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Change in access to Boulders Beach?

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Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby BrooklynBirder » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:48 pm

I read on another forum that there is no longer public access to the beach at Boulders and that you can now only view the penguins from the boardwalks? Is this true? If so I am so disappointed, as we will be there in August...staying at Boulders Beach Lodge and hoping to be up close and personal with the penguins. :cry:

Can someone please clarify what the access to the beach is now?

Thanks.
Aug 6-9 2011 Cape area: Cape Point, Table Mtn, Boulders Beach
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Aug 11/12 Namaqua NP
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby kite » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:53 pm

There is no free access, but with a Wild membership or payment of entrance fee, there is access.
This was the situation in May.

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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby BrooklynBirder » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:44 pm

kite wrote:There is no free access, but with a Wild membership or payment of entrance fee, there is access.
This was the situation in May.


Thanks Kite. I have a Wildcard so that's no problem, but does that area provide access to the beach? Or is it only via boardwalk? I've seen so many wonderful photos here and heard so many stories about folks getting right in with the penquins...(not swimming...just up close on the rocks.) I hope that is still possible.
Aug 6-9 2011 Cape area: Cape Point, Table Mtn, Boulders Beach
Aug 9: WCNP
Aug 11/12 Namaqua NP
Aug 13/14: Augrabies Falls
Aug 15-21 KTP
15th--Kieliekrankie
16 & 17th--Nossob
18 & 19th--Kalahari Tented Camp
20th--Twee Riv,

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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:16 pm

The boardwalk is the tourist way, but I am sure locals will have their own access.

It was a favourite beach of mine before the penguins 'invaded' it.
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby BrooklynBirder » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:12 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:The boardwalk is the tourist way, but I am sure locals will have their own access.

It was a favourite beach of mine before the penguins 'invaded' it.


hmmm I suspect that it belonged to the penguins long before people :lol:

anyway I got some clarification on that other forum...apparently there is no longer any free access but there is still access to the beach as long as you pay (either via the national park beach--i.e. Wildcard--or from what I understand, there is also a pay public beach. Just no more free public beach. I have no problem paying as long as I can access the beach!
Aug 6-9 2011 Cape area: Cape Point, Table Mtn, Boulders Beach
Aug 9: WCNP
Aug 11/12 Namaqua NP
Aug 13/14: Augrabies Falls
Aug 15-21 KTP
15th--Kieliekrankie
16 & 17th--Nossob
18 & 19th--Kalahari Tented Camp
20th--Twee Riv,

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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby Son godin » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:38 pm

BrooklynBirder,

Boulder beach is devided into two sections. One for sun tanning and swimmimg for the brave and the other section is the breeding area where you will find the colony on penguins. One can however not restrict the penguins from entering the beach area and you will be able to spot them from the beach swimming fast between the boulders. :whistle:

The only difference you not allowed to leave the broadwalk, but if you cannot get to the mountain, wait for the mountain to come to you. :wink:
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby arks » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:39 pm

Actually, I think that the penguins at Boulders are a relatively recent colony. The popularity of this beach with locals may well predate the penguin "invasion". :)

While both the boardwalk area and the beach are only accessible with a WildCard or conservation fee, you can also see (and get close to) the penguins along the pathway that runs south of the Boulders Beach car park. There are benches along this pathway and there were several nest burrows very close to the car park and benches when I was last there — altho this was 2-3 years ago.
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:10 pm

arks wrote:Actually, I think that the penguins at Boulders are a relatively recent colony. The popularity of this beach with locals may well predate the penguin "invasion". :)


Correct arks, in the 60s & early 70s I used to go there regularly and there was not a hint of a penguin. It was the same at Betty's Bay. The colonys only started after that.
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby BrooklynBirder » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:34 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:
arks wrote:Actually, I think that the penguins at Boulders are a relatively recent colony. The popularity of this beach with locals may well predate the penguin "invasion". :)


Correct arks, in the 60s & early 70s I used to go there regularly and there was not a hint of a penguin. It was the same at Betty's Bay. The colonys only started after that.


