Seal Snorkeling

Animal Ocean’s Seal Snorkeling Adventure in Cape Town

One of the biggest hidden gems
brought to you by Animal Ocean
 
+27 (0)72 296 9132
NSRI Building | Hout Bay Harbour | Cape Town Cape Peninsula
www.sealsnorkeling.com
info@sealsnorkeling.com
animalocean
Animal Ocean

Animal Ocean’s Seal Snorkeling Adventure in Cape Town

Delve into the Atlantic Ocean for a guaranteed up-close-and-personal wildlife experience

When it comes to embarking on safari or diving trip with the hope of witnessing or experiencing animals in their natural habitats, there is always a good chance of, well, not seeing any wildlife and feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment.  In fact, we’re pretty sure some explorers often leave expeditions thinking: “Well, they should probably label all of the animals ‘lesser-spotted’”.

But the above scenario is certainly not applicable to the seal snorkeling trip offered by the ocean experts at Animal Ocean.  The tour operator facilitates a unique day trip experience that delivers on its promise.

“We can guarantee that visitors will not only spot Cape fur seals, but will be able to plunge into the ocean and witness the seals swimming and darting underwater,” says Steve Benjamin, a zoologist and owner of Animal Ocean.



The tour, which officially runs from October to March (tours are sometimes scheduled for September, but are weather dependent), starts with a meeting just outside the National Sea and Rescue Institute (NSRI) building at the Hout Bay Harbour. Here, intrepid explorers are kitted out in 5-mm, fleece-lined wetsuits, vests, gloves and booties, all of which aid in reducing the sting of the chilly Atlantic Ocean.  Of course, for some (probably most), the cold is likely to be the number-two entry on their lists of concerns; the first worry is usually whether or not sharks will be present.  But, as Steve explains, the ferocious fish have no reason to patrol the Atlantic side of the Cape Peninsula as the water is too cold and Duiker Island (where the seals bask and settle) is surrounded by kelp and shallow waters, which makes it an undesirable feeding ground for sharks. 



So with peace of mind and extra layers of insulation, explorers hop on the rubber duck for the 10-minute trip to the seal hotspot, which sits pretty in the coastal waters off Mount Sentinel. 

The landmass is roughly 1 500 square metres and home to a colony of approximately 2000 Cape fur seals- this particular species can only be found on the Southern African coast.  On land, the rotund mammals shift and move about rather uncomfortably, and it’s not much of a show; there’s an occasional bark from a territorial bull and a few splashes as seals sporadically dive into the ocean.  It’s roughly 80 metres from this island where the boat is anchored and the real adventure begins. 



Snorkelers dip into the Atlantic and within a couple of seconds of peering down into the clear waters will spot seals twisting, turning and darting about. It’s a complete role reversal: the humans become the awkward blobs trying to negotiate unfamiliar territory and the seals manoeuvre elegantly in the environment they are designed to thrive in. 

“To the seals, we just look like sea creatures that don’t know how to swim properly. We are as much entertainment for them as they are for us,” jokes Steve.

The sea mammals are curious by nature and have no problem scurrying between visitors, coming as close as an arm’s length to try and decode the neoprene-covered bodies of the swimmers. Of course, as welcoming and compliant as the seals are, trying into interact with the seals physically is a no-no. 

The rubber duck boat remains nearby so explorers can take breaks if necessary. Not to mention, hot chocolate and biscuits are served post-trip.

It’s also worth a mention that there is no chumming or baiting used to lure the seals, which makes this unique day trip all the more special as it is an authentic wildlife experience, and it comes as no surprise that, in 2014, the seal snorkeling tour received a Certificate of Excellence award from travel review website TripAdvisor.

Tip:  Animal Ocean also facilitates a SCUBA diving with seals trip that costs R1100p/p. The price includes the use of wetsuits and SCUBA equipment (tanks, buoyancy control devices and weights).  Do note that, unlike the seal snorkeling trip, only experienced divers can participate. Furthermore, if divers or snorkelers want to capture their experience, Animal Ocean also offers camera rentals (GoPro Hero 2). A camera and 4-gig SD Memory card costs R300p/p (guests get to keep the memory card), and the use of just the camera will set you back R200p/p. Of course, explorers are more than welcome to bring their own camera equipment.
Bookings for both options can be made by emailing info@sealsnorkeling.com or by calling +27 (0)72 296 9132.

