Confined to the waters of southern Africa, the streamlined body of this flightless bird is ideally suited to its marine habitat. The donkey-like loud noises it makes has also given it the nickname of the jackass penguin.
The African penguin is distinguished from other species by a black stripe and black spots on its chest, as well as pink glands above the eyes. These glands act as thermoregulators that cool the penguin down when it gets too hot. The spots on the chest are unique to each penguin, like the spot pattern on a leopard.
The recognisable black and white colouration of the African penguin is an excellent form of camouflage in the water. This countershading helps when predators look upwards towards the sky, seeing white, and for those looking down from above into darker water, seeing black.
Despite a few well-established colonies along the South African coastline, the African penguin’s conservation status is listed as ‘Endangered’.
The cold waters of the Namib coast in Namibia are home to a wealth marine life. Visitors to this part of Africa stand the chance of spotting dolphins, whales, seals, and turtles.
Kenya has several impressive marine parks along its coast. The parks are home to diverse marine life and offer excellent diving experiences for beginners and experts.
Mozambique has long been a tourist destination. And for those looking to experience the water, the marine life is rich and diverse, and home to bottlenose dolphins.