South Africa, Jackass Penguins

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Jan 7th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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South Africa, Jackass Penguins

Leaving the Stellenbosch Wine region, I join Route 44 for a scenic drive along the coast to my destination for the night, Hermanus. I endure a stunning coastal landscape with multiple stops at places like Gordon's Bay as I make my way there.

Gordon's Bay is where one of the largest whales in the world, The Southern Right, comes to give birth. These whales can grow up to 45 feet in length and weigh multiple tons.

As I am driving along Route 44 the weather could not be any nicer. As far as the eye can see it is clear and the ocean breeze is refreshing. At stops along the way, I make short hikes on the rugged coast line and enjoy the tranquil crashing of the pounding waves. If only I could stop time, I would stay longer than I do.

When I think of South Africa, I never think of penguins so I am a bit surprised when I come across a road sign for penguins. Leaving the main highway, I navigate through a small coastal community and end up at Stony Point.

Although it is about 70 degrees outside, here is the home of a colony of African penguins. Once called Jackass penguins because of their donkey like braying call. These penguins are one of eighteen species worldwide, that are found only in Africa.

I think if their cousins in Antarctica could see them now, they would be jealous.

Video:
http://youtu.be/CoWtpvlslkU
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Jan 7th, 2012, 06:36 PM
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Great video! I loved Betty's Beach and this brought back lots of good memories. The penguins are so fun to watch! Thanks for sharing your trip there.
-CJ
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Jan 8th, 2012, 08:27 AM
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The ability to get fairly close to these creatures without a parka and insulated minutes is yet another reason to visit South Africa. Thanks for the penguin installment.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Enjoyed the video. I am spending 5 days in Cape Town in August and am looking forward to seeing penguins and whales.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 08:05 PM
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I have done several trips down in the Western Cape area with the penquins.The best days there have been down in Boulders Beach having coffee in the morning watching them "assemble" for their first morning plunge on the rocks and then sitting on the beach in the evening with a glass of wine watching them with their mates in the nest-magical!
PS/My daughter works in Antarctica on a research vessel and her love of the penquins never wanes even after all this time down there!She first fell in love with them from her trips to South Africa.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Enjoyed that, very cool!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 06:44 AM
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CarrieT,

Those guys are fun to watch. They almost look like waiters in tuxedos
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Jan 9th, 2012, 06:48 AM
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atravelynn,

I agree... What a surprise for me to see penguins in South Africa!

Last year I went all the way to Antarctica to see them and somedays almost froze my bu** off
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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raelond,

Not sure about whale sightings that time of the year but I think driving "The Whale Coast Route" would be nice anytime of the year.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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dutyfree,

What is the "Nest-Magical"

Think it is so cool your daugther work in Antarctica. The penguins there are fascinating too!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:47 PM
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dutyfree,

I need some "Spelling-Magical"

daughter works ... not "daugther".. Sorry!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:56 PM
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raelond, I saw whales in October just watching from the side of the road. I believe when I was researching I found out that they arrive around May and stay until November so you should certainly have a chance to see them in August.

DMB - I was wondering if I really needed to go to Antarctica to see the little guys now that I've seen them in South Africa....there are a different types of penguins in Antarctica, right?
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Jan 11th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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Freezing your anterior is the price you pay to be able to compare and contrast penguin species. A small price IMO.

Did you post your Antarctica trip report somewhere?
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Jan 11th, 2012, 09:52 PM
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CarrieT,

Going to Antarctica is a whole neat experience by itself even without penguins. However, trust me there are thousands and thousand of them down there and it ain't as warm as SA.

Here's one colony that Rocks

Video:
http://youtu.be/4sWo00HrkyM
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Jan 11th, 2012, 10:05 PM
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atravelynn,

Here's two links for my Antarctic trip report:

http://www.fodors.com/community/crui...-continent.cfm

http://dmbtraveler195.blogspot.com/2...mik-ioffe.html



One of my highlight outings:

Video:
http://youtu.be/NgzsU1Hj_Vk
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Jan 16th, 2012, 03:01 AM
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One of the closest spots you will ever get to a whale is at Glencairn just before Simon's Town, when the tide is in & at Clovelly broadwalk you can get wet from a whale blow !
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Jan 17th, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Regarding the Jackass penguins at Boulders, about 10 years ago there was an oil spillage & unfortunately they got covered in it, there was a big rescue operation, they were collected up, taken to a big warehouse in the city, cleaned up, tagged & taken to Durban as the oil had not dispersed, within 2 months the penguins were back, they love it at Boulders too !
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Jan 18th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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braaiseason,

Sorry I will have to take advantage of your whale watching tip next time

However, I hope others will be able to do so!

Did read about the oil spillage and glad to see the rescue was successful
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