African Penguins at Boulders Beach
Back in 1982, a handful of penguins settled on Boulders Beach in Cape Town. Fast forward almost 40 years and this has become home for a colony of what is now known as African penguins. It’s a delightfully odd sight.
The majority of people have only ever seen penguins in a zoo or animal park. Most people also think that penguins live on the Antarctic coastline. There’s actually only two species of penguins that do live in the Antarctic, the Adélie penguin and the Emperor penguin. The Emperor was made famous in the amazing March of the Penguins film. There’s actually penguins living naturally in a lot more places that you realise. New Zeland, South America and Africa.
The beach at Boulders is actually a great place to visit. The sand is soft and white, and the granite boulders surrounding the beach shelter the coastline from the wind that can whip down the South African coastline. That makes the water calm and ideal for swimming in. As you have to pay a fee to go on to the beach, it isn’t generally busy. The fee goes towards the conversation of the penguins and the area. The fee is R76, which works out just under £5. The conservation charge has helped the repopulation of the penguins in the area. Now there are around 2,000 – 3,000 of these little chaps. At their lowest point, they became so endangered, there were just two breeding pairs left.
When we visited, we were lucky enough to see some of the eggs that the penguins had laid. These were nestled within the vegetation surrounding the beach. Seeing the penguins on the beach is lovely, but one of the nicest ways to see the penguins is hopping about within their natural habitat. There have been a number of accessible boardwalks built which go through the dunes and vegetation. Here you can see the little critters in their homes, and this is where you might be lucky enough to spot a penguin egg or two.
These penguins are funny little creatures. Their call is quite unmistakable, it sounds like a donkey braying. They’ve been give the nickname jackass penguins because of this.
In 2018, it’s more important than ever to support the African Penguins. In the early part of 2018, a number of them fell foul to avian flu which has a low survival rate.
It was an absolute highlight of our South African trip to see African penguins. If we were to go back, I’d definitely go again and spend some more time here. I leave you with the cutest video of two of these love birds. This video went viral last month and shows two of these adorable animals walking hand in hand along the beach.
“my aunt just came back from South Africa and she sent me this video she took of this lil penguin couple ?”
So, relax and have a good time on the beach this summer??? pic.twitter.com/9k7YekVKdi
— Real News Line (@RealNewsLine) July 4, 2018
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My African penguin post is an entry in to the Trips100/Audley Travel blogger challenge. Wish me luck!
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