Marine Big 5


From relaxing with penguins on the beach to diving with seals and sharks, or whale and dolphin spotting, Simon’s Town offers a variety of ways to spot the Marine Big 5. Book a boat trip or kayak tour leaving from the Simon’s Town harbour to explore False Bay or the “Serengeti of the Seas”, as described by some.

Penguins of Simonstown
Boulders Beach, Simonstown

PENGUINS

Just 5 minutes from the heart of Simon’s Town you will find the smallest of the Marine Big 5, the African Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach. This is a haven where penguins sunbathe and swim in the ocean and if you keep your distance – you can join them!

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Whale in False Bay
Whale in the harbour

WHALES

Along the coastal road between Fish Hoek and Simons Town there are some good vantage points for whale watching in False Bay, but it gets even better from Boulders to Smitswinkelbaai. Join a boat trip from the Simon’s Town harbour to view these gentle giants, the largest of the Marine Big 5, up close in False Bay.

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Dolphins in False Bay
Dolphins in False Bay

DOLPHINS

Dolphins like to jump out of the water and play in the waves, which causes great excitement from onlookers in False Bay. Kayakers and those venturing out on their SUP’s or surf boards often get the opportunity to catch a wave surrounded by dolphins.

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Shark - thanks to Pisces Diving

SHARKS

False Bay is the only place in the world where the Great White Shark breaches naturally while hunting for prey. These majestic animals, along with many other sharks, can be found near Seal Island especially.  A few shark cage diving companies operate from Simon’s Town offering high quality and ecologically responsible shark viewing experiences.

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Seals - thanks to Chris Fallows

SEALS

Approximately 75 000 Cape Fur Seals live on and around Seal Island, located only 8 nautical miles from Simon's Town harbour in False Bay. There are a number of boat cruises and tours that take groups out to the island to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat and with their young.

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Glencairn Wetland

BIRDING

If bird watching is your pleasure, you’re in for a real treat. From the bright jewel-like sunbirds that flit through the fynbos, to the wide variety of pelagic species, you’ll be delighted to be able to tick off the Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted and Lesser Double-collared Sunbird, Sombre and Cape Bulbul, Grassbird, Cape Shoveller, S A Shelduck, Bank, Cape and Crowned Cormorant, African Black Oystercatcher and many, many more. There are several bird watching tours on offer so don’t forget to pack your binoculars!