May 19

Visit Cape Town’s Penguins at Boulders Beach

May 19, 2023

Ah, Cape Town! Our beautiful bustling metropolis has no shortage of soft sandy beaches with shimmering blue waves. But if you're looking for something truly extraordinary, a visit to Boulders Beach is an absolute must. What makes this beach so special,  you may ask? Well, let me fill you in. 

Boulders Beach is undoubtedly one of the most special beaches in the world

Boulders Beach is undoubtedly one of the most special beaches in the world, Image Credit: Uryadnikov Sergey

Everything You Need to Know About Boulders Beach

Located on the Cape Peninsula near the charming coastal suburb of Simon's Town lies Boulders Beach. Not only is this one of the best beaches in Cape Town, but it also remains one of the only places in the world where you can get up close to a colony of African penguins!

Boulders Beach is one of the only places in the world you can get so close to African penguins!

This is one of the only places in the world you can get so close to African penguins!

Boulders Beach and its neighbouring Foxy Beach are home to a bustling colony of African Penguins that strut their stuff in all their tuxedo-clad glory, right under your nose. These little guys are seriously cute and quirky, and watching them go about their daily activities is an experience like no other.

But Boulders Beach isn't just a penguin paradise. This absolute gem of a beach boasts soft, powdery white sand, towering granite boulders, and crystal-clear Indian Ocean waters that offer a reprieve from the chilly temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean beaches. Don't forget to bring your snorkelling gear, as there is a lot to explore underwater!

Cape Town's penuins are the most accommodating hosts to all who visit their beloved home

Cape Town's penuins are the most accommodating hosts to all who visit their beloved home

Where to Stay

Nestled high above Boulders Beach, Tintswalo at Boulders is the ultimate coastal retreat. With towering granite boulders sheltering it from the wind, this is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The panoramic 180-degree views of the coastline from your luxury suite make for a prime vantage point to enjoy the playful antics of the African penguins.

Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique is the the perfect blend of luxury, privacy, and natural beauty

Tintswalo at Boulders is the the perfect blend of luxury, privacy, and natural beauty, Image Credit: Tintswalo at Boulders

A Half-Day Trip to Visit Cape Town’s Penguins

Start your day by watching an awe-inspiring sunrise over the Indian Ocean from your private suite before tucking into a mouthwatering signature Tintswalo breakfast. And as if your morning couldn’t get any better, you can take a stroll through Tintswalo’s private gate onto the penguin boardwalk and head straight down to Boulders Beach.

Take a stoll along the penguin boardwalk down to Boulders Beach

Take a stoll along the penguin boardwalk down to Boulders Beach

Spend your day basking in the African sun, building sandcastles, having a picnic or swimming in the waves alongside the penguins. These birds are also fascinating to watch as they go about their business. From preening and sunbathing to guarding their nest and gliding through the waves like speedy black-and-white torpedoes.

Spend your day basking in the African sun, having a picnic or swimming in the waves alongside Cape Town's penguins

Spend your day relaxing in the African sun, having a picnic or swimming in the waves alongside Cape Town's penguins

With all of the excitement on Boulders Beach, we’re sure you’ll be feeling rather peckish. Why not head to the vibrant coastal village of Kalk Bay? This vibrant fishing village is bursting with artistic inspiration, delightful dining options and awe-inspiring views. After lunch, take a stroll and discover the diverse array of historical buildings, cobblestone paths, antique stores as well as art and exhibition spaces.

Visit the lovely costal fishing town of Kalk Bay

Visit the lovely costal fishing town of Kalk Bay

The African Penguins

The penguins arrived in False Bay in the 1980s, looking for adventure and new opportunities and boy, did they find them! The bay was overflowing with fish, providing the penguins with enough food that they saw an explosion in the growth of their colony.

But things weren't all sunshine and rainbows for our little feathered friends. Commercial fishing, marine pollution, and habitat destruction took their toll on their colony, leaving them struggling for survival. Can you believe that just a century ago, there were around one-and-a-half million African Penguins, and now they're on the endangered species list? 

Fast forward to 1982, and there were only two breeding pairs left. It was a sad sight to see but, thanks to the hard work and dedication of conservationists, the Cape Town penguins’ colony has grown to over 3,000 birds in recent years!

The African Penguins colony at Boulders Beach is thriving thanks to conservation efforts

The African Penguins colony at Boulders Beach is thriving thanks to conservation efforts

Come Visit Cape Town’s Penguins 

Our little feathered friends are dressed to the nines and ready to steal your heart. It's no wonder Boulders Beach is one of Cape Town's most popular attractions, drawing visitors from far and wide who want to experience the magic of African Penguins and the beauty of the coastline.

So, pack your sunscreen, and grab your camera, because our African Travel Experts are ready to help you plan your next South African adventure!

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About the author 

Savannah St Claire

Born in the picturesque City of Cape Town, Savannah is no stranger to the beauty and adventure Africa has to offer. With a bachelor's degree in Digital Marketing under her belt and a passion for travelling in her heart, she is taking to her new path in life like a moth to a flame. When not chasing sunsets, you'll find her enjoying the finer things in life and South African wines are no exception!

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