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Boulders Beach

Get a privileged close-up view of an African penguin colony among the spectacular rock formations at this beach that also offers excellent swimming conditions.

At Boulders Beach, get ready to capture that perfect penguin photograph as members of the large, African penguin colony that inhabit these sands waddle their way to and from the ocean. Few places in the world offer such intimate encounters with these creatures. With safe swimming and stunning scenery on offer as well, Boulders Beach is well worth the 25-mile (40-kilometer) trip from Cape Town.

The penguin colony here began in 1983, from just two breeding pairs. Now, more than 2,000 penguins call this area home. Three boardwalks offer great views into their favorite spots on the beach. For the best views, follow the boardwalk through the dense bush and over the sand dunes towards Foxy Bay, where most of the birds congregate. While the colony is fenced off, you are more than close enough to look the birds in the eye.

Once you’ve viewed the penguins, make your way back to Boulders Beach to enjoy a day in the sun. The large, shapely formations of the granite rocks for which the beach is named provide ample shade and the sparkling waters are safe for swimming. Being on the Indian Ocean side of the cape, the water is also much warmer than many of the other Cape Town beaches. Rangers patrol the beach daily.

While the penguins are unquestionably the main attraction, the waters around this beach teem with life. Keep an eye out for whales, seals and dolphins as you enjoy your afternoon in the sun.

Boulders Beach is part of the Table Mountain National Park, and there is a small charge to enter. However, the park’s stewardship means that guided tours, as well as kayak and boating trips, are offered. Ask for details at the information center on entry if you are interested.

Boulders Beach is located 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) from Simon’s Town, which is the last stop on the Southern railway line from Cape Town. The beach is open daily year-round, with longer hours during summer.


Guide to Exploring Boulders Beach


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 185 properties near Boulders Beach
aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel
aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

Jubilee Square St Georges Street, Cape Town
     
    4.4
    of 5, from 184 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Boulders Beach and within 6 mi (10 km) of Fish Hoek Beach and Kalk Bay Beach. Cape Point is 15.3 mi (24.7 km) away.

    Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta
    Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta

    Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta

    4 Boulders Place, Cape Town
       
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in Cape Town, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Simon's Town Country Club and Boulders Beach. Fisherman's Beach and Warrior Toy Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

      Mariner Guesthouse
      Mariner Guesthouse

      Mariner Guesthouse

      12 Harbour Heights Close, Cape Town
         
        4.7
        of 5, from 64 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        This family-friendly Cape Town guesthouse is located near the beach, within 1 mi (2 km) of Warrior Toy Museum and Boulders Beach. Simon's Town Country Club and Noorul Islam Heritage Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Magellan's Passage
        Magellan's Passage

        Magellan's Passage

        3 Meryl Road, Cape Town
           
          4.9
          of 5, from 71 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Situated by the sea, this spa guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Simon's Town Country Club and Boulders Beach. Warrior Toy Museum and Noorul Islam Heritage Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Cheriton Guest House Bed & Breakfast C$126
          Cheriton Guest House Bed & Breakfast

          Cheriton Guest House Bed & Breakfast

          19 Belmont Road, Cape Town
             
            4.7
            of 5, from 9 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Situated by the ocean, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Warrior Toy Museum and Boulders Beach. Simon's Town Country Club and Noorul Islam Heritage Museum are also within 15 minutes.

            Boulders Beach House
            Boulders Beach House

            Boulders Beach House

            185 McFarlane Ave, Cape Town
               
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Situated near the beach, this vacation home is within a 5-minute walk of Simon's Town Country Club and Boulders Beach. Fisherman's Beach and Warrior Toy Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Whale View Manor Guesthouse
              Whale View Manor Guesthouse

              Whale View Manor Guesthouse

              402 Main Road, Cape Town
                 
                4.7
                of 5, from 48 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Offering direct access to the beach, this Cape Town guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fisherman's Beach and Boulders Beach. Simon's Town Country Club and Warrior Toy Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Boulders Beach Villa
                Boulders Beach Villa

                Boulders Beach Villa

                7 Links Crescent, Cape Town
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Offering direct access to the beach, this Cape Town villa is within 1 mi (2 km) of Simon's Town Country Club and Boulders Beach. Fisherman's Beach and Warrior Toy Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).