Marine 5 – African Penguin

When visiting Africa, the Big Five are on top of everyone’s bucket list. Seeing the Big 5 on safari is often the Number One reason to visit the African Continent- safari.   Richard has always maintained that Africa has more surprises and more wildlife than most people can possibly imagine.

Seeking the lesser known but no less majestic – the Marine 5 are becoming more and more popular on a visit to Africa. So brace yourself for the magnificent Marine 5 and the “Serengeti of the Sea”. The Marine 5 includes whales, sharks, seals, penguins and dolphins, ocean creatures particularly popular at the southern tip of Africa.

The bountiful waters of South Africa are home to all five of the Marine 5, and can be viewed when on a safari trip to South Africa.   Richard shares some of his favourite facts about each of these iconic species of the ocean, that he personally discovered whilst in Africa. In this post he shares interesting facts about the quirky and characterful African Penguins.

  • African penguins are the only warm weather penguins found in the world. They reside on the western coast of South Africa as well as Namibia.
  • They are also called “jackass” penguins due to the loud, braying , donkey like sound they make.
  • The black and white plumage protects the penguin while it is the water. The white underbelly camouflages it from predators lurking below like white sharks and their black backs keep it well hidden from aerial view.

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • The African penguins found at Boulders Beach in Cape Town have become quite habituated to people as they are often found taking up residence in the gardens of local residents.
  • The African penguin breeds on only 24 islands found off the coasts of Namibia and South Africa.
  • Overfishing has led to the more recent decline of the African penguin. Stocks are only estimated to be at about 10% of the levels of 100 years ago.
  • They can stay submerged underwater for up to 2 and 1/2 minutes. They can dive up to 400 feet.
  • The African penguin will mate for life. There are usually two babies born per hatch and the incubation period lasts about 40 days. The hatchlings will remain with their parents between 3 and 5 months.


  • The penguin has more feathers than any other bird.
  • African penguins can depart on long trips to sea to search for food. They can cover distances up to 50 miles.

Richard has more than 12 years of personal travel in Africa, in addition to guiding and planning trips and itineraries for his clients. He has seen and experienced most of Southern and East Africa and is continuously staying up to date and researching the latest news, lodges, accommodation and travel logistics. If you need advice or a chat….. just ASK RICHARD!

In this video of the Beaches of Cape Town you can watch the only warm weather penguin colony in the world at Boulders Beach.

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Southern Sky Adventures
Specializing in guided and self-drive trips through Southern and East Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands
721 Woodward Way, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 USA
404.300.9630 office – 770.324.0068 cell