To celebrate World penguin day and we booked a tour with SANCCOB Rehabilitation centre in Tableview, Cape Town.
SANCCOB is a non-profit organization conserving sea birds like the endangered African penguin with the primary objective to reverse the decline of the sea bird population through Rehabilitation, release, care and education.
They offer school and private tours as well as the opportunity to support the hard work they do through egg and penguin adoptions and through the sale of ocean related merchandise.
About our visit
I pre-booked our tour that morning and we headed off to the centre, which is down the road from us.
We arrived 5 minutes before hand, as requested, but unfortunately, there was a school visiting and so our tour started 10 minutes later than expected. We also waited quite a while for assistance as they were busy and then it took some time to fill in the forms. I must admit trying to keep an excited Hamish busy through this waiting period was not at all easy, especially as he saw all the other kids.
I do wish we’d been informed of the school visit, as I would have booked a tour later to avoid overcrowding.
We did not get off to a good start at all as the one guide told us we were in time for the feedings with the other guide informing us that we could infact not watch the feedings as with the school children we were too big a crowd.
Hamish, who was sure he was going to see penguins eat was most disappointed, as was I.
However, our guide Sim was amazing with Hamish and incredibly knowledgeable as he walked us through the centre.
We were able to see the nursery, learn how long it takes penguins to hatch. See the behind the scenes of how much value volunteers are to this amazing organisation.
The centre has a dedicated washing room, kitchen and vet on site. All to ensure the birds are well cared for and healthy.
Hamish got to see the fish used to feed the birds and preserved a penguin tounge and heart- which we found really interesting.
Lastly we saw the penguin area where the birds are rehabilitated and taught to swim in a colour coded manner to assess when they are ready for release.
All the birds are tagged and in the event of an oil drill the centre has a dedicated space to clean the birds.
It was wonderful to learn more about how this wonderful NGO operates and to see the dedication of the staff and volunteers.
Hamish walked away with so much more knowledge about African penguins.
I must admit I wouldn’t recommend this for young children as it’s definitely a more an educational than an entertaining outing. My recommendation would be for children 8 and older. As there were many moments where the tour was too long and not hands on enough for our busy 5 year old.
How you can help SANCCOB
There are many ways that you can assist SANCCOB
- Financial donation
- Adopt an egg, chicken or penguin
- Shop from their online or on premises store
- Volunteer your time
- Donate goods like towels, wet suits, teddy bears for the baby chick’s to snuggle with
Please remembered you need to pre-book your tour.
Prices R60 adult