Tag Archives: betty’s bay

Stony Point Penguins in Betty’s Bay (2017-05-06) Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 14 DEC 2017

There are only a few land-based African Penguin colonies in the world, with South Africa lucky enough to be home to two of these – the first being the famous (and tourist popular) Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, and the second, the slightly lesser known Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay.

I’m particularly fond of the much quieter but equally as good Stony Point penguin colony, with its beautiful raised boardwalk that snakes through the penguin’s homes and breeding ground.

The compact reserve is home to a colony of African Penguins (who by now are quite acclimatized to the humans peering down at them from above), three species of cormorant (the Crowned cormorant, the Cape cormorant, and the Bank cormorant) that breed on the outer rocks, Harlaub’s Gulls and Kelp Gulls that forage in the colony, as well as a big troop of Rock Hyrax or as we locals like to call them, dassies.

The boardwalk gives you an excellent vantage point from which to watch the penguins go about their daily lives, and come breeding season it is particularly cute to watch the furry youngsters try and strut their stuff!

The colony lies on the site of the old Waaygat Whaling Station which was used to harvest and process whale meat in the early to mid 1900s. Although nearly no remnant of this industry remains in sight, there are plenty of signage boards dotted around in order to give you an idea as to the scale of the whale trade that used to happen here.

Cape Nature manages the nature reserve and there is a lot of very interesting bits and pieces of penguin-related information posted everywhere, making a visit quite educational if you want it to be. (As a bonus, the entrance fee is relatively nominal – making it a much cheaper visit than say a trip through to the comparable Boulder’s Beach.)

Also, there is now a small restaurant built alongside the parking area, useful if you have complaining kids which aren’t all that enamored with the super cute seabird action along with you. Pleasingly, this isn’t us.

We tend to visit this penguin colony at least once a year (more or less), and this year was no different, with Jessica and Emily joining me for a visit to the penguins back in May (all part of our larger day out and about in Rooi Els, Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay).

Pleasingly, for a change the wind stayed away, leaving only perfect weather for us to have to contend with…

The surrounding landscape is quite pretty and there are plenty of opportunities for some great photos to be taken, making a visit to this well managed and relatively quiet nature reserve definitely worth the while!

Related Link: Stony Point Nature Reserve

Visiting the Stony Point Penguin and Seabird Breeding Colony in Betty’s Bay (2016-05-28) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 JUN 2016

Since the kids, Chantelle and I have probably visited the world class African Penguin breeding colony at the Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay on average at least once a year, purely because it’s a works so well as a tourist attraction and is always an exciting outing for the little ones.

This time around we were playing host to good friends Retha and Miguel Sanchez (who’ve just launched a very exciting, South African-themed travel series called East West) and following a relaxing evening of sipping Jack Daniels together, we were excited to show off this site which neither of them had yet been to.

By this stage, most of the penguin chicks have already hatched, meaning that you are guaranteed in spotting many a juvenile penguin being fussed over by either their mom or dad penguin, making for some very cute sights indeed. As it was, we lucked out when on arrival, we came across a big group of penguins heading down the slipway for a quick dip!

As I’ve mentioned before, the beautifully constructed walkway is a real gem, allowing you to easily saunter through the breeding grounds and get some great views of both penguins and dassies alike. The weather was playing along perfectly, and the girls in particular were quite excited to have aunty Retha and uncle Miguel tagging along as a distraction!

In addition to all the cute and cuddly on display, all three species of cormorant, the Crowned, Cape and Bank cormorant, were out in full force over by the watch tower area, leading to thus a rather pleasant afternoon filled with sightings!

(In other words, a very successful outing indeed…)

Related Link: Stony Point Nature Reserve

Visiting Stony Point Penguin Colony with Friends (2015-06-27) Photo Gallery 12 JUL 2015

Despite the annual Gordon’s Bay “Festival of Lights or “Winter Wonderland” being in full swing, Chantelle and I saw fit to have fun in a different way, by inviting some friends over to our side of the world for a guest house braai instead!

First activity for the day though: a visit to the penguin colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay.

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As it turned out, we were blessed with the perfect winter’s day weather for the trip, and Dean, Zania, Evan, Natasha, Michelle and Michael all tagged along with the little ones for a fun trip down the wooden walkway, surrounded by both adult and baby penguins on either side.

(Funnily enough though, this was the least amount of penguins we’ve ever seen there before – I can only assume our timing was a bit off on the day – must have been out hunting is all that I can come up with!)

