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).
With two days of waddling behind us, the aches, pains and blisters were starting to catch up with our waddlers - but our spirits remained high! Thanks to the amazing night's sleep and nutritious breakfast at the Windsor Hotel in Hermanus (who have been a gracious sponsor of the Waddle since its inception), we were all ready to go bright and early!
As we began our walk out of Hermanus, we were joined by members of Old Mutual Finance and the community, who'd come out to support the Penguin Promises cause. We were also joined by our reserve waddler, Katie Zenz, an American volunteer at the Two Oceans Aquarium - our little family was finally complete.
Walking through Hermanus, we continued to received incredible support. It's amazing how much this community has embraced the Waddle. All 16 waddlers really felt the energy - we are proud to be part of such positivity.
When we left the town, we decided it would be appropriate to walk in silence for a while. This vigil would give us a chance to reflect on our own Penguin Promises. Despite this silence, the positive vibes were infectious - we had a message to spread and we certainly did.
With 1 480 hoots from passing motorists, we've broken the record for most pro-penguin hoots in a day ever during a Waddle!
Our final rest stop was near the Arabella Estate, where we could finally kick off our shoes, feel the grass between our toes and stretch our Waddle muscles. It was a tough day, but every one of us was glad to have been part of it - but for now it's time for a well deserved rest.
Join us on the last day!
Our Waddle for a Week campaign is meant to inspire those we encounter to take action in their lives that will be for the good of the environment, and of course the African penguin. We call this pledge to take action a "Penguin Promise". Come be part of our Penguin Promise by joining the last leg of the Waddle at 8:30 on Saturday 13 May at Surfer's Corner in Muizenberg and walking with us to Simon's Town. Wear your black and white gear, bring the family, bring your camera, bring your cat, bring your friends. Let's spread the message together!
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. These Penguin Promises of our will be shared with you all on Friday.
For now though, 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 motivation) 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.