Boulders Beach Penguin Colony in Cape Town – African Penguins
Home to 1000 of these black & white birds, the penguin colony at Boulders Beach is rather unique in that the penguins themselves voluntarily inhabited this public beach in the middle of Simon’s Town. Penguins are almost completely adapted to ocean living and long periods are passed without them needing to come on land. Their diet consists mainly of pilchards which are rich in oil, but they are forced to feed on squid & other fish, as commercial fisheries & increasing seal populations cause great competition. With their specially modified wings, the birds can be seen “Flying” through water; attaining speeds of between 2.5km per hour to more than 7 km per hour!
Previously known as ‘Jackass’ penguins due to their donkey-like braying, African Penguins are 1 of only 16 penguin species in the entire world. These Penguins are native to mostly off-shore islands and with just 3 main-land areas on the South African coast, Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is 1 of the 28 sites, worldwide, that they inhabit.
Penguins don’t have blubber for insulation from the cold as seals & whales do; however, a layer of air is trapped beneath the penguins’ feathers which, if in contact with an oil spill, become severely damaged. They create their nests in hollows of stones or soil where they normally lay just 2 eggs. Feeding duties are shared by both parents by regurgitation of fish. As agile as they are in water, these cute little birds stumble around clumsily on dry land; this makes them quite vulnerable to predators and humans alike. Due to the extent of their harvesting by early settlers & sailors, these once abundant sea birds are now just 100 000 in existence. Even though they are now fully protected by law, the African Penguins are still threatened by oil spills if leaked into breeding/feeding areas; meaning death for many. Luckily for them, the South African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) – formed twenty years ago – helps rescue these penguins from just such disasters. In just 1 oil-spill incident, the individual capture & treatment of 10 000 penguins was successfully implemented. SANCCOB runs a rehabilitation & rescue centre near Tableview for injured/ill seabirds. Funded solely by its member’s fees & generous donations made by the public; SANCCOB has scientifically been proven to be the no1 (successful) the no1 (successful) sea-bird rehab centre in the world.
The Black Marlin boasts a vast menu with seafood as its main focus. House specials include Seafood platters, oysters, mussels & Cape Rock lobster. The restaurant has become known the world over, due to providing top quality service & impeccable fresh seafood to foreign tourists and locals alike.
From the Airport: (+ – 50mins)
Following signs for N2 Cape Town, exit the airport. Freeway splits; follow signs for M3 (in the direction of Muizenberg). Continue along M3 until the end of freeway; turn left at traffic lights. Next set of lights, turn right towards Muizenberg on the M4. Follow coastal road, through Muizenberg until you get to Fish Hoek. At the traffic circle, keep left and follow directional signs to Simon’s Town. Pass through Simon’s Town approximately 1.5km out of town; turn left into Bellevue Road (golf course on the corner!) Take 2nd road left into Boulders Place. Boulders Beach is to your left at the bottom of the road.