The Boulders Beach Penguin Colony is located close to the
seaside village of Simons Town. Boulders Beach is named for the
huge boulders that stand in the water. The boulders make it an
ideal swimming beach, protecting swimmers from currents.
In 1983, a pair of African penguins was spotted on Foxy Beach -
in 1985 they began to lay. Since then the colony has grown very
quickly and by 1997 there were 2,350 adult birds. Due to the vast
number of penguins in the colony and the influx of tourists that
this has created, the Cape Peninsula National Park authority has
taken over the area. The penguins have been fenced in to stop them
wandering inland and invading private gardens, and a series of
board walks have been set up, as well as a visitor centre.
With the penguins spilling over onto nearby beaches, Boulders
Beach is the only place in the world where you can swim amongst the
penguins. The relatively warm waters of False Bay make for ideal
conditions, while the penguins are known to be fairly tolerant of
humans swimming around them.