Steampunk cafe & Penguins in South Africa! Truth coffee, Cape Point, Boulders Beach.

cape point south africa

Everyone knows you can go on safari in South Africa… but did you realize there’s a penguin beach colony and steampunk cafe here? No? Then waddle along with me as I discover these unexpected places… and get bitten by a few animals long the way.

african baboons on road

From Cape Town, our driver took us for a 1.5 hour scenic drive to Cape Point, the southernmost tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. (Technically, the meeting spot fluctuates slightly, and Cape Agulhas is located furthest south on the continent — but let’s not nitpick.)

south african baboon monkey

The winding road gave us incredible views of the mountains and fishing villages. We saw some hitchhikers, hanging out on the rails…

red bottom monkey

These red-bummed monkeys are native baboons! (More on them later.)

cape town mountain beach

My team and I stopped briefly to take in this view of the mountain ranges and ocean. July is winter in South Africa, hence the slightly menacing weather. I kept warm with a Hakuna Matata cat hoodie from Artbox in Seoul.

cape peninsula scenery

My Gothic version of Baywatch “running on the beach.”

dog on sandy beach

This little dog seemed to be sniffing for seafood. Photography by me, Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann.

don't feed monkeys sign

Back to the road trip along the peninsula. It’s as good thing we didn’t stop to pick up a barrel of monkeys…

baboons warning road sign

… since all the road signs warned us to steer clear of “Baboons!”

south african ostrich

Another quick stop, this time at Cape Point ostrich farm. It was established in 1960s, as a breeding ground for these fluff-bodied, bald-headed birds.

ostriches farm

Visitors can aww at the baby ostriches in the pen. If you are brave, you can purchase a bag of food to hand-feed the ostriches…

feeding ostrich, biting

I gave it a try, and this angry-looking ostrich pecked my palm! Yes, I screamed.

cape point, south africa park

Finally, we made it to Table Mountain National Park. The sign shows the coordinates of Cape Point. From there, it’s an easy 30 minute walk to the lighthouse.

Table Mountain National Park hike

We filmed so many incredible shots from up high — can’t wait to show you the video. After this mini-hike, we were ready to eat. A lot.

langoustines, south african seafood

We dined like kings at Two Oceans restaurant: grilled local hake, langoustines and other sustainable seafood, washed it down with white South African wine. (Very impressed with the wines here, particularly from Stellenbosch.)

south african penguin breed

And then… it was time to see the African penguins! Wait, what? Yes, there’s a breed of black-footed Happy Feet, found only in these South African waters.

cape point penguins

Boulders Beach is only a short drive from Cape Point, and it’s home to a large colony. These penguins flocked here in the 1980s and took over the beach.

boulders beach park

Today, this is a popular attraction for visitors. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see hundreds of cute penguins?

don't touch penguin sign

There’s a small entrance fee, which lets you get up close and personal with the little guys. A sign warns, don’t pet the penguins.

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

But filmmaker Melissa didn’t listen, and found out the hard way. Cute as they look, these penguins bite! (Remember she also touched the Table Mountain dassie…)

cape point boulders beach

The closer we got to the sandy beach, the more penguins we saw. Some of them clustered together and played.

baby penguin cave

Others were babies, still with their fluffy down overcoats. The park set up these little cave-homes for the penguin families to live and breed in.

african penguins couple

How cute, this pair of penguins leaving webbed footprints in the sand.

penguins on south africa beach

At the end of the path, it was penguin-mania! This breed makes a funny braying noise, like a donkey. A few were waddling around, but most were resting on their stomachs.

penguins, cape point beach

A lone penguin dips his foot in the ocean. Isn’t the Cape Peninsula gorgeous?

african penguins colony

As you can see from the shadows, Boulder Beach is a favorite destination. Coming here was one of my favorite moments in our South African press trip.

cape town steampunk shop

Another highlight was visiting Truth Coffee Roasting, a Steampunk cafe. (Address: 36 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town)

These “pirates” are passionate about producing the best artisan, small batch coffee — ever. Truth’s steampunk decor captures this spirit of experimentation and adventure.

truth coffee roasters, flat white coffee

I’m drinking a “flat white,” a beverage similar to a cappuccino, but with less milk and a velvety foam.

(My fringe top is by Japan pop-punk brand Listen Flavor, from Shinjuku Closet Child.)

steampunk art, drawings

All around the cafe, I saw gears, brass, clockwork and old-time machine parts. The baristas even dressed in top hats and suspenders.

steampunk coffee shop, truth roasters

The food here is as excellent as the coffee, including the chocolate croissants, and “steampunk breakfast” of organic eggs, vegetables and flatbread.

steampunk shop restaurant interior

The focal point of Truth is “Colossus,” a 1940s Probat roaster with a cast iron drum, tricked out with mad scientist parts.

steampunk cafe, airship pirates

Truth Coffee often has wild performances and events befit for airship pirates, such as burlesque shows and steampunk parties. How cool, to see how people around the world are inspired by this subculture.

cape point penguins beach

Were you surprised to see penguins and steampunk in South Africa? The more I travel, the more I discover…


  1. Emily W
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Penguins are so cute.

  2. Mera Luna
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink


  3. carol
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    D: can’t even imagine!

  4. Karl
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    It’s always interesting the places you go.

  5. Caren
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    amazing ~

  6. Harley
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    cute D:

  7. Rin
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink


  8. Sabrina
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Cape Town is awesome !

  9. Hibari
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Hand-feeding the ostriches sounds really crazy. They don’t seem very nice so you’re brave for trying it out.

    I would love to go to that steampunk cafe or check out the penguins on the beach.

  10. Francesca
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    How cute!

  11. Jerry Campbell
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Happy Halloween la. CarminaB-)

  12. Two Oceans
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear you had a great time. Thank you for the mention. Hope to see you back soon.

  13. sal
    Posted October 27, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Permalink


  14. Sailor Moon
    Posted October 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink


  15. Goh
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    I like the panda sweater.

    • lacarmina
      Posted October 30, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      haha it’s actually a cat, and I folded the ears!

  16. MelissaR
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    LOVE THIS soooo much! I LOL’d at “remember she also petted the Dassi” Haha! Such gorgeous pictures!

  17. Cera
    Posted October 29, 2014 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    really….theres penguins in africa?? i wish to go there too ^__^

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