Simon's Town is rich in historical significance.
The settlement was founded in 1743 as a winter anchorage by the
first governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel and named after
him. After the British had taken over the Cape in 1806, the
town became a base of the Royal Navy. In 1957 it became a South
African navy base.
Simon's Town with its Victorian and Cape Dutch houses is a
pretty little seaside town. The restaurants and coffee shops in
the Main Road and also in the new Quayside Waterfront with a
harbour view, are an inviting way to spend some time.
Jackass Penguins are the only species of penguin that colonise
on the African continent. 100 years ago there were still many
of them on the Cape West Coast with its cold waters.
Since penguin meat is apparently edible, they were mercilessly
hunted. Later the over fishing of the sea and the loss of
breeding spots resulted in near extinction of the species. The
present stock is still threatened although the colony in
Simon's Town has grown, in a few years, from 1500 to 3500
individuals. The colony's growth is already causing trouble
with the human residents in the vicinity.
A special attraction is the colony of Jackass Penguins at
Boulders Beach. For some years now, under the administration of
Cape Nature Conservation these cute birds are quite friendly
with humans, but they don't want to be touched. On warm summer
days people and penguins splash together in the clear and
shallow waters of the bay, surrounded by big round