Africa South Africa

Snorkeling with seals in Cape Town

Snorkeling with seals in Cape Town

If you are planning your trip to South Africa you should not miss ‘Snorkeling with seals in Cape Town’, even if you are not a huge animal lover. Why? There are no words to describe the unique feeling of being underwater with a hundred of curious and beautiful sea lions. Did you know that under the water they eyes get bigger? So they look even more gentle and sweet. Let’s start from the beginning!

Snorkeling with seals in Cape Town

Getting there

The best place to snorkel with this amazing, playful creatures is Hout Bay, a pretty coastal town with a long fishing history.  It is very near to the city of Cape Town, just 20 minutes drive by car. You can use the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus, which operates to Hout Bay and around the peninsula.

Snorkeling with seals in Cape TownView of Hout Bay, lovely town near Cape Town – a place for snorkeling with seals

I booked a tour online before my trip with Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling. They are really good, very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. We met inside the Hout Bay harbor (outside the NSRI Station 8 building). Please check their page for daily vessel departures.

About the tour

From Hout Bay we took a short boat ride to Duiker Island also known as Seal Island which is a home to 10 000 seals and lies within the Karbonkelberg marine protected area, part of the Table Mountain National Park. It’s a small island absolutely full of seals (more than 8 000 of them).

I could watch them basking on the rocks for hours. Who could blame them for being lazy and enjoy sunbathing, swimming, relaxing and doing nothing? Dear seals, I understand you completely.

Snorkeling with seals in Cape TownBasking on the sun, swimming and relaxing… oh, what a life!

The whole trip with the introduction and boat ride lasts up to 3 hours, which is more that enough time to snorkel and have fun with the seals. Not because after some time you get bored, but because the water is really cold (it was just 9 degrees in February, brrrrr).

The cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean are even too cold for Great White sharks, who prefer the seal colonies on the east coast of South Africa where the water is warmer, smart animals!

Watch the GoPro footage here:

My ‘restless’ underwater experience?

Snorkeling with seals in Cape Town is an experience of a lifetime! Absolutely amazing and breathtaking with enormous joy and happiness.

Seals are very curious and playful, sweet creatures, they are in their natural environment, 100% wild and free which is the one of the reasons why this adventure is so great and unique!

If you are brave enough, you can reach out your hand and they will grab your fingers. Don’t be afraid, they won’t bite you. You can really connect with them, just don’t be aggressive.

Snorkeling with seals in Cape TownOne of the most amazing experiences of my life! Thumps up!

More information about snorkeling with seals in Cape Town

  • Book tour in advance as each trip consists of no more than 10 snorkelers
  • Tour costs R800 per person
  • Tour includes introduction, boat ride, snorkeling guides, snacks, refreshments, wetsuit and all snorkeling equipment
  • Bring your towel and a waterproof camera
  • You can hire a GoPro camera if you don’t have your own to shoot underwater ‘playground’
  • No experience needed for snorkelers but must be a good swimmers

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