IMG_20150627_130021 craig lotter at the stony point penguin colony in betty's bay

Nevertheless, the kids had a ball, and of course as any parent to a little one knows, that is literally all that counts! :)

Visiting Harold Porter Botanical Garden with Friends (2015-06-27) Photo Gallery 11 JUL 2015

The annual Gordon’s Bay “Festival of Lights” or “Winter Wonderland” has now come and gone, carnival weekends and all. As it turned out, Chantelle and I didn’t really end up spending too much time on it, primarily because we were busy with other things – like inviting our friends out to our side of the world for a change! :)

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With a braai organised at the guest house in the evening, and a visit to the penguins already done, Evan, Natasha, Dean and Zania joined Chantelle and myself for a little stroll around the beautiful Harold Porter Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay (our second ever visit there), on what proved to be quite a beautiful winter’s day.

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As it turned out, a troop of baboons had decided to visit the gardens while we were there, meaning that we were treated to quite a few spectacles – from little baby baboons tumbling about on the grass, all the way through to adult baboons lounging around on the park benches!

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Quite a sight indeed! :)

(And of course, a walk in the sun simply had to be followed up with some refreshments at the Red Disa restaurant…)

Related Link: Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

Lunch at the Red Disa in the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, Betty’s Bay (2015-05-03) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 13 JUN 2015

Back in early May, Chantelle and I took the kids out for a day, heading down the beautiful Clarence Drive to go and see the always cute penguin colony at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay.

For lunch we stumbled across a beautiful national botanical garden that I never even knew about, the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens (in Betty’s Bay).

From Wikipedia: “The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden located between mountain and sea, in the heart of the Cape Fynbos region within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve to the east of Cape Town, South Africa. With about 1,600 plant species, the area contains a floral diversity per unit area that is greater than anywhere else in the world. The Garden consists of 10 hectares of cultivated gardens and 190.5 hectares of pristine natural fynbos.”

IMG_20150503_150400 scenic harold porter botanical garden, betty's bay

It’s an incredibly stunning botanical garden, nestled in the mountains with an abundance of walking trails and jaw dropping vistas, not to mention a massive variety of plant life and plenty of paths to wander about and get lost in.

Lots of great picnic spots and needless to say, a place I see ourselves visiting more than just a few times now that we know it exists!

IMG_20150503_134338 red disa restaurant in harold porter botanical garden betty's bay

We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Red Disa restaurant (which admittedly, I did think a little pricey on some of their items), sitting outside to soak up the sun and admire the views (which is difficult to do in reality when your two little ones are not particularly adept at sitting still – and not grabbing each and every little thing in front of them!)

IMG_20150503_140540 jessica lotter at the red disa restaurant in harold porter botanical garden betty's bay

A good find indeed!

IMG_20150503_134329 chantelle lotter and family in the harold porter botanical garden, betty's bay

More photos from the day:

Related Link: SANBI: Harold Porter | Wikipedia

Things to See in South Africa: Stony Point Penguin Colony in Betty’s Bay (2015-05-03) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 10 MAY 2015

The African penguin is a species of penguin, confined to southern African waters. It is also widely known as the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like bray, although several related species of South American penguins produce the same sound.

There are three known mainland breeding colonies in southern Africa, one in Namibia and two in South Africa – both of which are located in the Western Cape. The one is of course found at the famous Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town (or Simonstown as some like to call it), while the second is the lesser known Stony Point colony in Betty’s Bay.

IMG_20150503_124901 african penguin at the stony point penguin colony in betty's bay south africa

Betty’s Bay (named after Betty Youlden, daughter of the first developer of the area), if you aren’t familiar with it, is a small holiday town situated on the Overberg coast, located 96 km from Cape Town and nestled beneath the rugged Kogelberg Mountains. It can be reached via the scenic R44 (Clarence Drive) ocean drive between Pringle Bay and Kleinmond and is one of the longest villages in South Africa, measuring in at over 13 km. (Seriously, drive through it and see for yourself!)

Betty’s Bay played host to a large whaling operation during the early 1900s, with a whaling station being built in 1915 and which in its heyday was said to be slaughtering around 300 whales per year for their oil. The whaling station closed in 1930, and some years later a breeding pair of penguins (possibly from nearby Dyer Island) arrived and set up shop in the long since abandoned whaling station site.

And thus the Stony Point penguin colony was born!

IMG_20150503_123132 whaling station remains at stony point in betty's bay

The colony grew, and was initially unfenced and unmanaged, allowing visitors to view the penguins in close proximity. However, this changed in the late 1980s due to an incident where a leopard attacked the nests and killed over 60 of the penguins, and combined with other factors like dog attacks and frequent egg thefts, the area was declared a protected zone and moves were made to ensure its viability.

Today it is a particularly well managed site controlled by CapeNature and is without a doubt one of their cutest attractions!

(And at only R10 entrance fee to see threatened penguins, endangered Whitebreasted and Cape Cormorants and the vulnerable Bank Cormorant, probably their cheapest as well!)

