Boulders Beach – the African penguins’ paradise. Started in 1982 by Adam and Eve of the Penguins, it has grown to about 2200 in recent years. This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, that is so adored by the penguins. They like to eat squid as well. The African penguin is listed in the Red Data Book as an endangered specie.
Because of their donkey-like braying call, they were previously named as the “Jackass Penguin”. Since several species of South American penguins produce the same sound, the local birds have been renamed as African Penguins, as they are the only example of that breed in Africa.
At Boulders Beach, the penguin-watching area consists of the few walks along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes a few magnificent wind-sheltered beaches. If you’re lucky, you can even enjoy the sun bathing experience while being surrounded by the little cuties. I have experienced this pleasure seven years ago when I was there for the first time. But this time, the penguins were busy creating their nests. Because they can’t fly, they have to nest on the ground. They very quick to use artificial structures so there were a lot of vase-shaped nests provided to them by the National Reserve’s authorities.
But what is truly amazing is that Boulders Beach is actually a residential area. It is nice to see that in some places, people and wild nature can co-exist in such peace.
This amazing place is easy to find – it is right between Simon’s Town and Cape Point. Entrance is 45 rands, although there are free walks as well.