Penguins are a huge favourite and they never fail to raise a smile! There are 17 species of penguin throughout the world, all of which are found in the southern hemisphere, with the most southerly species in the Antarctic and the most northerly, as high up as the equator at the Galapagos islands. Here at Birdworld you will find two species and feeding takes place twice a day. Many of our visitors enjoy the added excitement of actually joining the bird keepers to serve up their fishy meals as part of one of the Birdworld experiences!
Thanks to some creative work from our friends at Orchid Digital, you see what’s its like to be a penguin living at Birdworld in our Penguin Beach habitat! Just play the video and click and drag to explore in 360 degrees!
Please note: you’ll need an up-to-date version of your web browser on a laptop/desktop computer or the latest version of the YouTube app on a mobile device.
The Humboldt’s Penguins have been a popular feature at Birdworld ever since Johnny Morris officially opened Penguin Island in 1984. Since that time Birdworld has had huge success in breeding the species with over 300 young birds helping to establish and increase other captive colonies right around the world. Humboldt’s penguins come from the coastal regions of Chile and Peru and their name originates from the cold oceanic river called the Humboldt Current. Many people associate penguins with icy, snow covered landscapes but these penguins, as with many of the 17 penguin species thrive in a hot climate, which suits them well as long as they have cold waters nearby in which to fish.
African penguins (sometimes known as Jackass or Black-footed penguins) are a more recent addition to the park. Their home at Birdworld, ‘Penguin Beach’ is a recreation of Robben Island, just off the coast of South Africa, which benefits from a cold oceanic flow called the Benguela current. Many people will know Robben Island for its prison and in particular where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner for 18 years. Wildlife abounds on the island and all of the species that you will find in Penguin Beach are indigenous to the region. Entering the exhibit via the Robben Island ferryboat you will find yourself on the quayside, overlooking the water with views back towards Table Mountain on the mainland. Boardwalks will lead you out across the beach and past the nesting area. Although a relatively new colony, the African penguins at Birdworld are obviously quite happy as they are successfully breeding already and will hopefully go on to support other captive colonies throughout the world.