Boulders--A Park for all—forever, forms part of the Cape Peninsula National Park. It is situated in a sheltered cove between Simon’s Town and Cape Point and has become famous for its African Penguin Colony. To get to the site for an up-close and personal view of the penguins, Dave parked the van and we walked through a residential area to wooden walkways and bridges that lead guests to the clear waters of False Bay and within a few meters of these precious little creatures.
In 1982 there were only two pair of African Penguins but due in part to the reduction in certain fishing techniques in False Bay, that provided an increased supply of pilchards and anchovy, a major element of the penguins’ diet, the colony has grown to over 3,000. It was wonderful to watch the parent penguins, who incidentally mate for life, interact with their young, building nests and gathering food. www.cpnp.co.za.
The Scratch Patch, in Simon’s Town, has become world-famous where young and old can "scratch" for their favorite polished gemstones from countless thousands that literally cover the floor. For about $3.00 USD you are given a small bag, pick a spot on the floor, settle in and fill the bag with your choice of gemstones. There is also a Gem and Minerals Shop where you can purchase larger stones without all the work- that was my choice. The polishing of the gemstones is a long process, taking several weeks, and can be seen on a short tour of their plant. The Scratch Patch is the world’s largest gemstone tumble-polishing factory.
Our visit to the Cape Town area would not have been complete without standing on the southern most tip of the African continent, the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. The short drive from Cape Town passes through the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. In springtime, blankets of vibrantly colored wild flowers cover the landscape. The Reserve is also the home to a variety of indigenous wildlife species including Cape Mountain Zebra, Cape Fox, red lynx, caracal and a variety of antelope. Chacma Baboons run wild at Cape Point looking for food, primarily from tourist. They are dangerous and should not be fed. In fact, Dave told us stories of visitors who had food in the car or carrying bag lunches resulting in their run-ins with the Baboons.
At Cape Point, the very best view of the Cape of Good Hope and the surrounding coastline is from the top of the cliffs near the Old Lighthouse. For those of us not ambitious enough for the hike from the parking area to the top, there is a funicular to get us there for a small fee. At the top, there are several walkways to explore and find that perfect spot to photograph the Cape of Good Hope.
Facilities at Cape Point include the Two Oceans Restaurant and two curio shops.