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Penguins at Betty’s Bay

Watching a colony of penguins shuffling up and down the beach, nudging their mates affectionately with their necks, diving from rocks, playing in the surf and nesting with their fluffy chicks in the soft beach sand should be a highlight of any visit to the Western Cape.

Located only 15 minutes’ drive from Villa Marine Guest House is the Stony Point African Penguin colony in Bettys Bay. It is less popular and touristy than the well-known Boulders Beach penguin colony but ranks as the third-largest breeding colony of these highly endangered marine birds in the world.

Did you know?

  • The African Penguin was originally called a Jackass Penguin as it has a call like that of a donkey.
  • African penguins lay two white eggs. Both parents take turns in incubation which lasts between 38 and 42 days. Penguins develop an area of bare skin on the lower belly that is only exposed when incubating. The eggs are held against this with one egg in front of the other.
  • Formerly tens of thousands of penguin eggs were collected for sale in Cape Town. This practice was banned in 1967. It is now illegal to take any penguin egg.
  • Penguin plumage helps them to herd fish into tight shoals. Penguins fish in groups. When they find a shoal of fish, they swim around it. The fish are frightened by the black and white patterned plumage of the penguins and swim closer together. Penguins then attack the compressed shoal from below with the fish silhouetted against the ski.