Boulders Beach lies about 2 km out of Simons Town, heading towards Cape Point. This sheltered beach, protected from rough seas by massive granite boulders in the water, is home to a colony of African penguins. The colony was established in the 1980’s. It is one of 2 mainland colonies in South Africa, the other being at Betty’s Bay along the East Coast. African penguins are also known as Jackass penguins because of their peculiar braying noise, reminiscent of a donkey. Wooden walkways above the beach allow visitors to wander among the penguin’s nesting sites and see the penguins close up.
Boulders Beach falls within the Table Mountain National Park. There is a small entrance fee to access the beach. The beach is closed to visitors in the evenings. Opening times vary with the seasons. In summer, the beach opens at 7.00 am and shuts at 7.30pm while in winter it opens later at 8am, shutting at 5.30pm.
The beach is perfect for swimming as it is safe and free of currents. It is advisable to not approach the penguins in the water as they have sharp beaks and have been known to peck at you if disturbed. However they are fascinating to watch as they swim effortlessly through the water at great speed. There are few places in the world where you can share your swim with an African penguin.