One of the most memorable and fun experiences of our South Africa trip was kayaking south of Cape Town. We needed another opportunity to commune with nature and animals, so we took a guided tour of the beach home to cape fur seals and penguins in Simon’s Town.
The two hour tour is called Paddle with the Penguins. The two hour kayak in the bay allowed us to see penguins and more. We were really lucky with the weather, which was warm and cloudy, and the sea, which was calm.
Our guide, Terry, a marine conservationist with Shark Warrior Adventure Centre, was a trove of information about the penguins. He also led us near seals and sea birds and told us all about these marine animals and their home in Simon’s Town, all while guiding 8 of us through the very calm but busy waters of False Bay.
The seals came as a complete surprise to us, and they were beautiful and plentiful! Many seals were lying on the rocks, and some of them swam around our kayaks. They are very playful and fun and got quite close to us!
Terry also taught us about the current crisis for the penguins’ existence. Their food supply is diminishing due to overfishing of anchovies, sardines and other key components of their diet. Terry’s group is working to educate people and help protect this beautiful species. It was a pleasure to take a tour with him knowing that some of our money is going to such a good cause.
Terry’s team has already helped the penguins by protecting them from the hordes of tourists who visit daily. His group erected a boardwalk for viewing, thus keeping people off the beach and out of the penguins way. As you can imagine, people were getting way too close to the penguins and trying to take selfies with them, etc. The boardwalk goes a long way to protecting their habitat, and people can still get their photos.