Best time of year to visit the boulders penguins

We are often asked: when is the best time to see penguins at Boulders Beach?

There’s great penguin viewing all year round (apart from September and October; when many of the penguins are off the beach; fishing and feeding in the ocean) but late November to late January are certainly two wonderful months to see the penguins. It’s warm; and the birds are in and out of the water a lot as they love to sit and bask on the beach; then slip down into the water for a fishing session before coming back to do it all again.

For a real treat, visit Boulders in January when the juvenile birds are moulting on the beach. During molting season; the penguins gather on the sand in numbers and you can get a real idea of the scale of this colony — the largest penguin colony in Africa.

The penguin breeding season is from February to August; and it peaks from March to May. It’s fascinating to watch because all the penguins are swimming and returning to the beach to feed the small ones. The babies get fed for about two months; usually in the late afternoon. In terms of crowds, there are generally fewer people in these winter months. In general; you will see more penguins during the breeding season than at other times.

The best time of day to visit is late in the afternoon, before the boardwalk closes to catch the best light. The busy months are from November to March/April. However, it can be crowded in the off season as well, especially on the weekends. If you’re after snapshots, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the birds are most active.

One of the best things about Tintswalo Boulders is that you get to stay right above the colony. So you can enjoy watching their antics from your own private balcony. And easily pop down to view the penguins via our private boardwalk entrance at the best time of the day

Boulders Opening Hours

Winter: April to September: 08:00 – 17:00
Summer: December to January: 07:00 – 19.30
Feb – March 08:00 – 18:30
October – November 08:00 – 18.30

Penguin Calendar

January: Juveniles are moulting, and adults feeding up for the breeding season
Feb to August: Breeding season with most penguins on the beach
September to October: Penguins at sea are feeding up for moulting. Fewer penguins at the beach
November to December: Moulting season


The best weather with the least rain is from October until March. The chance of increasing rain starts in May and last until September.

Boulders is fantastic all year round; but it’s always nice to know when you can really get the most out of a visit. Our staff and guides are also really knowledgeable about what to do and where to go in Simon’s Town; so you are always in good hands!

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