Tag Archives: Boulders Beach

December days at the Cape of Good Hope

Cape Town is a city more richly endowed with scenic splendour than most others in the world,  and almost all of the most beautiful spots in and around the city are protected in the Table Mountain National Park. And while Table Mountain itself is undoubtedly worthy of its spot among the wonders of the natural world, it is in the Cape of Good Hope section of the national park that visitors can get the most authentic taste of the Cape Peninsula’s other natural wonders, of which there are many!

The Cape Peninsula is world renowned for its rich variety of unique plants – about 2,300 species are found here and many of them occur nowhere else on earth.

More than 300 bird species have been recorded in the Table Mountain National Park and the Cape of Good Hope section of the Park is an excellent place in which to search for most of them.

There may not be any of the famed “Big 5” African animals roaming freely over the Cape Peninsula these days, but there’s still a very rich and diverse population of insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals that inhabit the area along with all those birds.

While exploring the Table Mountain National Park and Cape Town during December 2022, we based ourselves at the Eland Cottage inside the Cape of Good Hope section of the Park. Eland Cottage has two lounges, a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, bathroom, three bedrooms, outside shower and lapa! In addition to Eland visitors to this part of the Park can also book the Duiker Cottage, similar to Eland, and Olifantsbos House – a luxury unit with an exclusive setting right on the beach. DeWetsWild will gladly assist you with bookings in these units, other accommodation options in the Table Mountain National Park, at one of five hotels in metropolitan Cape Town or at the Goudini Spa in the Cape Winelands if you are planning a visit to Cape Town and surrounds.

At Simonstown, just a stone’s throw north of the Cape of Good Hope, is the Boulders Beach where African Penguins breed right at the urban edge. Have a read here if you’d like to know more about this special place. While we again spent a few moments with the penguins at Boulders during our December 2022 trip to Cape Town we will soon tell you more about another colony of these charismatic birds that you should seriously consider also including in your visit to the Western Cape.


Boulders Beach and Penguin Colony (Table Mountain National Park)

Boulders, a sheltered cove in the naval town of Simon’s Town, comprises a few small bays and beaches protected by enormous granite rocks, 540-million years old, from the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean in False Bay. It is one of the most popular attractions in the Table Mountain National Park.

In 1982, two pairs of African Penguins took the unusual step of settling and breeding on the mainland here at Boulders. Today, the colony has grown to number over 2,000 birds and offers probably the most accessible views of penguins to be had anywhere in the world. Visitors are urged not to get too close to the penguins and not to try and touch them, as they’ll not hesitate to nip a finger or nose with their razor sharp beaks if they feel threatened.

While pride of place obviously goes the the penguins, there’s a multitude of other wildlife – birds and mammals especially – that find a safe refuge at Boulders.

Wheelchair-friendly boardwalks erected at Foxy Beach allows visitors to get up close to the penguins, while swimming and sunbathing is popular at Boulders Beach. The two beaches are connected by a lovely walkway through indigenous bush known as Willis’ Walk. There is a curio shop at the visitor centre, and several restaurants, cafes and coffee shops nearby in Simon’s Town.

Boulders Beach and Penguin Colony is located in Simon’s Town, base of the South African navy south of Cape Town. Parking is available in Seaforth Road and Bellevue Road, both of which turn off the main Milner’s Point Road (M4) leading through town.

Dashing in Black-and-White

This morning we visited the colony of African Penguins breeding at Boulders Beach in Simonstown, the historic naval town located south of Cape Town on the coast of False Bay.

Of course we’ll share more about Boulders, and the African Penguin, when we return from our holiday!


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