Most people around the world picture penguins covered in the snow and surrounded by extreme weather conditions. However, the African penguin found in Cape Town prefers warmer weathers and is found on the coast line of Southern Africa and is also found in Namibia. The African penguin also called the Jack Ass penguin because of the braying sound they make live in colonies . The African penguin's diet is sardines, squid and anchovies. They could keep their breath for approximately 2.5 minutes under water when diving. In Simons Town, a Coastal Town of Cape Town, The African Penguin can be seen in its natural habitat fending for itself and living from the ocean.
The African penguin grows between 45-60 cm in height which is approximately 2ft tall and they could weigh anything between 3.6-4kg in weight. Their flippers and short tails help them with direction in the water. The African Penguin penguins feathers are waterproof and this keeps them dry and insulated. The African penguin breeds within their colonies and do not travel or migrate to give birth. The African penguin digs out dirt to form the nest called burrows, they use their excrement and this is called guano. Most of their nest are laid under boulders or in bushes. Their nest are made for the protection of the chicks and their eggs. These nests can be seen at Boulders Penguin Colony during the walking tour. African penguins usually mate for life, at 12 months to a year the African penguin goes through a vase called moulting. The moulting vase is when the penguin reaches maturity and loses its fur.
The South African penguin colony inhabits a place called Simon's Town at Boulders beach in Cape Town. This is where 1000's of tourist visit to see this absolutely beautiful species of penguin. A visit to Boulders Beach penguin colony is usually part of a scenic Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope peninsula tour of Cape Town.
The African penguin only reaches 45 centimetres in height which is only a ruler and a half in length and makes this fun creature even more adorable. Cape Town also known as the mother city of South Africa, is popular for its mountain,beaches and vineyards.
The African Penguin roamed the streets of Cape Town freely, The road signs can still be seen in Simons town today, the environment is now controlled by an organisation called Sanccob. Sanccob is a non-profit organisation with a primary objective to rehabilitate and rescue sea birds. They are in existence since 1986 with the main aim of increasing the penguin population. Sanccob focuses on rescue, rehabilitation, chick rearing, education, training and research. Sanncob today still plays a major role in protecting these beautiful creatures from oil spills which originally lead to the start of their journey. For more information on helping out with this project please visit www.sanccob.co.za
Visit boulders beach and experience a once in a life time opportunity to swim and see this amazing sea bird in its natural habitat. It's not too expensive for locals and international tourist alike and they give discount for kids. The African Penguin is one of the few species of penguin who live in warmer warters and weather. A Penguin visit to Boulders Beach is also included as part of our Half day Cape Peninula Tour. Relax on the shores of Cape Town's blue flag beaches, Grab lunch or dinner in fabulous top rated restaurants. Buy souvenirs of this amazing hybrid bird/penguin or some lovely African arts and crafts. Support a good course and help Sanncob protect the Penguin Colony of South Africa
Penguins, are flightless birds and exclusively found in the Southern Hemisphere. Penguins date back as early as 60 million years ago. Researchers believe this bird was part of the distinction of dinosaurs who survived. The word Penguin meant Great Auks, and it is believed the 1st person to ever spot the Penguins was in 1520. The word Penguin came from the past explorers who mistakenly took the black and white bird for an Auks.
The colour of the penguin's make for an excellent camouflage amongst large boulders. The top of the penguin back is black and the front part of most penguins are white. The Penguin whilst hunting ingest lots of water and this is released through a gland behind the eye which filters the salt water from their blood stream. Most bird like species loses a few feathers at a time where as the penguin loses all its feathers at the same time, this process is called moulting. The moulting process could take up to a month.
Penguins in most cases are known to mate for life with the opposite sex every mating season. In the world of penguins most penguins are loyal members of their nesting site and would always return to it. The penguin nest are made up of pebbles, some penguins lay up to two eggs at a time which they would incubate under their feet. In some species the male penguin incubates the egg and the female usually do the hunting. When eggs are laid both male and female penguins care for their young. Penguins do not have visible ears, however they have exceptional hearing and could even hear the calling of their mates through an entire nest of penguins.
Most sea mammals rely on blubber to keep their bodies warm, penguins rely on their feathers which trap a layer of warm air next to their skin.
There are many different types of penguins:
The Chinstrap Penguins are small to medium size penguins and are easily recognised by their unique white and black features with a black line across their cheeks. The average body height recorded from the Chinstrap Penguin is approximately 72cm and could easily weigh between 3-5kg. Whilst breeding the Chinstrap Penguin drops its weight to a minimum of 3kg. The male Chinstrap is both heavier and taller than the female Chinstrap, unlike the Emperor penguin. The Chinstrap penguin has short strong legs with webbed like feet. Their diet is made up of krill, shrimp, fish and squad. The Chinstrap is good hunters and swims 80km offshore to hunt. Because of their body like type, which is waterproof the Chinstrap could withstand the coldest of waters. When breeding the Chinstrap forms its nest with stone and could lay up to 2 eggs at once. The eggs would be looked after by both males and females. This process could take up to approximately 37 days for the penguin to hatch.
The word Crested was given to a number of common species of penguin, the number differed from 4 to 7 depending the authority. One of the penguins became extinct referred to as the Chatham Islands species. All the penguins referred to as the collective of the Crest Penguin are black and white with some penguins having yellow in them. These penguins lays 2 eggs at a time and only raise one chick. The Crested penguin breeds along the Sub Antarctic in the Southern parts of the ocean around New Zealand.
The Emperor penguin is the heaviest penguin and they are endemic to Antarctica. They Emperor has been recorded to be the tallest penguin as well at heights reaching up to 122cm recorded. They could weigh anything from 22kg-45kg. The male and the female are similar in size. The Emperor could hold its breath for up to 20mins under water and diving into depths of approximately 1750ft. Their colour is black, yellow and white in colour. The back part of their bodies are black and their front part of their bodies are white with yellow sides and ears. They are flightless birds like all other penguins with flattened flippers for marine habitat. The Emperor penguins diet is made up of fish, crustaceans (Krill) and cephalopods such as squid. The Emperor Penguin is the only penguin that breeds during the winter months in Antarctic and move a 120km at times over the ice to reach their breeding colonies. The female lays one egg at a time which the male would incubate in order for the female to keep warm. It has been recorded and suggested that some of the Emperor penguin may even live up to 50 years of age.
The Gentoo penguin is unique as it has a long tail. It was classified to be related to the Chinstrap penguin. The Gentoo penguin was discovered in 1781.