Simon’s Town is a small town that is widely spread along the main road, remaining lively not only because of the naval base located here, but also due to the presence of Boulders Beach, where African penguins reside. It is one of the few places on the mainland where Cape penguins can be found.
Located approximately 40 kilometers south of Cape Town, the town of Simon’s Town can be easily accessed by taking a local train. The Southern Suburbs Line operates frequently, with a journey time of approximately 1 hour. Tickets are available in two classes: R9 (metro) or R15 (Metro Plus), but there is not much of a difference between them. Both classes seem quite similar, although it’s worth mentioning that they tend to sell more expensive tickets to foreigners. To avoid overpaying, it’s recommended to specify that you want a regular ticket.
The train route is exceptionally picturesque as it runs along the ocean shore. At times, it feels like the train might venture into the water! The views are absolutely fantastic, making the train ride worthwhile for enjoying the scenic beauty.
Boulders Beach is a remarkable place where African penguins live on the mainland. It’s important to note that the African penguin is an endangered species, with only about 10 percent remaining out of an estimated 1.5 million individuals in the early twentieth century. Their distinctive black and white colors serve as a form of camouflage: the white helps protect them from predators lurking beneath the water’s surface, while the black provides defense against threats from above.
Wooden platforms are available along the beach, allowing tourists to observe the colony of approximately 2,000 penguins that reside there. These charming creatures appear awkward on land but display surprising agility when in the water. The local penguins have become accustomed to the presence of people and seem unperturbed by them. At times, it even appears as if they have learned to pose for photographs and videos, as everyone captures their unique behavior. It truly is an unusual sight. Boulders Beach is open for sightseeing daily from 8:00 to 18:30, with an admission fee of R60.
Other notable places to visit
Duiker Island – Also known as the Seal Island, it can be reached by boat from Hout Bay. This small piece of land, spanning only 40 acres, is home to a colony of seals. These beautiful and confident mammals occupy almost every rock on the island. The boats get close enough for visitors to observe even the intimate lives of these animals.
Chapman’s Peak Drive – Regarded as one of the most scenic routes, especially during sunrise and sunset when the warm light reflects on the ocean tides. This 10-kilometer stretch of highway is carved into the rocks, connecting Hout Bay with Noord