South Africa


August 20, 2018

You might be in for a surprise to find out that Penguins don’t just live in the Arctics… in fact, the Western Cape has a quite robust African Penguin population living just outside of Cape Town. The Penguins mostly just waddle around eating fish, looking cute for tourists to take photos of them on their private beach in Simon’s Town.

The first time I went to visit the penguins was with my good friend Heidi, who was a fellow student on my study program. We were a bit disappointed, as us humans were penned in on a boardwalk over the beach, and could not actually walk among the penguins. We stopped for some ice cream while walked and spotted more penguins in the bushes. It was to my dismay when a penguin, whose diet solely consists of fish I might add, bent over and projectile shat just feet away from us. Safe to say I was done with the ice cream.

The next time I’d visit the penguins was almost 8 months later, when I was living in Cape Town again for an internship.

This time, showing my boyfriend and his cousin around the Cape Peninsula, we got a bit more adventurous. We found a secret little path through some beach boulders to another section of the beach where you were actually on the beach with the birds ♥

That’s where the fun began.

They’re kind of docile creatures so they just chilled, and posed with us. I don’t think they get very scared of people because their natural predators lurk beneath the water (sharks and seals), and they’re observed and gawked at by hundreds of humans every day.

I only got chased off once when I got too comfortable trying to get close to one for a photo, I overstepped his territory, probably deserved it. 

Overall, penguins are wonderful friends. They’re like this foreign creature we only see in documentaries and hear about in stories, but in Cape Town, they’re right there! Real little guys, so darn cute, and only a little smelly (I remind you, their diet consists solely of fish). It’s a pretty unique experience, and just one of the many reasons that Cape Town is, in my opinion, the best city in the world.

I’d say it’s penguin-ing to look like you need to visit Cape Town!

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