Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
4.5
About
The sheltered inlet of Boulders Beach is located in the Cape peninsula near Simon's Town. Here exists a protected colony of African penguins which can be viewed in their natural habitat via wooden walkways. There is also an excellent beach for swimming nearby.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • KBhols73
    Glasgow, United Kingdom58 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Penguin heaven
    Amazing watching the penguins in their natural habitat. We could have stayed all day. Fairly quiet when we went so no problem seeing them busy at work. The boardwalk is well designed and protects the penguins. Well worth a visit for us - not many places in the world you can see them naturally in action.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 18, 2023
  • Gill P
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom100 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You are Guaranteed Penguins !
    We went along hoping to see at least one penguin not realising that you are practically guaranteed to see loads. If you go along at 3pm ish you will see more as the ones that have been out at sea are returning to their nests. Amazing nature ! Could have stayed there for hours.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 29, 2023
  • smvNYC
    New York City, New York359 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place
    It is a unique experience to to see the African penguins come and go. When we visited, several pairs had small chicks. One has to pay a fee and it was annoying to wait in line to do so while large groups were ushered in (I guess they had prepaid). However once inside it did not sem crowded.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 17, 2023
  • hallimad
    Rugby, United Kingdom33 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely sight!
    It is a wonderful sight to see. Was quite busy when we went but the boardwalk offers lots of opportunity to view the penguins. We paid to walk down the boardwalk but you can walk further to the right of the entrance and view for free. The entrance fee isn’t extortionate and goes towards supporting the Penguin colony.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 14, 2023
  • Wombling_Free_7548
    Bristol, United Kingdom2,104 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    All the penguins
    We went at 5pm and it wasn’t busy. Bought our tickets from the booth near the car park and walked down to the beach - No penguins! But then realised there was a boardwalk behind the beach, which took us to the penguins. Lots of penguins chilling out in dry land by the boardwalk. And then loads on the beach. Gorgeous views too.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 2, 2023
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Penguins for days, if that's your thing
    It was fun visiting the penguins and watching them play in the sea. It is rammed with tourists so pick a good time in the day. Its also on the way to Cape of good hope so makes sense to combine the two.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 23, 2023
  • 1957
    Ottawa, Canada829 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoying the penguins..
    Part of our Gate 1 tour, we drove and visited this area where there is a colony of endangered Penguins. There is a boardwalk to get to the penguins. Beautiful area to enjoy, to take pictures of them. As you leave the area there is a gift shop and an African market.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 6, 2023
  • Katherine
    Manchester, United Kingdom522 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing!It was on my Bucket List!
    We parked up and to the first counter and realised it was for the beach. So made our way on a 10minute walk to the main Penguin area. This is were you pay to view the Penguins from the decks. It was amazing to see the Penguins but disappointed that we didn’t get up close to them as we had seen on videos. On our walk back to the first counter for the beach we noticed people on the Boulders and penguins through the green bushes. We then paid to enter the beach and made our way over the Boulders which wasn’t easy if you don’t like heights or small spaces. What we did see was loads of penguins it was a dream come true and a truly amazing experience.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 8, 2023
  • Richard G
    Thunder Bay, Canada55 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A neat site to check out. The African penguins are amazing and fun to see.
    A neat site to check out. The African penguins are amazing and fun to see. The site is a simple walk to get too and is a beautiful setting with the boulders and rocks around. No regrets here on seeing this and highly recommended!
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 29, 2023
  • StormyWind
    London, United Kingdom387 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Up Close and Personal with Penguins
    This beach is utterly divine. A small bay with powder white sand and translucent green water, you can literally swim around the boulders and hang next to penguin. It was very crowded because it was Christmas Eve but thia didn’t detract from our experience. The walkway is really nicely done and there’s plenty of opportunity to see penguins up close and to observe them surfing in to the beach. A (for SA) fairly steep fee is charged but to conserve this beach and habitat for the penguins it’s worth it. Very special.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 1, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles8,500 reviews
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Nick J
Bury St. Edmunds, UK91 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
This is impossible, so many visitors they have to protect the colony but in doing so it becomes like going to a zoo with only one exhibit. Obviously the penguins are wild and free, and the conservation work is brilliant, but reviewing as an attraction they charge a lot of money for you to walk down a wooden path to look at a very small beach with penguins on. You do get very close, every now and then a penguin moves. As above, I accept there isn't a better option and think what has been done is good, but for the money a lot more could be done by way of talks, short educational films or similar. The staff don't manage a smile or eye contact, just "4 people, thats R1280". My son was desperate to see Penguins, so tick, but was all a bit thin.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dunluce
Belfast20 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Interesting visit but R160 is ridiculous.
