How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins
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How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach – home to 3000 African penguins

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Boulders Beach is a home to 3000 african penguins and it’s a popular destination in South Africa. The African penguins that live there attract thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. Boulders penguin colony is the only one of its kind not only in South Africa, but in the world.

I’ve only been to Simon’s Town’s penguin beach once. I can honestly say that it was my best travel experience. The place turned out to be amazing and I want to visit it again! I am very fond of nature and African biodiversity. 

How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins

How to get to Simon’s Town? 

I recommend renting a car after arriving at Cape Town’s international airport. At the airport, there are several car rental companies. The quickest and most convenient way to get to Boulders Beach is by car. After visiting the famous beach, you can also drive to the Cape of Good Hope

On the other hand, using Uber’s services could be an option. This mode of transportation comes highly recommended by me. You have no reason to be concerned about Uber in Cape Town

Boulders Beach is 51 kilometers from Cape Town International Airport. In front of the airport, there is a car rental lot (you can find it on the map). You will pick up your rental car from there. After leaving the parking lot, you drive towards the city.

How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins

Take the following steps:

  • Take Airport Ring Rd and Airport Approach Rd to Settlers Way/N2 in Kanana
  • Follow Settlers Way/N2 and M3 to Steenberg Rd/M42 in Westlake. Take exit 23 from M3
  • Take M75 and M4 to Secluse Ave in Boulders

I strongly advise against driving through Mitchells Plain and Nyanga after dark. The road passes through Cape Flats. The area is well-known for its numerous shootings and police operations against criminals and drug dealers. In a nutshell, stay away. 

You should arrive after about 50 minutes of driving. 

Importantly, Cape Town is currently one of the most congested cities in South Africa. This is due to the city’s vast size. The authorities are also not investing in the development of public transportation. 

The Waze and Google Maps apps provide real-time information about traffic and roadblocks. Listening to KFM, the local radio station, is also beneficial. The station informs motorists about traffic problems in and around Cape Town. It has the potential to be the first and most trustworthy source of information. Listen to KFM live here

Visit Boulders Beach to see the penguins

Boulders Beach is located on Cape Peninsula, in Simon’s Town. The town is classified as a suburb of Cape Town. The famous beach is also often referred to as Boulders Bay. Boulders Beach is located in Simon’s Town on the Cape Peninsula. The town is considered a Cape Town suburb. 

Furthermore, the well-known beach is also known as Boulders Bay. It is without a doubt one of the most well-known locations in Southern Africa. Cape penguins can be found along South Africa’s and Namibia’s coastlines. It is a critically endangered species. These penguins are under strict protection.

When you arrive at the parking lot in front of Boulders Beach, proceed to the ticket office. The entrance fee costs R170 per adult and R85 per child, per day.

Foxy Beach

Now we’re heading to the beach! Foxy Beach is the best place to see penguins. Your observations will be facilitated by special boardwalks. In 1982, several African penguins settled on the beach, between distinct boulders, on the soft sand. The penguin colony currently numbers more than 3,000 birds.  Yes, it is the only place in the world where you can see these birds up close.  

Also, don’t get too close to them while you’re there. They are wild animals, despite their adorable appearance. Bring appropriate clothing because the area is frequently windy. Sunglasses and sunscreen are also strongly advised.

Penguins are perfectly made for a life out in the sea, but they must come ashore in order to breed.

The crystal clear water of False Bay allows you to see penguins swimming. They perfectly surf the waves and return to shore as a result of them. African penguins are excellent swimmers, as you will see!

The young molt in January, and the adults prepare for the breeding season. Importantly, penguins usually mate for life. Very often they return to the same nest as a year ago. 

Penguins usually breed from February to August, but in fact the breeding season lasts all year. Penguins typically breed from February to August, but the breeding season actually lasts all year. 

Typically, two eggs appear, and incubation lasts approximately 40 days. Most penguins stay on the beach during this time.

Boulders Penguin Colony

Table Mountain National Park is now in charge of the site. Boulders Beach is visited by nearly 60000 tourists a year.

Boulders Beach is more than just a penguin haven. It’s also a popular family destination. There are numerous activities available, such as climbing the distinctive boulders and swimming in the waters of False Bay.

The Boulders Penguin Colony is a stunning destination all year, not just during the breeding/feeding season. It is one of the best places in the world to get up close and personal with wild penguins. Despite its name, Foxy Beach is where the majority of African Penguins nest.

From November to August, especially in the late afternoon when they return from foraging, are the best times to see a large number of penguins at Boulders Beach. 

