Boulders Beach Penguins Simons Town

Boulders Beach Penguins

Boulders Beach Penguins Penguin spotting in South Africa

It remains a strange sight. Boulders beach penguins thousands of black and white penguins on a tropical beach in South Africa. In Boulders Beach south of Cape Town this is quite normal, and it is recommended to take a day trip to the special penguin colony.

During a cape town break, you should not only visit Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope, but also make a short stop at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. Here you will come face to face with about 3000 penguins that pass unperturbed among the tourists.


If you are planning a trip to South Africa, the pictures of Boulders Beach probably will not have escaped you. This is one of the most famous places in the Cape Town area, because here you will find a colony of about 3000 African penguins.

The animals are protected and the result of a successful breeding programme: 35 years ago the population could still be counted on one hand. Now the little critters are really everywhere. They have paint for fences and barriers, and you can see them on the sand, between the rocks and sometimes even waddling around the nearby village. A special sight.

Boulders Visitor Center

The official place to spot the penguins is at the Boulders Visitor Center. You pay a small amount of entrance fee and can peek at the animals via landscaped hiking trails. Opinions on this centre are divided. You can observe the animals up close, but it sometimes feels a bit like a zoo. However, if you want to spot the penguins, you are not obliged to do so through the visitor centre.

On the beach next to the visitor centre they also walk freely around and you can get a lot closer. Besides, you do not have to pay for it.

Swimming with penguins

If you visit Boulders Beach, do not forget to bring your swimwear and a dry towel. The above beach is just part of the village and is freely accessible to swimmers and sun worshippers. A paradise place with white sand, a blue ocean and a nice place to swim. Again, there are many penguins and you can in theory roll out your towel between the black and white critters.

However, don’t be fooled too much by the cute look of the penguins and keep a little distance. They have sharp teeth and can bite in common if you try to pet them.

The best time to visit Boulders Beach

I am sure you will not be surprised if Boulders Beach is one of the most popular attractions in all of Cape Town. Many people take the trouble to go to the Cape Peninsula for a day and that means that it is usually quite busy with tourists. It is smart to plan your visit as early as possible in the day. Set the alarm and drive straight after breakfast to Boulders Beach. Aren’t you such a morning man? You can also choose to visit Boulders Beach at the end of the day.

Simon’s Town

Boulders Beach is part of Simon’s Town and there is also a lot to see in the village itself. In addition to the necessary restaurants and hotels, you will also find some interesting sights. This allows you to visit one of the four museums. In the Simon’s Town Museum, for example, you’ll learn more about the history of the village, which was once owned by the VOC. The local tourist office also organizes city walks that take you to the most famous places in Simon’s Town.

Combine it with Cape of Good Hope

A visit to Boulders Beach is combined by many people with a trip to the Cape of Good Hope. Both sights are located on the peninsula south of Cape Town and you can see them in one day. From Boulders Beach it’s still about half an hour to the Cape of Good Hope, so it’s definitely recommended to drive a little further after your visit to the penguins. On the Cape of Good Hope, you can take beautiful walks along the jagged rocky coast and with a bit of luck even whale watching.

Travel to Boulders Beach — How do you get there?

Boulders Beach is located on the Cape Peninsula, about an hour’s drive from downtown Cape Town. A rental car is so practical when you visit the penguins, because you can easily drive on to the Cape of Good Hope. However, it is also possible to travel by train to Simon’s Town and there are plenty of day tours to the peninsula in Cape Town itself.

If you book a guided grand tour starting in Johannesburg and go all the way to Cape Town. You will also visit Boulders Beach. Learn more

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