Cape Town Diary: Day 3 – Penguins & Baboons (18-Nov)

After lunch the next stop we made when heading down the coast was at Boulders Cove – a penguin colony! There were signs throughout the parking lot warning to watch out for penguins & watch for penguins under your car. Pete & I were pretty sure they were just for show…we were convinced that the penguins were discreetly fenced into the cove.

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Along the walkway down to the viewing point you see penguins hanging out under the walkway. I’m not going to lie, it was kind of sad. I’ve never seen penguins in the “wild” but they sure didn’t look too happy here. You also see all this plastic barrel type things. I didn’t know what they were at first but it turns out they are penguin homes. There was probably 100s of them. Since summer is starting many of the penguins were in the molting process which makes them look pretty sickly.

There was tons of penguins hanging out on the beach but none of the surrounding beaches. This is what led Pete & I to believe that they must be fenced in somehow. We thought it was a little odd that they would only be on one small section of beach when there was a huge shoreline. I don’t know, maybe that’s how penguins are…it just seemed strange to us. Also they stink. The area was so smelly from all the penguins.

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When we left the penguin colony we started seeing signs warning to watch out for the baboons. First off, I didn’t even know there were wild baboons there so I was surprised by the signs. Pete & I were both hoping to see a baboon or two. And we did!! When we entered Table Mountain National Park (not sure why it’s called this since Table Mountain wasn’t in this park…although maybe the park was inclusive of all the mountains in the area? I don’t know) we got our chance.

We drove by a road & I saw what looked like a herd of dogs running down the road. I asked Pete to stop & go back & it turns out it was a bunch of baboons. They were actually being driven (herded?) by a lady with a stick. I should have taken a picture of her but I didn’t. She just had this stick, similar to a walking stick, & seemingly was just rounding up the baboons. We had seen several men along the roadside with “baboon watch” (or something along those lines) vests that were carrying some sort of weapon that looked like a paintball gun (if you looks closely at some of the pictures it kind of looks like a couple of them might have been paintballed). I guess they were on guard for any baboons in tourist stop areas.

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We also saw another group of baboons playing in the road after we left the park. They are not at all phased by cars or car horns. We drove right up to them & they just sat there & watched. Of course, we made sure to have the windows up & doors locked…didn’t want any additional passengers in the rental car.

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