well I was thinking LONG before that...like hundreds or even thousands of years. Before there was a Cape Town...there were probably penguins on that beach. :D

anyway thanks all for the info--I am now clearer about the set-up and I am sure I will have many opportunities! :dance:
Aug 6-9 2011 Cape area: Cape Point, Table Mtn, Boulders Beach
Aug 9: WCNP
Aug 11/12 Namaqua NP
Aug 13/14: Augrabies Falls
Aug 15-21 KTP
15th--Kieliekrankie
16 & 17th--Nossob
18 & 19th--Kalahari Tented Camp
20th--Twee Riv,

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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:56 pm

Can't remember that far back, BB, but penguins normally breed on offshore Islands, that is one reason these 2 colonies, and a third less well known one, are interesting.
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby SANParks:CapeCluster » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:38 am

Hi all

To clear the confusion around the temporary closure of Burgers Walk (the City of Cape Town land adjacent to Boulders Beach), here are some brief facts about the penguins, the beaches and the temporary closure of Burgers Walk:

- The penguin colony currently at Boulders arrived in 1983 and has been breeding there since 1985.
- Their numbers increased up until 2005, and thereafter their numbers have been fluctuating. Even though the colony itself has been breeding here since the 1980s, there are anecdotal records of penguins at the Boulders area since the early 1900s.
- The area of beach/land that has been temporarily closed is the Burgers Walk area, owned by the City of Cape Town. This area has been closed to protect the penguin colony here during their breeding season and to facilitate the rehabilitation of the area.
- The Boulders Beach section of the area remains open – there is a conservation charge or free entry for Wild Card holders.
- The Boulders Beach section contains within it 3 swimming beaches (Boulders, Middle and Second beaches), with the fourth beach (Foxy beach) being closed, as this is the main breeding area for the penguins.
- Within Boulders, protection of the penguins & their habitat whilst ensuring sustainable and responsible tourism and education is a priority.
- The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is now listed as Endangered in terms of the IUCN red data species lists. Their numbers are rapidly declining(world wide) and we ask that at all times, whether on the beaches or on the boardwalks, that people remain at least 2 meters away from the birds.
- In 2005 there were approximately 3900 penguins at Boulders – in 2011 there are approximately 2100. The world population of penguins in 2004 sat at 58 000 breeding pairs, whereas in 2010 this number had decreased to only 17 000.
- In the last 10 years alone, the world’s penguin population has decreased by more than 50%. Considering that in the early 1900s it was estimated that there were over 3 million African Penguins in the world – these birds are in desperate need of protection.

We do hope to encourage those visiting Boulders beach (beaches and boardwalk sections) to be vigilant and aware of their impact on these birds’ survival. Penguins can and have been known to give a sharp bite – and so we caution against getting too close to the birds, in the interest of their protection and that of the visitors in the area.


We trust you will still have an enjoyable time when visiting us at Boulders.
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby arks » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:02 pm

Thanks for this very interesting information! I'm glad that efforts are being made to keep people from "interacting" too closely with the penguins. One thing I noticed about the area to the south of the Boulders Beach car park (is this Burgers Walk?) was that while I was content to sit on a bench and watch the penguin activity, others were walking right up to the nesting holes, which must have been very stressful for the birds — altho it was interesting that some of the birds came of their own accord quite close to me sitting quietly on a bench 8)
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby BrooklynBirder » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:24 pm

Thank you for the great summary, I now have a much better idea what the situation is. I have located a map of the beach Boulders Beach Map and while it doesn't show Burger's walk it does show the areas you mentioned. I see there is now plenty of area to view the penguins. Of course, I will keep a respectful distance!
Aug 6-9 2011 Cape area: Cape Point, Table Mtn, Boulders Beach
Aug 9: WCNP
Aug 11/12 Namaqua NP
Aug 13/14: Augrabies Falls
Aug 15-21 KTP
15th--Kieliekrankie
16 & 17th--Nossob
18 & 19th--Kalahari Tented Camp
20th--Twee Riv,

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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:13 pm

I haven't been there for a few years now, but maybe the locals can tell us what the situation is with Seaforth, which is within walking distance north of Boulders. One can swim there and there was a reataurant, and lanws also.

BB look out for the lesser double collared, and more rare orange breasted sunbirds in the thickets down to the penguins. Also you might be lucky to see a black oystercatcher or two.
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Re: Change in access to Boulders Beach?

Unread postby Crested Val » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:50 pm

Taken from the lower end of the boardwalk in December 2010.
Nobody was allowed on that particular beach!!



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