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Boulders

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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arks
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Boulders

Unread postby arks » Sun Jun 18, 2006 1:50 am

Several members noted that this was the first report about Boulders, so I thought I'd post the report here as well as in the Recent Sightings forum.

Those penguins sure are cute!!! And I found the whole set-up at Boulders to be substantially improved since I was last there (in 2000), now that it falls under the SANParks umbrella.

I was perhaps fortunate in that I missed the first turnoff (Seaforth Road), which is where all the tour groups go. That entrance has two boardwalks that lead down to viewpoints over Foxy Beach. I did go there later, but I first went to the Bellevue Road entrance, which is the entrance for the actual Boulders Beach and seemed to be where all the locals go. There is a small swimming beach, surrounded by impressive boulders, and several private homes right above the beach.

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The penguins climb about and sun themselves on the rocks and often swim amongst the people. They are clearly used to all the human activity and don't seem at all bothered by being in such close proximity to people in and out of the water.

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[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8055/8130657066_a8205436a2_z.jpg[/img

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I couldn't resist this rock that to me looks like a seal 8)

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It was such fun to watch both the people and the penguins that I stayed far longer that I'd expected to, waded a bit (the water was freezing!!, tho plenty of people were swimming), and found a great perch atop a rock.

Later I enjoyed the antics of the penguins in a breeding area between the Bellevue Road car park and the park's entrance - it's easy to see why they are called "Jackass Penguins" as they really do "bray", apparently part of the courtship behavior - and eventually found the Seaforth Road entrance, where a system of boardwalks leads to two viewing platforms and keeps visitors and penguins apart. This was a quite different viewing experience, but interesting to watch "waves" of penguins emerge from the water and make their way up the beach.

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Craig
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Unread postby Craig » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:11 pm

Nice report Arks, thanks!

I love Boulders and visit the beach every time I am in Cape Town. Needless to say I have hundreds of photos of these little critters! Next time I'm down there (which might be next month), I'll post some photos an a report too...

- Craig

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Viewing African Penguin @ Foxy Beach Boulders Simons Town

Unread postby JulianP » Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:45 am

My wife and I will be visiting Western Cape 20-25 October.
I gather the penguins will mainly be a sea feeding before their moult.

What is the best time of day to visit? Dusk?
Would appreciate some feedback. Thanks in advance.

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:38 am

Hi Julian & welcome to the forum.

I have never seen Boulders deserted, but the tour coaches plan to get there in the afternoon.

Also watch out for the endangered black oystercatcher (long red bill) that sometimes nests trere.

In the bush on the walkways you might see the lesser double collared sunbird. The orange breasted sunbird is also in the area.

If penguins are very special to you, there is another colony at Betty's Bay, 80km south east of Cape Town. 20 years ago, the area was unfenced and a Cape mountain leopard feasted on them for a while. We have also seen a Cape clawless otter there.

Happy hunting!
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Unread postby Larks » Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:30 pm

Yes, I agree. Anytime is penguin time at Boulders!
But you're right, I think the afternoon may be better, because the penguins come out of the water and leave themselves sufficient time to dry before the night arrives. Watch out not to go there too late though, because the gates do close.

But anytime is good, there are ALWAYS penguins about! :D

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Boulders and Cape Province Visit

Unread postby JulianP » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:03 am

Had fun at Boulders, on the afternoon 20th Oct. Plenty of penguins visible, some were moulting and some seals in and just outside the kelp. Gate closing times vary through the year and are clearly posted at the main entrance (thanks for the warning BB). Work on the new boardwalk, being installed above the tarmac path, through the coastal bush between the two parts of the Boulders site, could be a problem for the less agile for a few weeks. Did not see any black oyster catchers (BB) but did see some over at Bloubergstrand. As always, cheerful and helpful Parks Board staff. The water was cold. On the way to Boulders my wife spotted a whale, about a mile out, just south of Fish Hoek. When we stopped to view, we saw a seal playing in the kelp close by, and what we used to call ‘red tide’ in the Far East, an algal bloom.
Also saw 3 whales, close in under the cliffs between Gordon’s Bay and Pringle Bay. Time restrictions prevented a visit to the Betty’s Bay penguin colony, (thanks for the info BB). Very heavy traffic was coming out of Hermanus towards Cape Town late on the Sunday afternoon. Good reason, as 140 whales had been logged in Walker Bay the previous week. That evening, using binoculars, we could see at least 15 whales in the bay from Gearings Point. We also visited Geyser Island from Kleinbaai, on ‘Tiberon’ to see the Cape Fur seals. We sighted a long skein of cormorant on the outward trip. We also visited a ‘shark viewing’ boat. A 3m Great White was paying repeated visits to the tuna head bait.

