As soon as we booked our South Africa travel, I knew I wanted to go see the famed penguins at Boulders Beach. Who wouldn’t want to see adorable penguins on a beach? Today I’m sharing about our experience heading down to Boulders Beach and what you can expect if you have any interest in visiting the penguins during your time in Cape Town, South Africa!
The Penguin Colony At Boulders Beach In Cape Town, South Africa
Boulders Beach is near the end of a beautiful scenic drive in Cape Town and it’s worth stopping along the way at various lookout points to enjoy South Africa’s picturesque coastline.
It’s no surprise that Boulders Beach gets its name from the gigantic boulders that lay along the beach, but it’s kind of hard to share just how immense they are. Even these photos really don’t do it justice! We loved walking along the boardwalk, snapping pics and even seeing some penguins nesting in the bushes.
After we strolled the length of the boardwalk, we paid our entrance fee to walk down to the beach that has a huge penguin population. Beware – there is no shade and this stretch got pretty dang hot, so come prepared with a hat or sunscreen if you plan to be out here for any length of time. We stayed about 30 minutes and that felt like plenty of time.
Boulders Beach Penguins
So many people told me to expect the penguin beach to smell terrible, but it honestly didn’t smell that bad to me. I will say – the wind was blowing pretty hard, so maybe that helped? Either way, it felt kind of surreal to see all the penguins playing in the sand, sleeping and walking in and out of the water.
How cute are these little baby penguins? There were quite a few penguin chicks and even more penguins sitting on eggs. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was seeing other birds of prey trying to swoop down and steal the penguin eggs. We saw a prey bird snatch one successfully and it made me pretty sad.
Boulders Beach South Africa is definitely a highly trafficked tourist area. There is no denying that. The path that leads to the entrance is filled with vendors trying to sell things, the beach is pretty densely populated and there was a line to get into the penguin area, because loads of tour buses drop their patrons at the entrance. That said – people move pretty fluidly through the area and you are able to get good photos (or at least good enough for me as witnessed in this post ;)).
You know me – I’m not typically one for hugely touristy activities, but this is definitely one I recommend visiting while you are in Cape Town. We loved seeing penguins on a beach (it seemed so out-of-place) and seriously — driving the coastline was a highlight of our entire trip to South Africa. I would do it 100 more times!