One of the main things to do in South Africa, is to hang out with wild penguins in Cape Town. These little guys with a funny gait are amazing and South Africa is one of the few places you can see them this close in the wild. Read our article to know more about the two mainland colonies – Stony Point and Boulders Beach – where you can see the African Penguins in Cape Town. We will also tell you how to get to them, how much it costs and more.
Where to see penguins in Cape Town, South Africa
There are two mainland colonies where you can see penguins in Cape Town. Of the two, Boulders Beach is certainly the most popular. Actually, in Boulders you can do a lot more than see them, you can even swim with them – if you dare facing the cold currents of the Atlantic Ocean. Fee: R76 for adults, R41 for children
Located just outside Simon’s Town, this famous penguin colony is where the majority of the wild penguins come to nest, it’s also on the way to the Cape of Good Hope and the Cape Point National Park. This is a popular day trip – you can read all about our itinerary from Cape Town to Cape Peninsula here.
HOW DO YOU GET TO BOULDERS BEACH FROM CAPE TOWN?
To get to Boulders Beach from Cape Town you can simply drive. Simon’s Town is just one hour south of Cape Town and the drive will also take you along the spectacular coastal route of the Cape Peninsula. There’s currently no public transport heading to Boulders Beach from Cape Town, so we suggest renting a car. Other options are: taxi/Uber – will take you on the same route as a self-drive and will cost around R450 for the vehicle or joining one of the many bus tours including the beach in their itineraries.
Don’t forget to read everything you should know about driving in South Africa here.
STONY POINT, BETTY’S BAY
The second place to see penguins in Cape Town is just over an hour’s drive from the city. The colony of Stony Point, located in the seaside village of Betty’s Bay, just off the scenic R44, is must quieter and less touristy. There are no beaches for swimming but you can closely observe the penguins’ daily activities from the boardwalk along the rocky outcrops. Stony Point – used in the past as a whaling station – is one of the few places in South Africa dedicated to helping preserve the African Penguin, and it’s probably the most off-the-beaten if you’re hoping to avoid crowds. Since the 1980s these breeding grounds have grown from two to over 3,000 of the white-bellied birds.
The entrance here is only R20 for adult, R10 for children and – if you are lucky – you get two birds with one stone and spot seals playing in the water.
HOW DO YOU GET TO BETTY’S BAY FROM CAPE TOWN?
Let me tell you that the R44 is a road you don’t want to miss. This scenic and pristine route also leads to the beautiful sand dunes overlooking Silver Sands Beach. Known as Blesberg, the dunes are without doubt a must see. Once again the best way to get to Betty’s Bay from Cape Town is driving, but there are also many tours you can rely on.
…Also, a common question I get is: what camera do we use for our close up shots?
The body is a Sony Alpha 6000 and to take these shots we used a zoom lens, the Sony 55-210 mm. This lens is awesome if you’re photographing animals.
Our full guide that includes all the camera gear we take on every trip is here.
African Penguin are also nicknamed jackass penguins because their calls sound like donkey noises.