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:12 pm

Sounds like you had a great time Julian
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Boulders Souvenir Pressed Coins

Unread postby Tristan » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:05 am

Hi all!
I'm new to this forum, so I hope this post is OK!
I am from the US, but am an avid National Park visitor - no matter which country!
I've never been to South Africa, but besides national parks and hiking/backpacking, my interests are birds (I actually discovered a new bird to science in Peru in the 80s!), and collecting pressed coin souvenirs from around the world.

Recently, I heard rumors that the Boulders area at Tablelands NP has a souvenir Pressed Coin machine that presses a design for the park on a smashed coin!

If anyone has any info on this coin/machine, and especially, if anyone would be willing to sell or trade with me for it, I would be very grateful! It would be a souvenir that would combine all my passions - national parks, birds (assuming that the design on the coin is a jackass penguin!!), and pressed coins!

I hope to one day visit SA and their national parks - Tablelands, and especially viewing the penguins at Boulders - is high on my list of places to visit....and SOON!!

Any info would be greatly appreciated!
You may contact me offlist also!
Cheers!
Tristan

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:41 am

Hi Tristan and Welcome!

I can't help with info on the pressed coins, but I expect one of our Cape Town members may be able to help. However, just FYI, it's a long holiday weekend in SA (27/4 - 1/5), so it may be a few days before someone who can help reads your post. Just didn't want you to be discouraged if you don't get an answer for a few days.
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Unread postby Toddelelfe » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:20 am

Hi Tristan,

if i remember correctly, there was a machine on my last visit in 2001. This is long ago. I don`t know if its still there. And my next visit is only in september.
:hmz: Thinking about the next trip :hmz:
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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:36 pm

Tristan, I have never heard of this.
You might get help fom the "scratch patch".
You will find it on the right hand side, just before you enter Simonstown.
They have many tourist connections and would know what is available and what not.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Unread postby Craig » Tue May 22, 2007 12:33 pm

Hi,

If anyone is interested, I've posted some new Boulders photos in the Recent Sightings forum.

Cheers
Craig

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Unread postby Jacqueline » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:52 pm

We visited Boulders on Sunday, 1 July. Although it was my first visit to Boulders I've been to the penguin colony at Betty's Bay a couple of times.

We walked along the boardwalk between the two entrance gates and saw many nests with little ones varying in size from very tiny to almost mature.
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They look like little children in their dressing gowns with their fur coats. Soooo.. cute! :D There were also many penguins on the beach and in the water.

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We also saw a pair of black oyster catchers on the beach.

The boardwalk between the two entrance gates as well as one leading to Foxy Beach is wheelchair friendly. :)

I would really recommend a visit to Boulders to anyone spending time in Cape Town :dance: - also to the many locals who never find the time to go there :redface: .
KNP - December 2007

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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:45 am

I went to Boulders last Sunday. It was such a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
What we really enjoyed were the many baby Penguins tucked away in dug out nests or huddled together in creches.
I was also happy to see a few very cheeky Dassies around, living in harmony with the Penguins.
It well worth doing the trip at the moment, as we were fortunate in seeing a number of whales close to the shoreline just before going into Simonstown.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Unread postby Toddelelfe » Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:11 pm

I can´t wait :lol: only 3 weeks :dance:
:hmz: Thinking about the next trip :hmz:
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