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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


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Boulders Beach

See all 318 Properties near Boulders Beach
aha Simon's Town Quayside Hotel ¥7,780
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.

    Watercolours House ¥12,145
    Watercolours House

    Watercolours House

    466 Main Road, Murdoch Valley, Simon's Town, 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 Fisherman's Beach and Boulders Beach. Simon's Town Country Club and Warrior Toy Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Boulders Beach Lodge And Resta ¥6,953
      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).

        Cheriton Guest House Bed & Breakfast ¥9,818
        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 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).

            Mariner Guesthouse ¥9,566
            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 ¥16,294
              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).

                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).