, but although the quality was good, nothing caught our eye.
At the beach, we followed the most popular clockwise route, and on this walk we saw the odd loner penguin. I was prepared to be disappointed as we rounded the corner, but the beach and sea was packed with penguins. I suggest that all manner of society was mirrored here. We saw penguins which appeared to be guarding the perimeter of their village; lovebirds staring transfixed into each other eyes; the homebuilder; the exhibitionists who were propagating in view of their human audience. We saw family protectors who were chasing off the herring gulls that made repeated efforts to steal and heard the aggressive braying call of the lonely male seeking his mate. It’s a call that is hard to associate with these delicate-looking birds, but it was clear at this point why the African Penguin is called the Jackass.
They waddled to the edge of the sea and then hurled themselves into the water or rapidly retraced their steps before they turned hesitantly towards the sea again, pondering their next move. I wonder if the sea was a little too cold for them! We saw them standing on the rocky boulders and swimming gracefully back to the shore – bobbing up and down through the gentle waves of Boulders Beach.
I’d recommend that you also take the quieter, anticlockwise route, as I managed to get much closer to penguins that stood looking defiantly up at me.
Boulders is an absolute treat!
From journal A few days in Southern Cape Town
Little Rock,, Arkansas
July 6, 2001
To get to Boulders Beach, you must hike down past local homes brimming with lush tropical landscape, to the water front. Happy trails. Amid boulders, you will see native families enjoying the sun. Join them...
From journal African Safari
Mexico City, Mexico
March 1, 2002
Boulders Beach (Simon’s Town)
Just south of Cape Town in Simon’s Town is one of only
two spots on the African continent where penguins can be seen in their natural
habitat. About a kilometer south of the main center of town is the turn off for
Boulders Beach, some of the signs have graphics of penguins to make it
impossible to miss.
The small Boulders Coastal Park is a fenced off part of
the beach where jackass penguins breed. A R4 ($ 0.25) entrance fee is charged,
although entry is free during quiet times when there is no park official
present. The penguins pay little attention to the visitors although they have
sharp beaks and a peck can be painful. They are not very large - about knee high
for an adult. You can get pretty close to their rather untidy nests and they
will stride right pass you on their way to and from the ocean without giving you
as much as a second glance. However, don’t disturb them - South Africans take
wildlife protection very seriously and you can receive a fine if you willfully
chase them. (For smaller children the punishment is more likely to be just a
Amazingly the colony of penguins only arrived at Boulders
in 1985. Previously penguins were only breeding on islands off the coast. The
real name of the penguins is African Penguins or (Sphenicus demersis) but
they are commonly called jackass penguins as they make a noise like a baying
donkey. Their baying noise, the smell of their guano as well as the number of
visitors they attract have limited appeal for the local property owners but
visitors simply adore these rather formal looking birds.
The African Penguins are on the "vulnerable" list -
one step above "endangered". The colony in Boulders is actually increasing
in seize but oil spills from frequent tanker accidents in the treacherous and
often stormy seas of the Cape can easily decimate a whole colony of coastal
Betty’s Bay (close to Hermanus)
The other place in South Africa where penguins can be seen
on the continent itself is at Betty’s Bay, on the coastal road from Strand to
Hermanus. The colony is fenced off and you really need binoculars to see the
birds here. However, the coast is rugged, especially once you are past Gordon’s
Bay, and the inland area full of rocks and very little vegetation. This make the
coastal road a more scenic option than the National Highway No 2 to get to
Hermanus, which is famous for its whale watching opportunities. The town
actually employs a whale crier to announce when and where the whales can best be
spotted. Whale watching is most successful from July to early summer when the
southern right whales make their appearance close to the coast.
From journal Cape Town and the winelands
November 5, 2000
The increasing number of penguins in and around Simon Town is becoming a problem. Neighbouring humans have complained about the noise, especially at night when penguins are most vocal, and of the smell of guano. Anyway these penguins are easy to approach, and the tourists are pleased. Simon Town is 45 km from Cape Town on the main road leading to Cape of Good Hope.
From journal Cape Town
August 22, 2000
From journal South Africa