You know about the penguins that got lost at sea one day and ended up settling in South Africa right? Well, I don’t think that’s the real story, but you might know the African penguin by its former, and slightly unfortunate name, the Jackass Penguin. These adorable little fellas inherited the aforementioned moniker because of their slightly donkey-like braying call, but since the South American penguins make similar sounds, the distinguishment of African penguin became a necessity. Phew.

If you’re planning to be in the Cape Town area, you can take a gander at these sweet little creatures at Boulder’s Beach in Simonstown. We were really excited about my Mom seeing the penguins, but we decided to stop off and visit them at the lesser-known a’ganderin’ point in Betty’s Bay. (Which is on the lovely coastal route from Gordon’s Bay heading toward Hermanus, which is where we were planning to stop for lunch on the way to Knysna.)

You can pay to get up close and personal with the little fellas after traipsing along the boardwalk for a wee way, but since there were plenty hanging out before the entrance to the park, we decided to say a quick hello and then head on down the road. Pregnant lady must have lunch on time.

Would you like a quick gander too? Well, I thought you’d never ask.

Mr. penguin seemed to be saying go left, but the arrow said turn right…

A couple of dassies were around to say hello when we arrived. They seem so friendly! Remember me telling you about seeing them in Hermanus?

G.C. taught second grade for many-a-year, and taught many-a-second-grader about the jackass penguin. And many-a-second-grader did giggle. She commented that she never thought she’d see them in person!

They’re so pretty!

But they did occasionally seem a little shy…

Apparently their camouflage is a good protection for them — predators looking up at them from under the water will see white, but predators looking down at them from above the water will see black, and in both cases that will make it more difficult to see them. When they try to hide in the bushes though…

Honestly, they are just awkwardly delightful. Watching them waddle is great. It is hard to watch them without a smile.

The Bear was very keen to help Dad get some penguin footage, in case you were wondering. He was most intrigued and we had to keep a hand on his sleeve to make sure he didn’t get beaked!

And, if you’d like a little orientation, Betty’s Bay is a lovely little town not far past Pringle Bay, if you’re headed up the coast away from Cape Town.

Not a bad spot to be a penguin, hey? They don’t seem like jackasses to me.

Happy Tuesday!