The Stony Point promontory, in the small town of Betty's Bay near Cape Town, is home to a colony of African penguins. The colony is not as well-known as the bigger one at Boulders Beach, but you’ll still find thousands of the little penguins and, usually, fewer tourists.
African penguins—also called Jackass penguins for their donkey-like braying—typically nest on islands; the Stony Point colony is one of only three mainland colonies in South Africa. The colony is fenced in to protect it from predators and there are raised walkways that allow visitors to watch the birds without disturbing them. Organized tours from Cape Town include a visit to the colony, along with other activities, such as whale watching or wine tasting.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Stony Point Penguin Colony is a must-visit for wildlife lovers.
- There is a small admission fee, which must be paid in cash.
- The walkways are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
From Cape Town, it takes about an hour-and-a-half to drive to Stony Point, taking the coastal route past Strand Bay and Gordon’s Bay. No public transportation is available to Stony Point so if you don’t have a car, book a guided tour.
When to Get There
The colony is open to visitors every day from 9am to 5pm. The best times to visit are early in the morning and evening when the penguins return from the sea. It is a permanent colony so penguins are present year-round but if you visit between April and June, you might also see penguin chicks.
A Growing Colony
The roughly 3,600-strong penguin colony that now lives at Stony Point's old whaling station is a huge increase from the original two settlers who arrived in 1985. The population continues to expand, causing a few headaches for Betty’s Bay locals; occasionally, a fence breaks and the birds show up in residents’ backyards.