One of the things I remember most about Cape Town is the stunning natural beauty that exists in clear overabundance. I thought that I’d get over the amazing vistas at every turn but I never did, and one of my favorite places to visit combined my love of landscape with wildlife – Boulders Beach.
Boulders Beach is located in Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town, South Africa and is a sheltered beach dotted with enormous boulders. It would be popular in its own right thanks to the views across the water, but when a colony of African penguins took up permanent residence on the beach in 1982 Boulders quickly became one of the most popular tourist spots in the area.
Walking through a quiet neighborhood to the famous beach, I couldn’t help but wonder how much I would see. In the past, my penguin viewing opportunities have been challenging due to the fact visitors usually have to keep their distance and the penguins aren’t that big to begin with. That’s why I was so surprised when walking along the boardwalk trail at the beach I started to see penguins almost right away and instead of being half a mile away, there were right next to me.
That’s not to say that visitors don’t have to be careful, this is a species that needs our protection and tourists don’t exactly have a great track record of keeping the interests of the destination in mind. Our guide told us an anecdote about a Chinese tourist who tried to steal a penguin by hiding it under his jacket. Once apprehended he was asked why he tried to commit a penguinnapping and his response was, “They have so many here and we don’t have any in China.” So you see, it’s an important responsibility and we as tourists have to do everything we can to do no harm when we travel.
Instead of ramble on, here is a photo series about my experience in Boulders Beach.