Take advantage of our Spring Special to get 15% off your accommodation and breakfast at Mariner Guesthouse in Simon’s Town (CTN) – valid until end November 2019. Contact us for a quote: info@marinerguesthouse.co.za and find more information on www.marinerguesthouse.co.za.

Cape Town Travel and Tourism

Spotting a King penguin on a whale watching trip in False Bay/Cape Town – this certainly came as a wonderful surprise!
This bird is far off its normal range as illustrated in the accompanying map, but is in good shape as confirmed by SANCCOB and will remain under their caring eyes for the duration of its visit.
This rare event is a real treat for birders – I wonder what our local African penguins make of it?

Interesting facts about king penguins

The king penguin is the second largest species of penguin at 70 to 100 centimeters (2.3 to 3.2 feet) tall and weighs 11 to 16 kilograms (24 to 35 pounds). In size it is second only to the emperor penguin.

There are an estimated 2 to 3.2 million breeding pairs.

Lifespan is 15 to 20 years in the wild, and up to 30 years in captivity.

King penguins eat small fish, mainly lantern fish and squid and rely less than most Southern Ocean predators on krill and other crustaceans.

Ice and water in Antarctica is primarily salty, making it impossible for most animals to drink. The king penguins stomach, however, has adapted to drinking salt water. Its powerful stomach can separate the salt completely, allowing the bird to drink without becoming dehydrated.

The body is a dark black and grey mix all down the back. They have dark yellow on their bill and the back of the neck. They also have this yellow color on the front as the bit of black there gives way to the rest being all white.

 

To keep warm, King penguins have four layers of feathering.The outer layer of feathers are oiled and waterproof, not unlike the feathering of a duck.

The king penguin is one of the most elegant of all penguin species as it’s long and slender body helps the king penguin to glide through the water with great ease.

The average cruising speed for a King Penguin while swimming ranges somewhere between 5 and 10 km per hour (3 to 5 miles per hour).

 

King penguins are excellent divers and have been known to dive as deep as 300 meters (980 ft)!

King Penguins live on the sub-antarctic islands at the northern reaches of Antarctica, as well as Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands and other temperate islands of the region.

King Penguins form gigantic colonies when they come in to shore during the mating season. One colony at South Georgian Island is estimated to have over 200,000 birds.

 

King Penguins are “serially monogamous” – they mate with only one mate per season, working with their mate to hatch the egg and care for the chick. However, unlike some other species of penguin, they’re not so likely to return to the same mate the next year – about 70% will find a new mate the following season.

King penguins are one of the few birds that do not build nests, eggs are incubated under the belly on top of their feet.

It takes 54 days for the eggs to hatch, during which time males and females take shifts incubating them.

 

 

After hatching, parental duties continue to be equally shared by both male and female, with one staying on land to brood the chick while the other goes in search of food at sea.

When the chick reaches around six weeks old, it joins a group of chicks known as a creche, thus allowing both parents to go foraging at the same time, in order to bring back enough food for the voracious offspring.

 

The creche provides the woolly chicks with protection from predators, as well as the benefit of collective warmth.

The chick grows a warm brown fluffy down of feathers. They also grow a thick layer of blubber to keep them warm during the winter months ahead.

The chicks huddle in their creches during the winter months while the parents occasionally come onshore to feed them. In the spring the parents come back and start feeding the chicks again.

At this time, the chicks starts to grow their adult feathers and are ready to go off on their own. Raising a King penguin chick usually takes 10 to 13 months.

Once a young King Penguin does leave its colony it will not return until at least 3 years later when it’s able to mate.

At sea, the key predators of King penguins are the leopard seals and killer whales who wait beneath the surface near the shore for unsuspecting birds.

Some king penguin colonies were completed exterminated. This occurred as a result of hunting in the 19th and 20th Centuries. People hunted the king penguins for their skin, oil, blubber and eggs.

King penguins have legal protection from hunting and the collection of their eggs. According to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, it is illegal to harm or interfere with any penguin or its eggs.

Today, the king penguin populations in the sub-Antarctic Oceans appear to be thriving and better still increasing in numbers with more than two million breeding pairs of king penguins found around the freezing waters.

Like almost all animals, king penguins ordinarily have round pupils in their eyes. However, this all changes when their pupils constrict. Of all king penguin facts, one of the most bizarre is that, when constricteda king penguin’s pupils are actually square in shape.

Source credit:

Join us at Seaforth Beach at 10am and then follow on to Simon’s Town School for a fun-filled festival, in celebration of African penguin awareness.