The months of December through February are the busiest at Boulders Beach. This is when a large number of European tourists come to the region. Furthermore, even during the low season, more tourists visit the area on weekends in the afternoons. As a result, it’s best to get to Boulder Beach early in the morning to secure a parking spot.

In my opinion, Boulders Beach has turned out to be an ideal habitat for jackass penguins. The massive rocks that separated the penguins’ habitat from the high waves of False Bay undoubtedly played a significant role.

Boulders Beach opening times

The Boulders Beach hours of operation vary depending on the season. The Boulders Beach opening hours in the summer are significantly longer than those in the winter.

  • 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from April to September
  • 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from October to November
  • 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from December to January
  • 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from February to March

Boulders Beach weather

From October to March, the weather is at its most pleasant. I flew to Cape Town in late November and early December. The weather was fantastic. The temperature was around 25 degrees. I should mention that it was early spring. You should protect your head because the sun can make its presence known on your skin at this time.  Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope are prone to strong winds. As a result, bring a windproof jacket with you.

The months of January and February are the driest of the year. Daytime temperatures average around 24°C and can reach 30°C. The average nighttime temperature is around 15°C. It is usually sunny and partly cloudy. 

How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins

Simons Town accommodation 

Looking for a place to stay near Boulders Beach? The variety of accommodations, hotels, and Airbnb is extremely broad. If you can, book accommodations in advance, especially in high season. First and foremost, the rates are unquestionably lower. Choose only safe and well-rated accommodations, preferably with self-catering.

Below I list my recommendations:

  1. Aha Simon’s Town Quayside Hotel

The Aha Simon’s Town Quayside Hotel is located on the water’s edge of the Simon’s Town yacht basin, with breathtaking views of False Bay and the majestic Simon’s Kloof Mountains.

This nautically themed, 4-star Simon’s Town hotel has a one-of-a-kind location, offering spectacular views of yachts and naval vessels in the harbor that no other hotel in the area can match. When you book your stay at aha Simon’s Town Quayside Hotel, you will have a pleasant experience.

How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins
  1. Mariner guesthouse

Beautiful False Bay sea views – walk to restaurants and beaches! Mariner Guesthouse, custom built on the mountainside above the harbor in historic Simon’s Town, offers 4 Star luxury accommodation at an affordable price. The spacious en-suite bedrooms provide world-class B&B and self-catering facilities. Book your stay here!

How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins
  1. Penguins View Guesthouse

Penguins View Guesthouse is a lovely, sunny three-story home that offers self-catering accommodation with stunning views of False Bay. The Guesthouse is a 3-minute walk from Boulders Beach, which is home to a colony of approximately 3000 endangered African Jackass Penguins. 

Check out best hotels in Simons Town

Simons Town restaurants

Simons Town has a number of noteworthy restaurants. Most of them offer not only seafood but also vegan options. If you can’t decide on a restaurant or the menu doesn’t appeal to you, I have a solution.

In this situation, always use your phone’s browser. Enter ‘best restaurants near me’ or ‘near restaurants’ in the search box. The search results will display restaurants based on your location. You have complete freedom to choose the best ones for you. Below are my restaurant recommendations in Simons Town: 

  1. Berthas Simon’s Town

This was a lovely restaurant with a stunning view of the harbor. Perfect candlelight dinner, excellent food with a wide variety and extremely pleasant wait staff.

How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins
  1. Saveur restaurant Simon’s Town

This restaurant is excellent for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Beautiful morning views over Simon’s Town. There is quite a large range for you to choose from, from burgers and ribs and steak through to sea food. I highly recommend it!

How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins

5 reasons to visit Boulders Beach

If you’re looking for an enjoyable day trip from Cape Town, Boulders Beach is a great option. It’s located just outside of Simon’s Town, about an hour and a half drive away from the city. Here are five reasons why you should visit the beach.

  1. There’s a colony of penguins living there! The African penguin is the smallest of all penguin species. It’s also the only penguin that breeds exclusively in Africa.
  2. There’s a colony of seals living there too! The Cape fur seal is the most abundant seal in southern Africa.
  3. It’s a great place to watch ships sail by! It’s one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, so be sure to take a good look at the ships that pass through every day.
  4. If you’re into kitesurfing, there are tons of schools and instructors close by. And if you’re just there to watch, it’s an awesome show.
  5. There are tons of great places to eat in the area! The area is known for its fresh seafood, so be sure to make a stop at one of the restaurants on the beach.

I believe that the blog post ‘How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach – home to 3000 African penguins’ has brought you closer to the subject of Boulders Beach and the African penguins that inhabit it. Better plan your trip and sightseeing. Take off on your next adventure!


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How to plan the perfect trip to the Boulders Beach - home to 3000 african penguins

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