The Western Cape: Places to Explore

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Betty's Bay

Betty's Bay, or Betty's, as the hamlet is fondly known, is worth visiting for its penguins and botanical garden. The village is made up of retirees and weekenders wanting to escape the city hustle. The scenery is wild and untamed and the settlement unfussy, but don't go unless you're happy to hunker down inside when the summer wind is howling or when the winter rains set in.

If you're in the area, the colony of African penguins at Stony Point is definitely worth exploring. They are one of only two mainland colonies in southern Africa (the other is at Boulders Beach on the Cape Peninsula, where it is much easier to see these endangered seabirds). The Stony Point colony lies about 600 yards from the parking area along a rocky coastal path. Along the way you pass the concrete remains of tank stands, reminders of the days when Betty's Bay was a big whaling station. The African penguin is endangered, so the colony has been fenced off for protection but this still doesn't stop leopards making forays into the colony

To get to the penguins from Pringle Bay, return to Clarence Drive (the R44) and continue 1½ km (1 mi) to the turnoff to Stony Point, on the edge of Betty's Bay. Follow Porter Drive for 3 km (2 mi) until you reach a sign marked "mooi hawens" and a smaller sign depicting a penguin.

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