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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.

There are so many fun ways to get a feel for Boulders Beach. Here is a list of some of the most popular:

Have a look at our Cape Town things to do page to find more activities while you're here.


Guide to Exploring around Boulders Beach


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Boulders Beach

See all 481 Properties near Boulders Beach
Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta ¥8,451
Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta

Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta

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

    Located in Cape Peninsula, this beach guesthouse is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Boulders Beach and within 9 mi (15 km) of Fish Hoek Beach and Kalk Bay Beach. Kalk Bay Harbour and St. James Beach are also within 9 mi (15 km).

    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 Stars

      Located in Cape Peninsula, this beach 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).

      Magellans Hotel ¥11,458
      Magellans Hotel

      Magellans Hotel

      3 Meryl Rd, Cape Town, Western Cape
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Cape Peninsula, this bed & breakfast 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).

        Mariner Guesthouse ¥11,670
        Mariner Guesthouse

        Mariner Guesthouse

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

          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 26 minutes by foot.

          At Boulders Boutique Villas ¥18,524
          At Boulders Boutique Villas

          At Boulders Boutique Villas

          7 Gay Road, Simonstown, Cape Town, Western Cape
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Cape Peninsula, this bed & breakfast is 0.3 mi (0.4 km) from Boulders Beach and within 9 mi (15 km) of Fish Hoek Beach and Kalk Bay Beach. Kalk Bay Harbour and St. James Beach are also within 9 mi (15 km).

            aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel ¥8,912
            aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

            aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel

            Jubilee Square St Georges Street, Simon's Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Cape Peninsula, this beach hotel is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Boulders Beach and within 6 mi (10 km) of Fish Hoek Beach and Kalk Bay Beach. Simonstown Station is 13 minutes by foot.

              Cheriton Guest House Bed & Breakfast ¥8,594
              Cheriton Guest House Bed & Breakfast

              Cheriton Guest House Bed & Breakfast

              19 Belmont Road, Simon's Town, Cape Town, Western Cape
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Cape Peninsula, this golf bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Warrior Toy Museum and Boulders Beach. Noorul Islam Heritage Museum and Simon's Town Country Club are also within 15 minutes.

                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 Stars

                  Offering direct access to the beach, this Cape Peninsula 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).