Road Trip to see penguins at Betty’s Bay in the Eastern Cape.

Betty's Bay, home to the African Penguin.
Betty’s Bay, home to the African Penguin.
Betty's Bay area is such a beautiful part of the Western Cape coast
Betty’s Bay area is such a beautiful part of the Western Cape coast

Stoney Point Penguin reserve
Stoney Point Penguin reserve

Betty’s Bay is a very small seaside village in the Eastern Cape. My brother drove from Stellenbosch all the way along the coast to this small village. It was a lovely drive filled with stunning scenery!!
Betty’s Bay is surrounded by the Harold Porter Nature Reserve thus covered with “fynbos” and other indigenous vegetation. Unfortunately summer time is quite dry here in the Western Cape so there weren’t any flowers blooming along the side of the road.

Hallo Betty's Bay!!
Hallo Betty’s Bay!!
Stoney Point Penguin reserve lives up to the stoney part in the name!!
Stoney Point Penguin reserve lives up to the stoney part in the name!!
The penguins have chosen a lovely place to make their home!!
The penguins have chosen a lovely place to make their home!!

I enjoy playing tourist every time I visit South-Africa so that I get to see some of my beautiful country before I leave again. On my list of things to see were the African Penguins that actually live here in the Western Cape on the beach!
Stoney Point Penguin reserve is situated here at Betty’s Bay and our final destination on our road trip. This reserve protects a small breeding colony of African Penguins that can be found along the Cape coast. I was quite excited to see penguins on the beach in the 36 degree Celsius heat.

I love the fact that mist penguins mate for life!!
I love the fact that mist penguins mate for life!!
It is December so the penguins were losing the last of their winter fluff
It is December so the penguins were losing the last of their winter fluff
The point of the Bay!
The point of the Bay!

The African Penguin is also called the black-footed penguin (due to the colour of its feet), and the jackass penguin (because of its very distinct donkey-like call).

Got this stunning bird shot by chance
Got this stunning bird shot by chance
This part of the reserve was filled with nesting sea birds
This part of the reserve was filled with nesting sea birds
Me, just after I remembered that I had a sun hat!!
Me, just after I remembered that I had a sun hat!!
Aah little baby penguins cuddling!!
Aah little baby penguins cuddling!!

It was a very hot and sunny day in December and a little breeze to cool us off would have been very welcome. AS we got out of the car at the reserve the heat hit me like a brick in the face and for a moment I regretted having to walk around outside. I had on loads of sun block but I forgot to wear my hat for the first half of our walk and went home with sunburn on my scalp!!
We walked through the breeding colony along the raised walkway that runs along the beach. Most of the penguins were sitting on the rocks in pools of water or in the surf where they could cool down a bit.

Penguins cooling off in the surf!
Penguins cooling off in the surf!

These penguins can grow to 70 cm tall (the males are usually a little bigger than the females), and can weigh roughly 3 kg.

Rocks filled with black sea birds and only a couple of penguins
Rocks filled with black sea birds and only a couple of penguins
Got up close and personal with the sea birds!
Got up close and personal with the sea birds!

We got to see loads of penguins not doing much. They are so cute!! Unfortunately my brother was quite disappointed with the visit, saying that he couldn’t believe that the area stunk so much and that they weren’t as beautiful as he thought they would have been.

Got a lovely picture of a nesting sea bird and her chicks!!
Got a lovely picture of a nesting sea bird and her chicks!!

I was quite glad that I also got to see some birds nesting from up close. OK, I will admit that the penguins do smells quite bad in this heat!!

They were very quiet...
They were very quiet…
I had a lovely sunny day with the penguins!
I had a lovely sunny day with the penguins!

 

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