Boulders Beach, situated near Simon’s Town, boasts several appealing features. The ancient granite boulders provide natural protection against strong winds and large waves, rendering it an ideal swimming destination for children. Maintained within the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, the beach guarantees cleanliness and safety. Its serene ambiance, coupled with the scarcity of crowds, enhances the experience. Moreover, the mesmerizing rockpools offer a source of joy for young visitors.

However, the allure of Boulders Beach extends beyond its soft white sands and relatively warm waters, attracting approximately 60,000 visitors annually. This fascination primarily stems from its renowned inhabitants: the African penguins.

Previously known as jackass penguins due to their distinctive calls, African Penguins are exclusive to the continent. While colonies can be found along the southern African coast, Boulders Beach stands out as a premier viewing location.

Initially settling in False Bay in 1983, the penguins faced abundant food sources and witnessed rapid population growth. Nevertheless, the colony’s survival has been threatened by commercial fishing, marine pollution, and habitat degradation. Once estimated at around one-and-a-half million individuals in 1910, the species has since been classified as endangered, with only two breeding pairs remaining by 1982. Thanks to remarkable conservation endeavors, the Boulders colony has rebounded to over 3,000 birds in recent years.

For optimal penguin observation, visitors are directed to three wheelchair-accessible boardwalks traversing the dunes and lush vegetation surrounding Foxy Beach. While Boulders Beach itself serves as a delightful base camp, Foxy Beach offers a closer encounter with the penguins, albeit with a caution against proximity due to their sharp beaks. The Boulders Visitors Centre provides further insights into these fascinating creatures, along with knowledgeable guides to enhance the experience.

There is a conservation fee charged to access the beach, as follows:

Adults (12+ years)
Children (2 – 11 years)
South African Citizens and ResidentsR45R25
SADC NationalsR95R50
International (non-South African) CitizensR190R95

Please note:

  • The standard rate is automatically applied to all visitors at the gate.
  • If South Africans wish to claim the local rate at the gate, they must indicate this on arrival at the gate.
  • To claim the local rate South Africans must provide Proof of South African ID ,South African Divers Licence or South African Passport on arrival. This proof is accepted in original, electronic or certified paper copy.