SANCCOB’s 17th Annual Penguin Festival in collaboration with the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) and South African National Parks (SANParks) kick-starts with a public release of rehabilitated African penguins for all to witness how they waddle back to where they belong. It’s an experience not to be missed as we count down to tip the boxes!
This year Kfm’s mascot, Rocket, will also tip a box.

From 10h30 the festival will take place at Simon’s Town School in Harrington Road, within walking distance from the beach release site and parking is available at the school’s hostel.

There will be educational exhibits with an environmental spin by exhibitors, food vendors, boerewors rolls made with love by the SANParks Honourary Rangers, and a designated craft beer and wine area.

Entry is FREE and children can access the Kids’ Zone at R50 per child. Regrettably, no dogs are allowed at this event.

This annual event is a platform to highlight the plight of the iconic African penguin species and educate the public on how to play their part in supporting SANCCOB’s conservation efforts and those of all collaborators and exhibitors.

Parking:
• Parking for the beach release is available at the Navy’s parking at the end of Martello Road.
• Attendees can walk up Whalers Way to the Main Road’s pedestrian crossing to reach the festival, following the festival signage from the beach release.
• There is a stop and drop option on Harrington Road at the venue’s entrance.
• Event parking is available at the school’s hostels at the top of Harrington Road.

Find out more at https://bit.ly/2ZqWCVu

Source Credit: SANNCOB

It’s almost time to collect and document the trash littering South Africa’s coastline. Yes, on 21 September 2019 volunteers in South Africa will come together as part of SA’s commitment to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD).

What is International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD)?

Every year, volunteers from more than 100 countries come together (like they’ve done 30 years prior) to participate in a Cleanup event near them.

As Cleanup and Recycle SA Week usually falls within close proximity to ICCD, it is quite fitting that SA should take part in International Coastal Cleanup Day. In fact, it is said to be one of the highlights of the week. Apart from various cleanups over SA, South Africa will join the world in partaking in ICCD by also launching the Source to Sea Programme as well as announcing the new cycle of the Working for the Coast program.

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa, the theme for plastics will also be carried through.

“It is thus important and relevant that the department will continue to carry through on the theme to address marine pollution and waste management during the launch of the new cycle of the Working for the Coast program and the Source to Sea pilot project.

“The International Coastal Cleanup Day (WFTC/Source to Sea Pilot Project) will be implemented under the theme and key message detailed as “Nature knows no waste” and “ A litter-free land is a litter free ocean”.

How to get involved:

1.You can start by downloading Ocean Conservancy’s app called Clean Swell to document the trash you collect.

This is done in order for the Ocean Conservancy to collect data on trash in the ocean.

Interesting revelations:

In 2017, the Ocean Conservancy collected data from the combined global cleanup in that year and revealed that 789 thousand people collected 9285 tonnes of waste over 30472 Kilometres of the coastline.

According to Getaway Magazine, in South Africa, the 2017 coastal cleanup saw 16298 people participating in the clean-up, picking up a total of 12694 Kilograms of waste. Of the 16298 volunteers, 4755 recorded what they picked up, providing data that helps with highlight culprit waste materials that are prominent in coastal environments.

The data indicates that food wrappers, especially chip packets, made from multi-layered plastics have been increasing in numbers on a yearly basis. The food wrappers were the fourth highest item collected in 2016 and were the prolific collected item in 2018. Other items include asthma pumps, single-use baby diapers and disposable syringes which were also recorded in larger numbers in the 2017 cleanup.

Here is how you can get involved with the Simon’s Town International Coastal Cleanup Day:

WHEN: 21st September 2019 International coastal clean up day TIME: 0830-1030 🌍🌊🐋
WHERE: 8am Registration at Glencairn hotel, Seaforth and millers point parking. The clean up will be Glencairn beach, Seaforth, Windmill, Frank’s bay, Fisherman’s Beaches and Miller’s Point.
WHAT: Beach clean for International Coastal Clean up day
PRICE: FREE

Bring a hat and gloves. Bags will be provided.

Source Credit: www.thesouthafrican.com

 

Enjoying the perfect sundowner involves a lot more than simply what’s in your glass. You need a view that could melt the ice in your glass, smells of salt and sea to make your mouth water, and the feel of late afternoon on your shoulders as the sun slips slowly behind a mountain or slides into the sea in a show of mango, peach and juicy lemon. We’ve picked five of Cape Town’s best spots to get your sundowner juices flowing this summer.  Enjoy!

#1 Cape to Cuba (Kalk Bay)

Kalk Bay, recently named one of the vibiest neighbourhoods in the world, is where the best of sexy Cape Town and sultry Cuba meet. The restaurant’s Cuban cool is thanks to authentic Cuban décor, its Cuban cigars on sale, and delicious Latino-inspired menu. No need to head off to Havana for a Cuban cocktail. Pop in to the Hemingway Bar, sip a cocktail in the sandbar, looking out across colourful Kalk Bay Harbour.