IMG_20150503_123850 jessica, emily and chantelle lotter pose at stony point penguin colony in betty's bay

We probably make the trip through to the Stony Point penguin colony at least once a year, and in fact, this little expedition undertaken on the 3rd of May 2015 was Emily’s second time here – though this time she was actually old enough to take in and enjoy all the sights and sounds!

No wind, a perfect sunny Autumns day, we were in for a real treat in terms of watching penguins cuddle, swim, eat and frolic around. In fact, we were so lucky on the day that Chantelle and I even spotted two large (probably whales) racing away from the area just as we arrived!

Needless to say, cellphone camera in hand, lots of pictures were the order of the day!

Related Link: CapeNature | Wikipedia

Betty’s Bay Penguins and Dinner at Kleinmond (2014-04-19) Photo Gallery 14 JAN 2015

Back in April of last year, Monty and Cheryl joined Jessica, myself, Chantelle and a very small Emily on a journey to go and see the penguins at the Stony Point penguin colony in Betty’s Bay, followed by an impromptu drive through to Kleinmond, a place I haven’t personally been to before.

There we found a fantastic place to get a bite to eat and more importantly, catch the Stormers in some rugby action on a big screen.

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All in all, a good outing indeed.

Photo Gallery: Penguins at Betty’s Bay (2013-09-01) Photo Gallery 01 SEP 2013

We had pretty enjoyable Sunday out, first visiting in Pringle Bay with Jasper and Chane who had just come out of hospital with their newborn baby girl, followed by an outing to the Stony Point African Penguin colony in Betty’s Bay.

Needless to say, Jessica absolutely loved the outing!

(We rounded things off with a light snack and something to drink at the awesome Jack’s Cafe, also in Betty’s Bay, before returning home for a late night braai.)

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A Weekend of Wonder and Mountains My Life 03 JUL 2013

Last weekend was particularly awesome mind you. It kicked off with a trip after work to the big Carnival Weekend, the showpiece segment of the Gordon’s Bay month long Winter Wonderland festival, and I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with what I saw. (Even Jessica approved, what with her dancing to each and every live bit of live music she got exposed to!)

Because little toddlers aren’t known for staying awake very late, we eventually returned home and with Jess in bed, we set about watching the absurd but enjoyable British black comedy Keeping Mum, with me even sneaking in some WordPress development for the heck of it.

Saturday was an early start for Jess and me, as I drove the two of us through to Bellville in order to deliver Jess to Monty and Cheryl, who had asked to take her with them on a one night stay in Jacobsbaai. With that delivery handled, I then headed off to Ryan’s place, where after a quick bit of FIFA, we hopped into his Polo and rode off to Constantia Nek, meeting up with Karl-Heinz, Trish and one of their friends for an epic 2.5 hour expedition up Table Mountain via the jeep track, a picnic in the shadow of the dams our end goal. As it turned out, the weather was fantastic for the trip, and all in all everyone enjoyed quite an entertaining five hour long outing on the mountain!

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Back in Bellville, I quickly popped in to pick something up from Mom’s place, before hitting the road again to head home, grab a shower, and then join Chantelle for a movie date night, catching the well made (but not quite for me) Spud 2: The Madness Continues, followed by a relaxing and tasty supper at Panarottis in the mall. From there we braved the cold and headed off once again to the Winter Wonderland festival, where we were entertained by the live music while enjoying some rather delicious pancakes! (In fact, we had pancakes each and every time we ended up at the main tent over the weekend…)

Sunday morning meant a bit of a sleep in for me, but that didn’t last forever as we eventually headed out in order to drop off the Andy’s sister’s birthday cake Chantelle had made during the course of Saturday at Gordon’s Beach Lodge, after which we then took the scenic route through to Betty’s Bay, where we enjoyed a good breakfast at Jack’s Cafe, the first time we had ever been to that particular establishment.

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Following our delicious breakfast, we decided to pop in to Koggelbaai, heading down towards the beach and marveling at all the surfers catching waves and showing off their skills, not to mention the gorgeous scenic views of the surrounding area.

Now I know why Koggelbaai is always such a hit with surfers and tourists alike! (Plus, the playful young baboons causing havoc were an added treat I might add).

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Back in Gordon’s Bay we once again popped in to the Winter Wonderland festival, strolled around a bit, caught a piece of a Lukas Maree tribute band, before heading home where Chantelle caught a bit of an afternoon nap, while I was tasked with doing a spot of shopping.

Late afternoon saw the two of us drive through to Bellville in order to pick up Jessica who had enjoyed an entertaining stay with Oupa and Ouma in Jacobsbaai, not to mention tuck into the delicious snoek that Robert eventually prepared on the braai for us!

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So yeah, a pretty awesome weekend was had by all.

(Though I’m not going to mention just how stiff and in pain I was for the two days following the Table Mountain expedition mind you!)