Dive with pen­guins in Africa

World of Animals - - Explore The Earth -

Boul­ders Beach in South Africa at­tracts 60,000 vis­i­tors ev­ery year, and it’s easy to see why. A colony of more than 2,000 African pen­guins live among the rocks, and they’re some of the coun­try’s most charis­matic hol­i­day com­pan­ions.

Also known as jack­ass pen­guins, they’re a loud and bois­ter­ous species that make a dis­tinc­tive bray­ing noise to at­tract a mate and reach just 70 cen­time­tres (27.6 inches) in height. They spend most of their time at the sea­side, ex­cept in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, when they’re out in the wa­ter look­ing for fish.

Jack­ass pen­guins are the only pen­guin species found in Africa and are sur­pris­ingly well adapted to the sunny weather. The pink spots above their eyes work like mini ra­di­a­tors, help­ing to keep them cool by direct­ing blood to the sur­face of their skin.

The pro­tected beaches are open to fam­i­lies, so you can take the kids down to the boul­ders and into the sea. You might be lucky enough to see pen­guins on the ground, but if not then ded­i­cated board­walks should help you to spot them from above. Each bird has a wing pat­tern as unique as our fin­ger­prints, so be sure to look out for your favourites if you re­turn to the beach.

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