Cape Town Tourism - Table Mountain

Boulders penguin colony

There are few places in the world where you can get this close to a breeding colony of penguins, swim close to them in the sea and enjoy their private sandy beach.

Boulders Beach is situated near Simon’s Town in False Bay between Fish Hoek and Cape Point. It’s about 2km from the Simon’s Town train station, which is the last stop on the scenic Southern Line railway route.

Swimming at Boulders Beach

The sea here is good for swimming and the big, round boulders on the sandy beach provide some shade and shelter. Since it forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, there is an entrance fee, which goes towards paying for conservation of the endangered African penguins that live here.

Get up-close and personal with the penguins

African penguins at Boulders beach. Photo courtesy of Ian Wilson

A good way to see the 3 000 African penguins (Sphenisus demersus) is from the wheelchair-friendly wooden boardwalk at Foxy Beach, accessible via the information centre on Kleintuin Road.

These flightless birds roam freely around the area, so you can get close to them, but please don’t disturb them. They can bite – a warning sign is when they move their heads from side to side.

The Boulders colony was set up in 1983 and is one of very few mainland penguin colonies.

The penguins of Boulders Beach

You're likely to see loads of penguins at Boulders beach. Photo courtesy of ScubaGeek

These fast-swimming, deep-diving, braying birds have thrived in their protected home. Their nesting season is from February to August – they nest in simple burrows in the sand or under plants – and the birds moult in November and December.

Find out more about them by visiting the information centre on Kleintuin Road.

A pair of adult African penguins at Boulders. Photo courtesy of Ian Wilson

The park is also home to other birds and small mammals, and you may see whales, seals, sharks and dolphins in the bay.

Contact the Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centre in Simon’s Town to find out more about kayaking and boating trips, accredited guides and operators, and accommodation in the area.

Did you know?

The penguin colony at Boulders Beach started in 1983 and is one of very few mainland penguin colonies.

This sweet video of a brave penguin at Boulders Beach was filmed by thedavo86

Extra info


R40 (adults and children over 12), R15 (children over two and under 12)


December - January:

07h00 to 19h30

February - March:

08h00 till 18h30

April - September:

08h00 to 17h00

October - November:

08h00 to 18h30

  • Phone: +27 21 786 2329
  • Website:
  • Physical Address: Kleintuin Road
    Sea Forth
    Simon's Town

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Andrea Hobbs


Just been to the Penguin colony at Boulders for the 4th time!! I love those little creatures - they make me smile!

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