There's a different way to see the African wildlife in their natural habitat than a safari and it's called Boulder Beach. We ventured to the Eastern side of the Peninsula (Indian Ocean) to meet and spend time with the locals, Cape Town's penguin colony.
Following the wooden boardwalks, you gain access to Foxy Beach, a sheltered cove with soft white sand, crystal clear water, massive granite boulders, and birds in butler-style tailcoats. Its nothing short of an Instagram-worthy photo op but I recommend climbing atop a boulder and spending time to take it all in. It's impossible to capture how majestic this destination truly is.
If you're spending time exploring the Cape Peninsula area of South Africa, a visit with the penguin colony at Boulders Beach is a must. They made Boulders their home (wise penguins) in 1982 and you'll be surprised by how residential the setting is, and how fascinating these birds are when you have the chance to view them at such close range. This is now a protected area for the birds and you'll pay an entrance fee that contributes to their continued, protected well being.
By last count, the colony had grown to 3,000! You'll be able to witness all aspects of their daily life here and might even find a few swimming companions or two if you decide to take a dip in swimming area at the very end of the boardwalk. Be sure to ask where swimming is and isn't allowed and then keep your eyes peeled for a few new friends and want to get a good look at you.
This spot is included in the area known as Table Mountain National Park and information on their hours can be found in the link below.
Traveling to Africa usually conjures visions of safari. If your destination is South Africa, a stopover in Cape Town is a must before heading into the bush. Once there, you won’t want to miss Cape Town’s beaches, which range from secluded bays to long, open stretches of sand and surf. The choice of beach is yours. The west side of the Cape Peninsula, on the Atlantic Ocean, is where the more fashionable set go to see and be seen. The east side of the peninsula, on the warmer Indian Ocean, is generally more laid-back and not as frenetic as the Atlantic coastline. But for a different seaside experience, Boulders Beach forms part of a conservation area that is home to the African penguin, and wooden walkways have been constructed to view the penguins in their natural habitat.
One of my TOP experiences in South Africa was hanging out with the penguins on Boulders Beach. I don't know if you can do this anywhere else in the world in your bathing suit! (maybe Galapagos Is.) The penguins mind their own if you don't get too close and are pretty acclimated to being around humans. You can choose to swim in the chilly waters with the penguins as well. The scenery at Boulders Beach is stunning and not to be missed.