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Visiting the penguins at Boulders

Game Warden

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Game Warden

Boulders Beach was a short drive from where we had been staying in Kommetjie and following a visit to Cape Point we finished the afternoon with the penguins. The public beach is situated down a short residential side road off from the main coast road and there is a small car park which at the time we arrived was empty.


Warning signs ensure you check beneath your car before leaving.


You pay to go down to the main beach, a small cove - but with the lateness of hour, and the tide being in, we chose not to go down: however if you want to actually swim with penguins it is a must. To the right of the car park is a grassy area leading down to the rocky shore, and is bordered by private houses. The penguins are everywhere... and at the time we visited were nesting. Recently a large number of chicks had perished in a heatwave.


The penguins seem to nest in every hollow, beneath public benches, under hedges, in holes in the rocks, and those that aren't wander around not the slightest bit perturbed by human presence.


This is one chap with whom I made his acquaintance. (Note I say chap whilst not knowing whether it was male or female: whatever - this penguin turned out to be very friendly and fearless, amusingly so...) For those of you old enough, and who grew up in England, to recall "Animal Magic" with Johnny Morris, I offer up my poor impersonation...


"Hmmn, what have we here I wonder - a new shoe, an expensive shoe? I think I'll take a closer look, hmmn."


"Perhaps it's a worm, perhaps something edible?" as he moves in closer. Note I was standing very still.


"No it's just a shoelace... not a worm after all..."


"So you were just playing a trick on me were you...?"


"And you think it's funny do you...?"


"Well I'll show you we penguins of Boulders Beach aren't daft... take that!"

To be continued...

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These penguin pictures are great and have gotten me enthused for my time with them in July. The little guys certainly took an interest in you, or at least your foot.


Would the penguins really latch on underneath the vehicle?


What do the penguins do with the swimmers? Interact? Avoid them?


Thanks for these adorable shots.

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Your trip is getting closer. Will be keen to hear how your North Luangwa trip goes - i will be keen to go there next year!

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Do your feet smell like fish?

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Funny penguin, funny Game Warden, bad Dikdik.

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MMMM .... Must be a sole!


That penguin is a Jackass!! :huh:

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Game Warden


Now done with my shoes with a nonchalant look and adieus he went to investigate those of my wife and daughter...


But it seemed mine were preferable.


"Just in case I missed something the first time round."


This time it was goodbye as he looked longingly one last time to my shoelaces,


before joining his friends.


But as an afterthought, perhaps as his way of thanking me, he gave a little dance: look down...


Look up...


Turn right...


Look down...


Turn left and done.


And a parting shot - a new generation of Boulders Penguins commences life: I have heard that there will be some shelters built to to protect the chicks from the burning sun.

Once past the bathing beach you must follow the boardwalk all the way round, leading between private backgardens on one side and rocks and beach on the other for some intimate penguin encounters... at the end of the day when it is quiet and in the subtle sunset light it is a beautiful place to be, and one which was an unexpected highlight of my South Africa trip.

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Game Warden

Nappa, I caught the tail end of Johnny Morris and Animal Magic, when Terry Nutkins joined the presenters. I recall it from about 1980 onwards. It was in black and white then, but I think that was only because we had a black and white TV...

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  • 3 months later...

Checked out your penguins again, Game Warden, and the photos and comments take on new meaning now that I've been there. I saw that sign about penguins under the vehicle. A fascinating place. My shoes must not have been as interesting as yours.

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  • 10 months later...

Oooooh, aren't they so cute. Love these pics, and they sure took a liking to your shoe. Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

They now do have the little houses, so hopefully this will help to keep the beauties alive.

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Wonderful and bet the kids loved it too!

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  • 6 years later...

Such an incredible place. Plus if you're a diver there are some seriously good things to see under the water in the area as well. I did two dives just outside of Simon's town. The first took me into stunning kelp forests where friendly Cape Fur Seal pups will come and play with you. The second took me a little further out where I got up close with a half dozen 7 Gilled Cow Sharks. These prehistoric looking beasts are simply stunning to see as they glide through the kelp. I think we saw a further 4 species of shark that day, little Pajama Sharks and Puffadder Shy Sharks, plus colorful nudibranch. A bonus was having a Souther Right Whale breaching right next to our boat as we came back in for the day. You can see the penguins from the dive site as well.

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