African Penguin

African penguins (also known as 'Black-footed penguins') live together in large groups. When a male and female choose each other, they stay together for the rest of their lives. They cooperate when incubating and feeding their chicks. Mum and dad take turns to go to the sea to eat.


African penguins eat marine animals. So they also spend a lot of time in the sea, looking for food. When they are following their prey, they sometimes dive up to thirty metres deep. They 'fly' through the water at a speed of 36 kilometres per hour.

Black penguins

Oil spills and water pollution are threatening these funny animals. In the year 2000 thousands of penguins became covered in oil. At the time, lots of animal keepers, including some from Dutch wildlife parks, went to South Africa to wash the penguins.

African Penguin

Spheniscus demersus

  • Habitat: coastal areas of South Africa and Namibia
  • Food: fish, squid and crustaceans
  • Age: lives to 10 years old 
  • Weight: 3 kg
  • Offspring: lays 1 to 3 eggs
  • Incubation period: chicks hatch out in 39 days
  • Where can I see them?: On the walking safari

Nice to know:

These penguins can be very noisy. They are also sometimes known as the 'jackass penguin'. This is because they make the same noise as a donkey.