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Bettys Bay Attractions: African Penguins

About 30 kilometres from Gordon's Bay in Cape Town, is Bettys Bay,  a small, tranquil seaside village which is home to a penguin colony at Stony Point which was declared a municipal nature reserve in July 2002.  There are currently about 4 000 penguins at Stony Point. To enter visitors have to pay a small R10 (1,25 USD) entrance fee each which is used to maintain the reserve.  To reach Bettys Bay from Gordon's Bay, visitors have to drive along the R44 scenic ocean  route which also passes the Rooi Els and Pringle Bay beaches.  This route is by far one of the most beautiful ocean  routes which will take any visitor's breath away and will make the trip to Bettys Bay even more interesting.

Stony Point at Bettys Bay.
To watch the African penguin colony in their natural environment in Bettys Bay is quite an experience.  The penguins are used to the daily stream of visitors and go their own way, undisturbed and oblivious to the people who are watching them.  They have ample space in the sea to swim and catch small fish to eat. Many of them are breeding on nests specially built for them, while some even venture into nearby houses' gardens.  Rumour has it that one of the residents even allow them into his home and that not all the residents are happy about the penguins in their gardens.  For this reason the penguins became international news in November 2012 and were even on CNN news.  Read the story here.

Penguins are such interesting birds. Apparently their sense of direction is perfect and they can find their way home even hundreds of kilometres away.  They have one partner their whole life to whom they are fully dedicated.  The biggest threat that they are facing are the many oil spills on the African coast.  See also my top five places to visit in Cape Town.

The African penguins at Bettys Bay are oblivious to the many daily visitors.
View of Bettys Bay from Stony Point.


  1. The photo with penguins on the path is especially cool. Penguins, elephants and dolphins always attracted me because of their human-like behavioural patterns. I think that penguins experience little fear contacting humans because they probably think we are a kind of penguins - we walk using two legs, we have featherless wings (arms), tend to settle in colonies, have kindergartens and like fish (well, many of us, at least). Just like penguins. So why fear?


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