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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.

Popular Activities at Boulders Beach

It's not hard to spend a whole afternoon at Boulders Beach. The list below contains a selection of the activities you can enjoy here:

For more activities, take a look at our Cape Town things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Boulders Beach


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 196 properties near Boulders Beach
Magellan's Passage C$76
Magellan's Passage

Magellan's Passage

3 Meryl Road, Cape Town
     
    4.9
    of 5, from 76 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Situated by the sea, this spa guesthouse is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Boulders Beach and within 12 mi (20 km) of Longbeach Mall and Scarborough Beach. Cape Point Vineyards and Westlake Golf Club are also within 12 mi (20 km).

    A Boat House C$92
    A Boat House

    A Boat House

    25 Dolphin Way, Cape Town
       
      5.0
      of 5, from 27 reviews
      2.5 out of 5.0

      Situated by the ocean, this guesthouse is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Boulders Beach and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Simon's Town Country Club. Cape Point and Constantia Glen Winery are also within 20 mi (32 km). Simonstown Station is 25 minutes by foot.

      Mariner Guesthouse C$94
      Mariner Guesthouse

      Mariner Guesthouse

      12 Harbour Heights Close, Cape Town
         
        4.7
        of 5, from 66 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). Simonstown Station is 27 minutes by foot.

        Residence William French C$80
        Residence William French

        Residence William French

        44 Dorries Drive Simon S Town, Cape Town
           
          5.0
          of 5, from 8 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Cape Town, this 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).

          aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel C$115
          aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

          aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

          Jubilee Square St Georges Street, Cape Town
             
            4.4
            of 5, from 188 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. Simonstown Station is 13 minutes by foot.

            Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta C$101
            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).

              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).

                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).