Book your accommodation now for the annual Penguin Festival in Simon’s Town on Saturday, 10 November, to celebrate African Penguin Awareness Day!

Get 10% discount on Bed & Breakfast: give reference – “Penguin Festival” to claim.

From kids and foodies to birders and conservationists, there’s something for everyone.

General admission is FREE and entry into the Kids’ Zone is R50.

This special day is dedicated to raising worldwide awareness about the plight of the endangered African penguin, the only penguin endemic to the African continent. All proceeds go to SANCCOB’s year-round African penguin conservation work.

More information: www.sanccob.co.za

More about the African Penguin:

African Penguin

Spheniscus demersus

African penguinWhen you think of penguins, you may picture them surrounded by snow and ice. However, there is one species of penguins that is acclimated to warmer climates. African penguins live in colonies on the coast and islands of southern Africa.

Also called jackass penguins, they make donkey-like braying sounds to communicate. They can dive under water for up to 2.5 minutes while trying to catch small fish such as anchovies and sardines. They may also eat squid and crustaceans.

The African penguin averages about 60 cm (2 ft.) tall and weighs up to 3.6 kg (8 lb.). Their short tails and flipper-like wings that help them navigate in the water, while their webbed feet help propel them.

To keep dry and insulated in cold water, African penguins are covered in dense, water-proof feathers. These feathers are white on the belly and black on the back, which aids in camouflage. Their white belly will blend with the light when predators look up at them from below, and their black backs meld with the darker seas when predators look down on them from above.

African penguins breed within their colonies; they do not travel to give birth. The penguins nest in burrows they dig out of their own excrement, called guano, or in areas under boulders or bushes. Recent removal of the guano for fertilizer has forced the penguins to change their habits and nest primarily under bushes and boulders. Their nests protect eggs and chicks from the sun and from predators like cats and seagulls. Eggs are laid in pairs and both parents help incubate them. Both parents also feed the newly-born chicks. After 2-4 years, the chicks will mature and lay their own eggs.

African penguins

Conservation Status

African penguins can live for an average of 10-15 years, however many do not reach their full life span, and populations have been steadily decreasing. The loss of nesting places due to guano removal has contributed to the population decline as well as a decrease of food due to overfishing and pollution. As such, African penguins are now considered endangered by IUCN’s Red List. This means there is a high risk they may become extinct.

What You Can Do to Help

If you would like to help the African penguin, you can volunteer, donate, or adopt a penguin through the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds.

African Penguin Distribution

African penguin distribution map

African penguins live in colonies on the coast and islands of southern Africa.

Source credit: animalfactguide.com

28 julie

Simons Town offers the best holiday accommodation in Cape Town, South Africa, including Self Catering, B&B’s, and Hotels, Camping and Backpackers. Simon’s Town has stunning views in the most beautiful environment of the Cape Peninsula. Nestled on False Bay within easy distance of Cape Town International Airport, our village is rich in history, character, atmosphere and warmth. Our neighbours are whales, penguins and seals with world heritage status bird life, fishing and the beauty of Table Mountain and Cape Point.

Just around the corner from the seaside village of Simon’s Town turn left off main road to Boulders Visitor Centre to visit the famous colony of Jackass Penguins, so called for their hilarious braying call. This is a truly special experience and Table Mountain National Park staff are knowledgeable and offer guided tours. After you have fallen in love with the penguins head to the secluded Boulders Beach and take a swim in the comparatively warm waters of the False Bay.

Boulders_Bay

Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is ideal for kids as immense boulders shelter the cove from currents and large waves – but please always take care. Also, don’t touch or feed the penguins. They might look cute and cuddly but their beaks are as sharp as razors and if they feel threatened they have no qualms about nipping the odd finger or nose.
boulderscolony2
Entrance fees from 1 Nov 2014 – 31 Oct 2015
R60 for adults
R30 for children

Operating Hours: 7 days a week
Dec – Jan: 07h00 – 07h30
Feb – April: 08h00  – 18h30
May – Sept: 08h00 – 17h00
Oct – Nov:  08h00 – 18h30