Home Africa Day Trip From Cape Town You MUST Do: Cape Point and Boulders Beach

Day Trip From Cape Town You MUST Do: Cape Point and Boulders Beach

Day Trip From Cape Town You MUST Do: Cape Point and Boulders Beach

On the same day we went to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, we visited the penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, South Africa. Ever since we had heard about the penguins of South Africa, we knew we had to visit to see them for ourselves. The fact that we were staying only an hour away from them just made it a necessity to see my flightless friends.

Day Trip to See the Penguins at Boulders Beach

Just our second full day into our South Africa trip, we chose to make it a day trip to see the penguins at Boulders Beach, as well as the Cape Point Nature Reserve as they were both in the same direction. The trip began in the morning with a one and a half hour drive to Cape Point. We followed that incredible experience up with a drive back in the direction of Cape Town to Boulders Beach.

Ultimately, you NEED to visit these penguins! It is not every day for me that I say I saw a colony of penguins in their natural habitat! If you ever find yourself in Cape Town, make the short trip to Simon’s Town and enjoy the experience of visiting these little guys.

Driving to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, South Africa

We covered driving in South Africa in a previous post, so we wont dive into what you need to know. However, it is important that I say two things. Driving in South Africa is generally safe, and we had no difficulty navigating to Cape Point and Boulders Beach. Also, the reason we had no difficulty was because we drove during the day time and had a GPS. Definitely rent a GPS if you choose to travel through South Africa. This will save you so much wasted time getting lost.

The drive from Cape Town to Simon’s Town is about an hour. However, we chose to drive about an hour and a half to Cape Point and on our return trip to Cape Town, we dropped in at Simon’s Town to see the penguins and have a meal.

Parking was no problem at Boulders Beach, however we did show up at noon during a less busy tourist season in South Africa. There are social accounts available for Boulders Beach and Cape Point Nature Reserve that let you know when the parking lots are full and when it is busy. We recommend showing up early if you need to find parking. It is always the best way to beat the crowds.

We knew that it was better for us to spend more time at Cape Point, so we went there first to make sure we could get parking. Knowing this, we knew that we could either wait for a parking spot to get to Boulders Beach or just return the next day early in the morning. Being flexible when traveling cannot be understated. There will always be outside influences that effect the outcome of your trip. Just roll with it.

Seeing the Penguins at Boulders Beach

The cost to enter the beach is about $3 USD to enter. A very small fee, especially compared to what we had paid to get into the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Upon entering, we walked along the wooden walkways for a few minutes before we discovered something in the bushes. Something making a yelping noise. It was a penguin! Our first spotting! We were so excited to see our little friend digging a hole in the bushes.

Little did we know what we had in store for us once we rounded the next corner. PENGUINS EVERYWHERE! There was swarms of them! About as many of them as there were tourists, unfortunately. Still, it was so fun to see them bathing in the sun, going for swims, digging holes, and wandering around.

You are able to actually go for a swim with these penguins as well! Something we did not discover until after we had visited. We did spend about half an hour there taking photos and observing their behavior on the beach.

The penguins do have a uniquely pungent smell to them and make yelping noises in the sunlight. Be prepared for large crowds on the boardwalk.

Upon having our fill of snapping photos and enjoying the company of the penguins, we made our way back to the parking lot where we sat and ate a nice lunch at a nearby restaurant in Simon’s Town.


Day two of our South Africa trip was a complete success! Unlike our previous terrifying experience hiking up Table Mountain, we were able to full enjoy this day with the trip to Cape Point Nature Reserve and chilling with our flightless friends at Boulders Beach.

This is something you definitely need to do the next time you find yourself in Cape Town. Do not skip this. Especially if you do not get to see penguins in their natural habitat. Do what we did not and go swimming with them. Bath in the sunlight with them. Sit down and enjoy their company.

Though we only spent about half an hour to an hour here, you could easily spend a morning or afternoon at Boulders Beach.

Have you had the pleasure of spending time with the penguins at Boulders Beach? What was your experience like? Did you go swimming with them? Let us know in the comments below.

What better way to rebound after a terrifying day hiking Table Mountain than to take a day trip to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Breath-taking endless ocean views and gorgeous coastline is what we had hoped for. And it is precisely what we got.

Day Trip to the Cape Point Nature Reserve

As we wrote in an earlier post, we decided to rent a car for our 13 day trip through South Africa. Just having the convenience of being able to get up and go somewhere at any time was something we wanted. On this particular day, we took advantage of that.

The drive from Cape Town to the Cape Point Nature Reserve is a one and a half hour scenic tour of the countryside and small towns. As far as driving goes, it was not a difficult drive. We really enjoy driving ourselves around to see what we want to see and to travel at our pace. Photos are important to us, so to be able to pull over at any point and snap some photos of an amazing landscape is a necessity when we are traveling.

