Seal snorkeling is one of the top outdoor adventure experiences in Cape Town.
There are a few locations around the peninsula where it is possible to dive or snorkel with Cape Fur Seals, but the best location is Duiker Island which is situated on the western side of the peninsula just outside Hout Bay. The island is home to about 5000 seals. The seals are not fed or trained, but they are very inquisitive and playfull. they will be swimming circles around you showing off their agility in the water. There are no Great White Sharks around the island. The water is too cold and the kelp forest around the island forms a natural barrier keeping them out. No Great Whites has ever been seen in 30 years since boats started taking people out to the island to see the seals.
It was to this island that our students went to swim with the seals. After arriving at the meeting point and being equipped with a wetsuit from head to toe, our trainees went by boat to Duiker Island. After a few explanations, it was time to jump into the water and swim with the seals for 45min/1h. There are monitors in the water and also on the boat to show you where to swim to get the most out of your experience with the seals. Once finished, it’s time to return to the boat, hot chocolate and biscuits are offered to warm you up as the water temperature is between 8 and 15 degrees. Finally, back on land and a good hot shower to finish.
Here the best time to snorkel with the seals :
- Cape Town’s summer is the best, from September until the end of May.
- During the end of May and into April the seal pups start to swim and make this period the best time of interactions.
Some snorkeling information :
- The snorkeling site is 1-5m deep.
- No experience needed, but must be a competent swimmer.
- Motion sickness is a problem for some people, please be aware of this.