Boulders Beach, South Africa
Boulders Beach aka Boulders bay is a sheltered beach located near Simon’s Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. This area is considered to be part of the Table Mountain National Park. The presence of large 540 million year old granite boulders, from which it gets its name, is not the only distinguish characteristic of this beach. The stinky sunbathing Jackass, which have been around since 1982, have made this a popular coastal destination.
The Jackasses we are referring to here are not some loud drunken vagabonds, rather they are a colony of African penguins whose call resembles a donkey’s bray. The beach’s vulnerable black-footed penguin population has grown steadily from 2 in 1982 to over 3,000 today. This population growth has been partly attributed to the fact that their human neighbors have allowed their colony to thrive with limited interference. Furthermore, the reduction of commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay has increased the pilchards and anchovy stock, a main source of food for these marine birds.
In an effort to protect these adorable (and stinky) friends the South African government has prohibited swimming on the beach were the Jackass hang out. The adjacent Foxy Beach, however, is open to humans. It is not uncommon for visitors of the area to experience the thrill of swimming and catching waves with these amazing creatures !