Our day trip to the Cape Point Nature Reserve was at the top of our list for day trips outside of Cape Town. We also knew that traveling in this direction, we would be able to see more destinations. Seeing the Boulder’s Beach penguins was another thing we both wanted to witness for ourselves, and Simon’s Town was the mid-point between Cape Town and the Cape Point Nature Reserve.

The entrance fee to the Nature Reserve is approximately $12 USD per adult. We felt it rather expensive to enter the park, however it still remained something we needed to see while in South Africa. It is easy to justify paying the price for something that is on your list, let alone very high on that list of things to do while in a country.

Once you are in the nature reserve, it seems like every turn provides you with a picture perfect shot of the ocean, coast, and wildlife. While in the reserve, you could see ostrich, monkeys, antelope, among many others. We only got to see the ostrich and monkeys.

There is just something amazing about coastal areas. Especially when you look out into the ocean and it is an endless abyss. We stopped shortly into our drive towards Cape Point to shoot some photos of the coast and ocean.

Continuing along, we made it to the parking lot of the Cape Point. From here, we began to see the monkeys. Not many, but they were crossing the road on the way to the parking lot and you did need to be watching the road rather than the magnificent scenery around you. Nobody wants to visit the Cape Point Nature Reserve to accidentally hit a monkey.

From the parking lot, you see the funicular, restaurant, and small snack shop at the base of the climb towards the iconic lighthouse. The restaurant would have been a great place to sit down and enjoy a meal looking out into the ocean. Unfortunately, we got there just at opening it seemed and we were not too hungry. Our day was packed and very busy as well, so we wanted to continue on.

Cape Point is a great place to walk and drive around. Well worth the day trip from Cape Town. Walk up to the Cape Point lighthouse and take a look out at the endless ocean. See more from our travels throughout South Africa: https://tothenationsworldwide.com/category/africa/south-africa/ . . . . . #Travel #Wanderlust #TravelBug #TravelBlogger #TravelPhotography #TravelDiary #TravelersJournal #TravelLife #TravelPics #TravelAddict #DigitalNomad #TravelCouple #DigitalNomadCouple #NatGeoTravel #NatGeoYourShot #ForbesTravelGuide #BBCTravel #GuardianTravelSnaps #BeautifulDestinations #BestInTravel #AwesomeEarth #TheGlobeWanderer #LonelyPlanet #Worlderlust #ExploringTheGlobe #CNTraveler #SouthAfrica #CapePoint #CapeofGoodHope #CapePeninsula

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The next question: trek to the top of the lighthouse or take the funicular. It is about a 15 minute trek to the top and fairly steep. We chose the funicular route with a round trip at about $7 USD per person. This took us to the base of the lighthouse where we continued a small climb up a set of stairs to reach the lighthouse. This provided the incredible outlook into the endless ocean.

A remarkable look into an ocean that has claimed countless lives throughout its history. The history can be recounted at the shop that connects to a souvenir shop right off the funicular. It is interesting to relive the events that occurred throughout the history of Cape Point and the many voyages that took place. The amount of ships that the rocky area has claimed is astounding and the building of a lighthouse was important to warning these ships of the area.

Day tripping from Cape Town to Cape Point. Such an interesting history here. Looking out into the ocean was calming. A must-see location if you are in Cape Town. See more from our travels throughout South Africa: https://tothenationsworldwide.com/category/africa/south-africa/ . . . . . #Travel #Wanderlust #TravelBug #TravelBlogger #TravelPhotography #TravelDiary #TravelersJournal #TravelLife #TravelPics #TravelAddict #digitalnomad #NatGeoTravel #NatGeoYourShot #ForbesTravelGuide #BBCTravel #GuardianTravelSnaps #BeautifulDestinations #BestInTravel #AwesomeEarth #TheGlobeWanderer #LonelyPlanet #Worlderlust #ExploringTheGlobe #CNTraveler #CapeTown #SouthAfrica #CapePoint #CapeofGoodHope #CapePeninsula #OceanView

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From the lighthouse, we descended down to the funicular and walked through the souvenir shop and took a glimpse at the history to the area. We took the funicular back down to the parking lot and took another route through the park to exit.


Ultimately, the Cape Point Nature Reserve was pricey for the entry fee. However, how can you go to South Africa and not see an iconic area. The view alone will blow you away. It is really a great thing to include in your day trips from Cape Town. There is more than enough things to fill a day in the same area as well.

Our itinerary for this particular day included a trip to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, seeing the penguins at Boulder’s Beach, and enjoying a wine tasting in Cape Town. It was truly the perfect day trip and itinerary for one of our three nights in Cape Town.

Have you ever been to the Cape Point Nature Reserve? What were your thoughts on the entrance fee and the surrounding area? What else did you do on the same day you visited the Nature Reserve? If you chose not to go, why did you not see it?

We would love to know your answers to these questions down in the comment section!


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