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penguins at boulders
on the cape drive

Cape Town

Town center in Cape Town

I could say a lot of things about the Cape Drive. 

Views from the Cape Drive

Near Chapman's Peak Near Chapman's Peak
Near Chapman's Peak Near Chapman's Peak

Near Chapman's Peak

I could tell you about weaving through the mountainous paths with the blanket of blue ocean, green and yellow fynbos, and rocky shores looming at every turn.

Jacaranda tree

Coral trees along the Cape Drive

We could talk about the coral trees that hijacked our vision.

Cape Drive

Near the Kommetjie lighthouse

Or, the white sand beaches with water too cold to dip even our pinky finger.

Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope

And, of course, we could talk about standing at the very tip of the African continent, at the Cape of Good Hope, that graveyard of ships.

Penguins at Boulders Bay

Penguins at Boulders Beach

We could talk about all of that.  Or, we could talk about penguins.  Yeah, let’s do that instead.

Boulders Beach penguins Boulders Beach penguin
Boulders Beach penguin Boulders Beach penguin

Close-ups of penguins at Boulder Beach

These guys are African penguins, found in droves in the Boulders Beach area on the Cape Drive.  Initially settling in this area in 1982, the penguin colony has now grown to over 3,000 birds who approach ever evening and hunker down for the night.

Penguins arriving at Boulder Beach

Boulder Beach penguins arriving for the night

In the late afternoons, the penguins swoop in from the ocean, buffeted by the waves, and when they reach land, they pull themselves erect in a single swift movement. 

Walking penguins at Boulders Beach

Penguins walking down

Belying their grace in the water, on land, they waddle together in clumsy half-strides. 

Boulders Beach penguins

Roosting for the night

Occasionally, one might separate from the group, to find a perch in the craggy black rocks or hop back into the waves, but for the most part, they move, groom, and rest in tight clusters.

Penguins at Boulder Beach

Cuteness!

We stand back in equally bunched groups, filling our memory cards with their cute faces.

Penguins

Penguins walking at Boulders Beach

Details

Boulders Beach is near Simon's Town, about halfway down the Cape Peninsula, and a 45 minute drive from Cape Town.  There is an "official" penguin visitor center but if you arrive after closing hours, like we did, or don't want to pay the fee, walk to the neighboring beach, and wait for the penguins to come in.  We didn't see 3,000 penguins but we saw about 40 or more without having to crowd through the herds of people. 

08/12/2011 08:06
I love penguins! Their little waddles are so cute. I just yesterday was going through my South Africa pictures (I'm finally getting around to doing something my monstrosity of photos). Cape Point is a beautiful place...we were there about this time last year. Sigh.

Hope you are loving Europe!
08/13/2011 08:42
Thanks Amy! Going through all the photos is a pain, isn't it? We were in Cape Town just a bit after you and I remember going through your posts and getting so excited for our Africa trip. Just yesterday, we were talking about how much we miss being in Africa.
Akila's recent blog post: weekly photo: penguins at boulders
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08/12/2011 13:59
Photos of penguins never get old. :)
08/13/2011 08:37
I don't think so either.
Akila's recent blog post: weekly photo: penguins at boulders
08/13/2011 02:52
So adorable! Love your photos
08/13/2011 08:27
Thanks so much Andrea!
Akila's recent blog post: weekly photo: penguins at boulders
08/13/2011 06:34
Lakshmi Sankar
Amazing pictures, Akila and Patrick. I love the white sand beach picture. Love, Mom
08/13/2011 08:18
Thanks so much Mom!
Akila's recent blog post: weekly photo: penguins at boulders
08/13/2011 09:34
Seriously, how cute are the 2 penguins cuddling!?!?!
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08/18/2011 10:58
some nice shots of the ocean and the penguins nice job
08/18/2011 12:14
Thanks Henry! It's easy to take cute pictures of cute animals. :)
Akila's recent blog post: south africa: the low-down
08/31/2011 13:35
Peter Best
Cape Town is a great city to visit. It has so much to offer. On our Cape Town Tour we added a sunset cruise to our itinerary. We had great views of the city, Table Mountain and a great sunset.
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