Town center in Cape Town
I could say a lot of things about the Cape Drive.
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.
Coral trees along the Cape Drive
We could talk about the coral trees that hijacked our vision.
Or, the white sand beaches with water too cold to dip even our pinky finger.
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 Beach
We could talk about all of that. Or, we could talk about penguins. Yeah, let’s do that instead.
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.
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.
Penguins walking down
Belying their grace in the water, on land, they waddle together in clumsy half-strides.
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.
We stand back in equally bunched groups, filling our memory cards with their cute faces.
Penguins walking at Boulders Beach
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.