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 center.
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.