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Want to Walk with the Penguins!

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
New Jersey
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Want to Walk with the Penguins!

I am MAD about penguins and want to walk with them at the beach! Where is the best area for this? Are there organized tours or does one just show up and waddle along side-by-side with them? What do I need to know to have the BEST time?

Thanks,

Laurie

Philadelphia...
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1. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

Just go to Boulders Beach. They are everywhere.

Sit on the beach and they will walk by you. Walk on the rocks and look down on penguins swimming in the water.

Belfast
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2. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

Yes you will certainly see plenty of penguins at Boulders Beach. The main (but not the only) area is sort of enclosed and you have to pay a small entrance fee, then you walk along wooden platforms to observe the penguins. However you can get real close, but be careful they do bite. Another option, as it is a beach, is to go swimming and there will be penguins in the water as well

Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

you'll see penguins at stony point near bettys bay as well and it is less commercialized thus less people.

Cape Town
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4. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

OK just to be clear. If you go to the main entrance, which is the first coming from Simonstown (follow the sign with the penguin picture) then you cannot walk on the beach. You must stay on the railed in boardwalks. As people say you get close to the penguins but you do not walk with them.

However to get to the beach you need to drive about 1km further along the main road and take the beach sign (beach umbrella). This takes you to a smaller entrance where you can go on the swimming beach (a separate part of the beach). This is where local families with kids go. Here you can smim with the penguins in the sea. First of all the best time to do this is definitely in the summer. In the winter the water is freezing - the penguins are built to survive, you are not! Secondly in summer it can get crowded, especially during school holidays and weekends so best to be there early. Opening time 7:00am in Dec/Jan 8:00am at other times.

You cannot get from one area to the other by foot, except back along the main road. but the same entrance fee covers you for both.

For further detail see :

sanparks.org/parks/…boulders

Also agree with the last poster, if you just want to see penguins away from the normal crowds of tourists at Boulders, Stoney Point near Betty's Bay is much quiter and has equal viewing capability and, usually, more penguins. However you are still kept slightly separate from the penguins here and there is no beach where the penguin colony is.

Belfast
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5. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

VdC - It is not like me to question your post but...

I agree that there are two separate parts to the Boulders Beach, the first of which is the pay entry part with wooden boardwalks. Watch out for the signposts as they are easily missed, unless they have improved them recently. The pay entry part will almost certainly have the largest number of penguins in it and there are good information boards about their life, so is definitely worth the small fee.

The second part is the swimming beach. This is free. There is a small car park at this second part but when we went this was already full and we were "escorted" onto someone's garden (for a small fee, of course)by a car guard. I seem to recall that there was a children's play area and some public toilets there before you went down to the sandy beach. One assumes the name of the beach derives from the huge rocks and you are right to say that you cannot walk along the coastline itself back to the pay entry part. However you do not need to walk back along the main road. There is a tarmac path from one beach to another and here you can come within touching distance of penguins. You cannot see the beach itself because of thick bushes and undergrowth but penguins use the shelter as shade and a small number of penguins can be seen resting right beside the wire fence which stops them from wandering into people's houses.

Somerset
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6. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

We seem to have a difference of opinion here.

My experience is - Whichever entrance you use you have to pay the conservation fee. Assuming you go to the 'public beach' end there is a small kiosk where you pay. You then have access to the beach and obviously share it with the penguins. You can then if you wish go out past the payment office turn right and go all the way along the boardwalk. When you get to the 'penguins only' end of the beach you can show your ticket and have entry to that section. You can of course do it in reverse but you have to pay at one end and show your ticket at the other end. Don't know how you escaped the fee at the public beach end B/Taxman, but that has been my experience for many years. I remember about three years ago we were making our way to the penguin's end and the board-walk was being constructed what an obstacle course that was at the time, but well worth it now. If you just want to go on a beach and see penguins, just a bit further on you can get on to Foxy Beach (which I believe is where the very first penguins 'nested' and settled) and it is free to go on that beach.

Stoney Point (near Betty's Bay) is also a conservation area and there is a small fee to enter. Again you go along a boardwalk and path and are seperate but very close, to the penguins. A huge number of cormorants as well and dassies. As mentioned much fewer visitors and also no beach worth mentioning at that particular point.

Cape Town
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7. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

... and please be careful if you park a car in any parking area at Boulders. The Pengys love to sleep under cars (as I have discovered, to my cost, when I pulled out of a parking space and drove over one that was sleeping too close to my front wheel :-( ) I always check under my car whenever I go there now!

Belfast
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8. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

Perhaps I am mistaken - I do recall paying a small fee at the beach car park but I assumed that was for the car park - there was certainly a car guard there. I didn't pay to get onto the actual beach at all, but having walked along the path I mention in my previous post, we then did pay and get a ticket at the booth before you walk onto the wooden walkways.

Cape Town
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9. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

Just to clear up any confusion, and hopefully useful for all here is the link to the TMNP official map of the Boulders Reserve.

sanparks.org/parks/…202.jpg

As Belfast says there is definitely a path between Foxy Beach (the penguin viewing area) and Boulders Beach (the swimming area). It also clearly shows pay offices at both entrances. As always in National Parks Wild Card holders get in free.

Somerset
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10. Re: Want to Walk with the Penguins!

To further clear up any confusion (of MY making)

VdeC is absolutely correct in that you have to pay at either end. When I referred to free entry to Foxy Beach I made a mistake, I meant the beach at Froggy Farm (don't know my Foxes from my Frogs)

Faxy Beach is indeed the beach exclusive to penguins and where you can stroll round the boardwalk to view them. then comes the swimming beach, where you also have to pay an entry fee then further along again you can get on the beach at Froggy Farm - this is free - but does not necessarily have many, if any, penguins !!!

I think between us we eventually got it sorted out, sorry for the mistake in names on my part.