The bill: The seal snorkeling trip costs R650p/p and includes all equipment and refreshments.  Other than being able to swim, no additional experience is needed to embark on the adventure.  Participants between the ages of 6 and 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The tour can accommodate a maximum of 10 people and lasts about 3 hours.

---

Eager to explore parts of the Western Cape in less than 24 hours? Read about all the day tours on offer from various trip operators.

---

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates. Not to mention, subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with what's hip and happening in our pretty city.

Cape Town Events Calendar
July 2016
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Clybourne Park at The FugardUpcoming Plays that You Don’t Want to ...

Cape Town has a sensational theatre culture and we invite you to sample the ...

icehockey1South African Ice Hockey Super League ...

Get your winter jersey on and watch the gloves come off as this ice hockey ...

Taxi Hand Signs Susan Woolf ExhibitionTaxi Hand Signs by Susan Woolf

Gaze upon incredible artworks that are accessible to the blind

21 July Quiet Violence of Dreams Exhibition 3The Quiet Violence of Dreams Exhibition ...

Artists from across the globe use their craft to pay tribute to this novelist ...

Groot Constantia Trail SeriesGroot Constantia Trail Series in Cape ...

Traverse the beautiful trails in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs at one of these ...

Fairview Goatshed Food and Wine Themed EveningsThe Goatshed Restaurant’s Themed Food ...

Taste exquisite dishes from specially-crafted menus at one of these warm winter ...

Cape Town Funny Festival LogoJive Cape Town Funny Festival at the ...

The comedy festival that has Capetonians keeled over, for four weeks, returns

Murder Mystery Dinners in Cape TownMurder Mystery Dinner Parties Cape Town

Intrigue, secrecy and cold-blooded killings are the order of the day at these ...

La Mer Restaurant at Radisson Blu Hotel in Sea PointFree Dessert Special at La Mer ...

Indulge in any main course at this elegant Sea Point eatery and get a ...

Postcard view of Cape Town South AfricaHelicopter Tour Special with NAC Cape ...

Save 15% on breathtaking private helicopter flights around the Mother City ...

Live Jazz Music at Asoka on TuesdayLive Jazz at Asoka Restaurant

Turn your Tuesday up a notch with this trendy hotspot’s vibey dinner and ...

Sewing Through Sisterhood - Suzani ExhibitionSewing Paradise: A Sisterhood Through ...

Glimpse paradise through these special styles of textiles

DARG Mandela DayMandela Month at DARG

Lend a paw this Mandela Day and show a furry friend some love

Nederburg 1Nederburg Concert Series

Everyone needs the sound of classical music and the lovely taste of Nederburg ...

Winter World Class Burger Pairing at Café CapriceWinter World Class Burger Pairing at ...

Four bartenders battle it out for World Class domination with their brilliant ...

River Club 2016 4Monday Conference Madness at the River ...

Book a Full-day Conference Package at this gorgeous green and save 20%

Spur Winter Trail Run SeriesThe 2016 Spur Winter Trail Series®

Run wild and free this winter with this top-notch trail series

Snow World 5Snow World Snow Park at GrandWest

It’s finally going to snow in Cape Town!

Optical Diversion ExhibitionOptical Diversion Exhibition at ...

Venture into a world of abstraction with this eye-catching show

Cape Town Youth Choir Handel's Messiah 1SA College of Music Concert Series

Music has the power to inspire, and these scholars appreciate its true meaning

The Village Idiot Restaurant & Bar in Cape TownSunday Winter Craftsmen Braai at The ...

Celebrate the last day of the week with blazing fires and epic food experiences ...

My Fair LadyMy Fair Lady at Artscape

With a little bit of luck you’ll dance all night after seeing this loverly ...

Backtracker Cycling Back UnitCycling Events in the Western Cape

Use this handy cycling overview to diarise your favourite events for the ...

Thai Sabai Day Spas Somerset WestThai Sabai’s Day Spa Special

Indulge in a relaxing Lotus Flower Hot Oil Massage, a light lunch and a ginger ...

Slug & Lettuce Kloof Street Bar and Restaurant in Cape TownAll Week 2-for-1 Burger Special at the ...

Score two mouth-watering burgers for the price of one at this popular CBD haunt

Tin Noakes Diet Salad from Rcaffe menuRcaffe's Tim Noakes Diet Menu Specials

This lovable Long Street restaurant’s new offering is perfect for those on ...

Milkshake fire and ice 1Milkshake Mondays at Protea Hotel Fire ...

Shake off those start-of-the-week blues at the Mother City’s funkiest hotel ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.