From 8 to 13 May 2017, 16 committed penguin lovers are walking more than 125km from Gansbaai to Boulders Beach, Simon's Town. What’s the goal of this meander? To raise awareness for the plight of the endangered African penguin. We hope to inspire and encourage those we encounter along the way to make a "Penguin Promise" - a small lifestyle change that will make a big positive impact on the state of our oceans. Penguins are an indicator species, meaning that their decline is a result of damage to the entire ecosystem and that making changes that are good for penguins will be good for other animals too, including humans. This is the seventh annual Penguin Promises Waddle for a Week campaign, supported by the Two Oceans Aquarium and the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR).
The final day of the 2017 Penguin Promises Waddle for a Week was incredible - hundreds of community members joined in: little waddlers from Square Hill Primary, WESSA's beach steward team, support staff from the Two Oceans Aquarium and Cape Town community members, young and old, showed up in support of the Penguin Promises mission.
The 16 waddlers, about to embark on the final 15km of their 127km journey, joined this crowd at Surfers Corner, Muizenberg. We were absolutely astounded by the response that our Waddle had received, and swelled with pride to see your love and willingness to save the African penguin.
Feeling rejuvenated by the incredible night that had had been sponsored to us by The Muize BnB, our waddlers were ready to take on this final stretch.
As we passed through the local communities on our way to Boulders Beach, our crowd of penguin-loving waddlers grew.
Muizenberg, St James, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Glen Cairn and Simon's Town - everywhere we waddled, we received support. Community members eager to make their own Penguin Promises, and 896 drivers giving us hoots in support of the African penguin.
The final stretch down towards the Boulders Beach African penguin colony was an emotional one. Our waddlers had walked 127km together, from Gansabaai to Simon's Town. Each waddler had undertaken a personal journey, making new friends and gaining a deeper understanding of our role in the protection of our environment and its inhabitants.
The Penguin Promises Waddle for a Week has ended on a positive note - with your help we can make a difference and save the African Penguin. Just make a promise. After all, "We don't want your money, honey. We want your love." That's all that penguins ask of us.
Making a Penguin Promise
Throughout our Waddle, we are all lucky enough to have the chance to chat and reflect on ways we can make small changes in our lives that will collectively have a positive impact on our environment. We ask that our followers please consider what their own Penguin Promise could be and share their thoughts on social media using #penguinpromises (and tagging #waddle2017 if you want to give our waddlers some extra love) or by logging it online. These promises can be as simple as saying no to drinking straws - if we all do something small it adds up.