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Make sure you’re in Simon’s Town this weekend when several rehabilitated African penguins will be released back into the wild. It’s time for the 15th annual Penguin Festival!

Showing off their tuxedos, the rehabilitated African penguins will waddle across the beach and launch themselves into the water. Their release is a highlight of African Penguin Awareness Day, held on Saturday, 7 October 2017 in Simon’s Town. The exciting and joyous event is presented by SANCCOB in collaboration with SANParksTable Mountain National Park.

And while the story has a happy ending for these seabirds, the event aims to highlight the plight of their endangered fellows. Every year SANCCOB saves hundreds of African penguin chicks affected by oil spills, injury or abandonment. These chicks are reared by specialised miracle workers, rehabilitated and finally sent off into the wild where they belong. Since 1968, SANCCOB has reared 2,407 African penguin chicks, contributing to a 19% increase in the African penguin population.

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Picture by Tate Drucker

According to SANCCOB, they expect around 400–500 African penguin chicks to be brought to their Chick Rearing Unit from October until the end of January. And with fewer that 23,000 African penguin breeding pairs left in the wild, your support is vital.

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Picture by Tate Drucker

Be there!

The festival will kick off with the much-anticipated penguin release at Seaforth Beach at 10:00. Here visitors will have the exclusive opportunity to watch as these protected seabirds head back to their wild roots. What better way to spoil youngsters during the October school holiday?

After the formal release, which promises many heart-warming and comical moments as the penguins explore their new-found freedom, a family festival awaits at the Simon’s Town Navy Sports Fields. There’s something for everyone: live music, kids’ activities, marine conservation exhibitions, environmental talks, food stalls, and even craft beer and wine tasting.

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Picture by JP de Vos

Good to know

  • General admission is free.
  • Parking will be available at the Seaforth Beach parking area.
  • To enter the Kids’ Zone, a charge of R50 per person will apply.

Do your bit for conservation and don’t miss the 2017 Penguin Festival. All proceeds go to SANCCOB’s African penguin conservation work.

Contact SANCCOB on +27 (0)21 557 6155 or send an email for more information.

Featured picture courtesy of SANCCOB