Look … There’s a …

When I got the itinerary for our Africa trip, it shocked me! I did NOT know!

Who knew?

Was I the only one who didn’t know?

Did you know?

You’re kidding me!


I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d see these in the wild because I didn’t think a trip to Antarctica was on my bucket list. 

But now …. I would actually visit wild ….


Who’s the smartest in the class and knew there were South African Penguins?

If you knew … bravo, applause, happy to know you, you win!

I thought penguins only lived in cold climates!

Nope! Wrong! 

South Africa around Cape Town has a penguin colony!

According to Wikipedia:

The African penguin is only found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa, and its presence gave name to the Penguin Islands. In 1982, a pair of penguins from the islands made it to the mainland and began the colony near Capetown.

About 3,000 penguins live there now … and I was going to visit!!! So very, very cool. Especially since my grandson’s favorite exhibit at the zoo is the Penguin house!! This was a much-anticipated stop on our journey. I literally was excited and giddy. I couldn’t wait to hop off the bus with my camera and explore the penguins. Ready or not, Boulder Beach! Here I come!

It was rainy and windy on our visit, but what does that matter! A true adventurer braves the elements for intrigue and once-in-a-lifetime experiences … buck up baby!

I make it sound like I climbed Mt. Everest to get a rare glimpse of treasure. Indeed, I found treasures! But I actually braved a wood walkway that keeps humans above the penguin’s home turf. Causing as little disruption as possible. Caution: slippery when wet!

They live on Boulder Beach on the South Atlantic Ocean on Africa’s most southern western tip. They are referred to as black-footed penguin and jackass penguin, due to the species’ loud, donkey-like bray, although several related species of South American penguins produce the same sound.

We watched them waddle about, sit on their nests, snuggle together, heard them Hee-Haw, and saw young ones molting. 

What caught my attention the most was watching them swim in the ocean!

From a distance, I noticed heads bobbing out in the ocean and thought they were ducks! Then, I watched a penguin waddle to water’s edge, wade in and start swimming. 

They looked just like the ducks …. those “ducks” WERE Penguins!!

When African penguins swim, they don’t torpedo beneath the surface like the ones I’ve seen on TV! They keep their heads above water and look like ducks!! I’m sure they dive under to fish, but they float on the surface like ducks too!!

Even when I showed the pictures once home, someone else said, “Oh wow, they look like ducks!” So, it wasn’t just me.

How many times have you looked at something from a distance and assessed what you saw, thinking you knew the situation? Then, as you got closer or got a different perspective, everything you thought you knew changed?

Ducks CAN become Penguins!!

A Lesson from African Penguins:

A closer look or change in perspective will often change what you “think” you know!
Distant assessments will probably change as you move closer to the situation.

I was sure of what I was looking at! I was wrong! I changed my mind!

First opinions, especially from a distance aren’t always accurate. A different perspective or closer inspection can shed light and give clarity to the situation, changing your mind.

Be willing to change when more insight is gained.
It helps no circumstance to cling to a false perception. It’s called Growth!

Penguins aren’t Ducks, EVEN if you “think” they are!

Thank you cute little black and white “Donkey” Penguins for giving me a living example, up close and personal, through wind and rain on a South African beach!

You were Adorable and Memorable!

I will never mistake you for Ducks, again!


Penguin Watcher,

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6 thoughts on “Look … There’s a …

  1. Those penguins are the cutest. I lived up on the Wild Coast, and occasionally, during the annual Sardine Run (Marine Migration off South Africa’s coast), a penguin would forget to swim home, because it had been totally greedy hunting sardines, and would get stranded on the Wild Coast. We ‘penguin sat’ a few penguins over the years, before getting them to a rehab center as soon as we could.

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