Made so much worse by the fact that SA Nationals are charged R40. The same situation now seems to apply throughout with visitors paying 3 times as much as South Africans on average visiting eg. Table Mountain and the Cape National Park.
South African tourism will suffer in the end. I have NEVER seen blatant discrimination like this anywhere else.
I love visiting SA but this really is not acceptable.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

P2HAM
Fleet, UK148 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
If you visit boulders beach definitely pay and go in the penguin colony . But to make it special take your costume and towel and have a day on the beach. A cab is far better than a tour because you can relax and swim and watch the penguins rather than rush in take a picture and be pushed to restaurant. A must if in Cape Town
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zipmans
London, UK111 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
This place is OK, but it does feel a little expensive when you are able to walk 10 mins south of this location and see penguins down there.

I would recommend parking 5 to 10 mins away by the golf course (south of the official area) and the walking down the side of the golf course towards the sea and then walking down the path away from the official area. Amazing beach areas and penguins are there aswell - All for £0 / free
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Claire
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Visited the penguin colony on the way back from Cape Point. Its a fantastic place but if you’re limited to time or do not want to use the beach opt for the penguin viewing sign rather that the Boulder Bay sign. We hired a cobra car for the day, needed to return the car by 4pm and wasted time by going to Boulder Bay, it was 640R and we stayed less than 5 minutes, we only saw a couple of penguins and its for sunbathing and swimming. The Boulder Bay restaurant food is very average but its the only place to eat and use the toilets. Further up the hill is the penguin viewing centre. Another 640R but we did get a short time to see lots of penguins on the beach, and there is a little cafe there which would have been fine for us. Also a lovely African singing group by the car park, would have loved to spend more time there.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ritaSouthAfrica
south africa243 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
These are just the most amazing little creatures and being so close to them was life changing. I would visit them evety time I am in the vicinty and highly recommend taking all children- of ALL ages- to experience this.We could enter free of charge with our Sanparks Wild Card.
Written November 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bobdbl
Wetherby, UK346 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
The cost here is much higher than at Bettys Bay, and the boarwalk is much shorter. That said, if you only have time to visit one colony, there are plenty of penguins to see, and a lot of seabirds. We only saw one Dassy, and no other wildlife, whereas at Bettys Bay we saw multiple Dassies and several lizards. There is quite a long walk from the nearest car park to the penguin colony, but disabled persons can be dropped off qiote near the entrance. The souvenir shop is quite good, and rthere are several places selling refreshments on the walk from the car park.
The penguins are totally used to people walking on the boardwalk, and are unfazes by cameras etc. Touching the birds is, of course, forbidden, and in any case virtually impossible.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Haelen
Voorburg, The Netherlands394 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
It was an incredible experience to see more than hundred of penguins very nearby. We have been watching them from different angles for a few hours. You can see their behavior easily. The only set back is that you will have to enjoy this sight with many other tourists and this creates a bit of a zoo atmosphere. Still I considered this the number one sight in the Cape area, which shouldn't be missed.
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lyndsey S
Dereham, UK136 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
We paid around £15 gbp for 2 adults, the price is a bit steep considering you won’t be there any longer than half an hour. We went to seaforth beach first to try to see them for free but there were no penguins there so had to pay. Maybe around 50 people here when we got there around 11 but was getting much busier as we left. Do as part of a tour to cape point but not worth a separate trip.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maury C
London, UK80 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Seeing the penguin colony was very nice. However the wait to get in was too long and you basically only have two sides you can look at penguins from once you're in. I wish there could be more interaction with the penguins as then people told us you can walk down to other beaches outside that have penguins in them.
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Boulders Beach Penguin Colony - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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