Boulders Penguin Colony in Simons Town is home to a unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins. This colony is one of only a few in the world, and the site has become famous and a popular international tourist destination.
The Boulders section of TMNP consists of 3 pristine beaches, 1 penguin viewing area and 3 boardwalks. The boardwalks were built as a measure to allow for viewing of these wonderful birds, whilst keeping them safe from poking fingers, so please be sure to stay on the boardwalks at all times within the viewing area.
This beach is ideal for children as immense boulders shelter the cove from currents, wind and large waves - but please always take care. Don't touch or feed the penguins – they may look cute and cuddly but their beaks are as sharp as razors and if they feel threatened they have no qualms about nipping the odd finger or nose.
A bit more about African Penguins:
African Penguins were reclassified on 26 May 2010 from a Vulnerable to now Endangered status. In 1956 when the first full census was conducted on the African Penguin, there were approximately 150 000 breeding pairs counted. In 2009 there were only 26 000 breeding pairs left in the world. These numbers indicate a loss of more than 80% of breeding pairs in just over 50 years.
The Boulders Penguin Colony was established in 1983 and numbers increased from surrounding island colonies to bring breeding numbers to 3 900 birds in 2005. Since then there has been a decrease. The 2011 figures sit at around 2100 birds at Boulders Penguin Colony. The decline at Boulders and the global decline is the suspected result of:
- habitat destruction
- effects of oil spills and other marine pollution
- impacts of global warming on fish stocks and fish movement
- over fishing
- irresponsible tourism activities
- domestic pets/animals
What can I do to help?
For more information on how to help the plight of the African Penguin, contact SANCCOB on +27(0 21 557 6155
What can I do there?
- Restaurants and B&B’s are found all in close proximity.
- Picnics on the beach
- Boulders is a safe beach with rangers on patrol every day
- Limited parking is available so arrive early during peak Summer months
- Alcohol and smoking prohibited
- Beach space depends on the tides – so make sure to come at low tide
- Boulders is closed to all vessels including canoes and kayaks.
- Boulders falls within a No-take Zone in the Marine Protected Area of the TMNP. No marine life may be removed.
- Boulders is one of TMNP's pay points where a daily conservation fee is payable. Please visit tariffs to see the current fee.
- Boulders entry and exit times