Boulders Beach: visiting the African penguins in Cape Town, South Africa

Boulders beach - cape town - south africa

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Boulders Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Cape Town, tourists go there to watch the African penguins which settled there in 1982. Located at the south of Cape Town, it is a sheltered beach made between granite boulders, from which the name originated.

On the main beach you will find just some penguins but if you walk between the boulders or swim across them you may arrive to areas with a lot of them. Also, you can have great views with tons of penguins from Foxy Beach, where boardwalks take visitors to within a few meters of the birds.

This beach is one of the most famous beaches in Cape Town and definitely worth a visit. Perfect for a day trip to explore also Simon’s Town.

Boulders beach - cape town - south africa

1. The Penguins

These African penguins are the only ones at the continent. Their story is very interesting, from just two breeding pairs taken to False Bay in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 3,000 birds in recent years.

Unfortunately, the population has decreased due to marine pollution and habitat destruction. The 2011 figures sit at around 2100 birds. As a result, the penguins are under the protection of the Cape Nature Conservation.

Boulders Beach - Cape Town - South Africa
Boulders Beach - Cape Town - South Africa

2. Boulders Beach

The beach is very beautiful; it is surrounded by granite boulders. Because of this it is a bit secluded from the wind offering a great place to relax. It is family friendly and it is usually not too crowded.

Beside the beach, one of the main attractions are the penguins of course; they can be seen all year round, they are very cute and you can take amazing pictures with them!

Find more information on the official website.

Opening hours

  • December – January: 7:00 – 19:30 hrs.
  • February – March: 8:00 – 18:30 hrs.
  • April – September: 8:00 – 17:00 hrs.
  • October – November: 8:00 – 18:30 hrs.
Boulders beach - cape town - south africa

Entrance Fees

  • Adults: $75 ZAR = $6 USD
  • Children: $40 ZAR = $4 USD


The place is perfect for family picnics and for sunbathing. There are great views to enjoy and it is also suitable for swimming although the water is cold.

Boulders beach - cape town - south africa
Boulders beach - cape town - south africa
Boulders beach - cape town - south africa

3. Foxy Beach

Less crowded than Boulders Beach, in this beach you will be able to walk on the boardwalks along this colony of penguins. Penguins are busy doing their thing and not paying attention to the people. It is a great place to see them going in and out of the water.

Opening hours and entrance fees

The opening hours and fees are the same as Boulders Beach. If you pay a ticket to Boulders Beach, you can get in Foxy Beach for free.

Boulders beach - cape town - south africa

4. Location

Where is it located?

Boulders Beach and Foxy Beach are located in the Cape Peninsula, near Simon’s Town towards Cape Point. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.

Boulders Beach - Cape Town - map

How to get there?

  • By Bus/Train: if you are not located in the City Center, first you´ll have to take a MyCity bus and get down in “Adderley” stop where you’ll find the train station. Then you can buy a train ticket to “Simon’s Town” station. The beach is 2 km away from there (30 min. walk or 5 min. taking an UBER/Taxify that will cost you around $20 ZAR = $ 2 USD).
  • By UBER/Taxifi: you’ll take around 50 minutes to get to Boulders Beach from Cape Town’s City Center. It will cost you around $340 ZAR = $30 USD.

5. Other things to do nearby

a. Buy African crafts

All around Boulders Beach area there are several shops as well as people selling crafts on the street! Find nice souvenirs, jewelry and other local goods.

Boulders beach - cape town - south africa

b. Have lunch at Boulders Beach Lodge and Restaurant

Boulders beach Lodge and Restaurant is located just in front of Boulders Beach. It has a great diversity of food, but it is especially known for great breakfasts.

Read more about the restaurant on its official website

Boulders beach - cape town - south africa

c. Explore Simon’s Town

Boulders Beach is part of Simon’s Town. This lovely town offers plenty of nice places, such as bars, restaurants, water sporting facilities, hotels and hostels.

Some examples of restaurants in the neighborhood, in which you can enjoy various types of dishes are: Salty Sea dog that offers great fish and chips, The Lighthouse Cafe that offers a diversity of great foods to enjoy and Café Pescado that offers wonderful fresh fish dishes.

Read more about Simon’s Town on this website.

Make sure to give Boulders Beach a visit. A day trip, which will definitely be worth your time!

Are you interested in traveling around the world? In the Travel Section you can find detailed travel guides for different cities, touristic activities, recommendations, tips, and much more!

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  1. 20/02/2018 / 6:47 PM

    South Africa has always been on my dream destinations list, but now that I know that I’ll get to hang out with penguins, I’m going to have to make it a priority.

  2. 19/02/2018 / 11:26 PM

    someday!! another country on our list. and these photos are so cool.. penguins always are adorable

  3. 19/02/2018 / 5:01 PM

    Thanks for sharing, would really love to visit South Africa, the white sandy beaches, the sun, the safari, its all too much to take in.thanks for the inspiration

  4. 19/02/2018 / 4:04 PM

    I love the penguins and Cape Town. That first photo you got with the penguin is super cute.

  5. 19/02/2018 / 3:49 PM

    Your pictures always make me so jealous! I need that sunshine and view and beach in my life NOW!

  6. 19/02/2018 / 3:27 PM

    Oh wow. Boulders beach looks so much fun. I would love to see the penguins.

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