Seal Snorkelling in Hout Bay: Swim Among Curious Marine Mammals

Seal Snorkelling in Hout Bay: Swim Among Curious Marine Mammals

Snorkel with these playful creatures at the Cape Fur seal colony at Duiker Island.

Seals are often referred to as the “puppies of the sea”, and for good reason; they’re playful, curious creatures who are happy to frolic with visiting divers in the deep. In their minds, it’s not you coming to dive with them, it is they who have come to dive with you!

Duiker Island, off the coast of Hout Bay, is otherwise known as ‘Seal Island’, and for good reason. Here you’ll find a flourishing colony of Cape Fur seals – a species unique to our region. What makes it especially suitable for seal snorkelling is that the cold waters deter shark activity – not a single Great White has been sighted on any seal diving expedition.

It’s one of the best places to swim with these charming sea mammals. As it’s situated in the Karbonkelberg zone, a marine protected area under the jurisdiction of Table Mountain National Park, you’ll get to witness the incredible diversity of marine and bird life that flourishes in this region, made unique by the meeting of the cold Benguela and warm Atlantic currents.

Seal snorkelling in Cape Town: How + where

Participants meet the seal snorkelling experts at their base in Hout Bay. From there, they are transported to the harbour, where inflatable boats carry the snorkellers and their expert guides to the location at Duiker Island.

The tour runs for about two-and-a-half hours in total, with half an hour set aside for meeting the team and kitting up. Time in the water with the seals amounts to about 40 to 60 minutes on average.

Included in the cost:

  • Snorkelling equipment and wetsuits
  • Transport from the office in Hout Bay to the seal snorkelling location, and back
  • Drinking water, biscuits and hot chocolate aboard the boat

What to bring:

  • Swim suit
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Rain jacket (if intending to stay aboard the boat)

So dive in – the seals are ready when you are.

Good to know

  • Trips are weather dependent.
  • Guests can choose to accompany the boat trip and view the seals from the boat, rather than participate in the snorkelling, in which case the cost will be R600 rather than R990.
  • The minimum age is ten for seal snorkelling, and six to view from the boat with a parent present.
  • Previous snorkelling experience is not required, but you need to be a competent swimmer, and comfortable in the water.

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8 Albert Road Hout Bay (via M6 or M3) Cape Town