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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

Not sure how to make the most of your time at Boulders Beach? We've put together some popular things to do to give you a head start:

Check out our Cape Town things to do page to learn about many more activities while you're in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Boulders Beach


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Lodging Near Boulders Beach

See all 281 Properties near Boulders Beach
aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel $84
Reviewed on May 3, 2019
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aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

Jubilee Square St Georges Street, Simon's Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
     
    4.4 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0

    The Hotel is right on the water at the marina. The views of the boats coming and going were fantastic. The morning breakfast was fabulous with a cook ready to make omelets and more! There are shops and restaurants on either side and across the street. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and we had a ...

    Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta $79
    Reviewed on Jan 15, 2019
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    Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta

    Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta

    4 Boulders Place, Boulders Beach, Cape Town, Western Cape
       
      4.4 of 5
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Wonderful spot to stay while penguin watching. Couldnt be any closer. The sign in the parking lot asks you.to check under your car for penguins before leaving. By the way there is a front desk, just up the steps, left of the restaurant.

      Magellan's Passage
      Reviewed on Feb 26, 2019
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      Magellan's Passage

      Magellan's Passage

      3 Meryl Road, Simon's Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
         
        4.8 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Stunning property, incredible space and views and helpful staff

        Mariner Guesthouse $99
        Reviewed on Mar 3, 2019
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        Mariner Guesthouse

        Mariner Guesthouse

        12 Harbour Heights Close, Simon's Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
           
          4.7 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Fantastic view, good service, great location for Boulders (although a bit of a hill to the property), good value for the price.

          Boulders Beach House
          Boulders Beach House

          Boulders Beach House

          185 McFarlane Ave, Simon s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
             
            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).

            Grosvenor Guest House $63
            Reviewed on Mar 12, 2019
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            Grosvenor Guest House

            Grosvenor Guest House

            37 Forest Hill Rd, Simon's Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
               
              4.8 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Excellent property with great hosts and fantastic home cooked breakfast each morning. The rooms are spacious and beautifully appointed. One thing to be mindful off is that this property has a large amount of stairs to climb, but if you are able to do this, then this is the place to stay. Highly recommend ...

              At Boulders Boutique Villas
              At Boulders Boutique Villas

              At Boulders Boutique Villas

              7 Gay Road, Simonstown, Cape Town, Western Cape
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Situated in Cape Town, this bed & breakfast 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 Villa
                Boulders Beach Villa

                Boulders Beach Villa

                7 Links Crescent, Simon's Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
                   
                  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 2 mi (3 km).