Meeting African PENGUINS

In South Africa there is a small town called Simon’s Town with a little beach where are living the smallest penguins in the world!

Had a great time while filming and swimming with them. 🙂

Nestled in a sheltered cove between Simon’s Town and Cape Point, Boulders has become world famous for its thriving colony of African Penguins and magnificent wind sheltered, safe beaches.

Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this endangered bird an be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment.

From just TWO breeding pairs in 1982 (just one year before I was born;)), the penguin colony has grown to about 2200 in recent years. This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, which form part of the peguin’s diet.

Bordered mainly by indigenous bush above the high-water mark on the one side, and the clear waters of False Bay on the other, the area comprises a number of small sheltered bays, partially enclosed by granite boulders that are 540 million years old.

The most popular recreational spot is Boulders beach, but the penguins are best viewed from Foxy Beach, where Boardwalks take visitors to within a few metres of the birds.



The African Penguin is listed in the Red Book as an endangered species.

Because of their donkey-like braying call they were previously named the Jackass Penguin.

Their diet consists mainly of squid and shoal fish such as pilchards and anchovy.

They can swim at an average speed of seven kilometres per hour, and can stay submerged for up to 2 minutes.

Their enemies in the ocean include sharks, seals and killer whales. Land-based enemies include mongoose, genet, domestic cats and dogs – and the gulls that steal their eggs and new born chicks.

Their distinctive black and white colouring is a vital form of camouflage – white for underwater predators looking upwards and black for predators looking down onto the water.

Penguins have very sharp beaks and can cause serious injury if they bite or lunge.

African penguins generally only start breeding at about 4 years of age. The main breeding season starts on February.

They are monogamous species and lifelong partners.


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