The restaurant’s atmosphere is super laidback and the cocktail menu extensive, with the old familiars as well as a selection you’ve probably never tried, like the chocolate cake mojito. If you’re feeling peckish, you can order a sharing platter, tapas or a pizza prepared in the outside pizza oven.

Cape to Cuba  |  Kalk Bay  | Mon to Sun 11am – 11pm

 

#2 The Red Herring (Noordhoek)

Red Herring Restaurant Top 5 Sundowner Spots In Cape Town 2

The Red Herring is an institution amongst locals in Cape Town’s far-south peninsula. If you still have beach sand on your toes and you’re looking for a place to watch the sun go down, this is it.

The restaurant is famous for its homemade, thin-based pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, and there is a selection of other dishes to choose from, from seafood and steak, to several vegetarian dishes and low carb options.

The courtyard area, decorated with mosaics and surrounded by indigenous milkwood trees, is the ideal place to wind down the day on a long couch, sipping locally brewed beer.

Head up to the sunset deck on the top floor. The deck has been constructed to give you a perfect view of the setting sun over Chapman’s Peak, across Noordhoek beach to Kommetjie lighthouse and on to Slangkop Mountain. If you’d planned to stop for a quick cocktail, now’s about the time you’ll want to reach for a menu.

The Red Herring  |  Noordhoek |  Mon to Sun 12 – 11:30pm

 

#3 The Lookout Deck (Hout Bay)

The Lookout Deck places you at the water’s edge overlooking Hout Bay’s harbour with views of local fisherman weighing in their catch of the day and Cape fur seals soaking up the last of the day’s rays. Watching the sun’s pyrotechnic display of tangerine and purple across Chapman’s Peak and the southern Atlantic Ocean is a truly unforgettable experience.

Unsurprisingly, the restaurant specialises in premier seafood, freshly caught line fish from Hout Bay’s local fisherman, live Cape rock lobster, succulent LM prawns, juicy black tiger prawns and fresh steamed black mussels. If you have a craving for sushi, then head to the deck where you’ll find the Sushi Bar to satisfy your carvings. Fancy chucked oysters and Champagne? Then the Oyster Bar has you covered. The drinks menu is extensive with everything from local and international beers, to a wine list honouring the Cape wine growing regions. And then there are sundowners and cocktails, of course.

The Lookout Deck  | Hout Bay  | Mon to Fri 10am – 10pm, Sat & Sun 9am – 10:30pm

 

#4  The Bungalow (Clifton)

The Bungalow Cape Town Top 5 Sundowner Spots In Cape Town 3

If you don’t think a day at the beach should compromise your quest for going five star all the way, then The Bungalow Restaurant & Lounge is the place to end off the day. You’re at the ocean’s edge – any closer and you’d be able to dip your toes in the cold Atlantic.

If you were to ask the restaurant to describe their décor, here’s what they’d say: “Imagine Donna Karan marooned on an island with nothing but a chandelier and an axe.”

At The Bungalow, how you sip your cocktail or where you choose to relax is up to you. You can curl up on a wide cushioned bench or get the best views from the sun drenched deck. It doesn’t matter which way you go, the vibe is cool and the view’s hot.

If you plan to pair your cocktail with some tasty cuisine, you can expect a selection of seafood and sushi, or beef Carpaccio, loads of vegetables, chunks of bread and piles of prawns. All prepared with a fresh chic spin.

The Bungalow  | Clifton  |  Mon to Fri 12 – 10pm

 

#5  The Grand Africa Café & Beach (Granger Bay)

The Grand Africa Top 5 Sundowner Spots In Cape Town

Does your idea of the ultimate sundowner experience include the sun on your shoulders, your bum on a plush seat and a waiter serving you thin-crust gourmet pizza and a tall cocktail? At The Grand Africa Café & Beach you get all this and then some.

This beach café, set on a private beach, extends all the way to the shoreline, and gives you magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island. You’ll completely forget you’re in the heart of Cape Town’s social mile.

In an effort to deliver the very best sundowner experience, the Grand offers its patrons a choice of five bars, ocean view decks and nine private function venue areas. On-beach dining with tables and chairs on the sand gives you uninterrupted views of the cobalt blue sea lapping at confectioner’s sugar sand.

Grand Africa Café & Beach  |  Granger Bay |  Mon to Fri 12 – 11pm

 

Source Credit: secretcapetown.co.za

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