Booking Terms & Conditions

Trips by booking only. Full refund if we cancel due to poor ocean conditions. Cancelation within 48 hours of departure, 50% fee. Cancellation within 24 hours of departure and no-shows, no refund. All cancellations prior to 48hrs incur a 10% administration fee.

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Incredible interactions
Fur Seals are curious and love to come check you out!
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TripAdvisor award winning

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Every day is an ADVENTURE
WE LOVE SNORKELING!!
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A wildlife adventure
Lots to see from the boat
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A fun-filled water experience
Everyone welcome
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Meet us at the Animal Ocean Offices
All the facilities you need.

Seal Snorkeling in Cape Town is the ultimate wildlife experience for the adventurous. Plunge into the cool Atlantic ocean and snorkel with hundreds of playful Cape Fur seals. Interact with them in their environment and on their terms.

Trip update: Unfortunately all Seal Snorkeling trips for today, Thursday 24 May, have been cancelled due to unfavourable ocean conditions. *Please note - All bookings made from September 1st 2018 onward will be charged at our increased 2018/2019 seasonal rates as follows: Seal Snorkeling R900; Boat Rider R600. Please contact us at info@sealsnorkeling.com or 072 296 9132 for any booking queries.

Welcome to Animal Ocean’s Seal Snorkeling website. Animal Ocean are the seal snorkeling experts and are dedicated to getting you in the water with these fantastic creatures. Our enthusiastic owner and zoologist, Steve Benjamin, together with his team of marine guides, are only too keen to share the beauty of the ocean and its most playful mammals with you. Our 8m Ribs (inflatable boats) takes up to 10 snorkelers and will get you to the Cape fur seals, quickly and safely. Fur seals are most active and abundant in the heat of Cape Town’s summer. So beat the heat – join us!

Cape Fur seals occur naturally on islands around the southern African coast and are found nowhere else in the world. Duiker Island in Hout Bay is home to about 5 000 seals and lies within the Karbonkelberg marine protected area, part of Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town. These Fur seals are not fed or trained, they behave naturally and interact with snorkelers and Scuba divers on their own terms. Visitors can always see seals in the water and there are no sharks present. This is a wildlife adventure that brings you mask-to-whisker with playful and inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat.

Trip Information

Meeting Times

Always arrive 30 minutes before your booked trip time.

Meeting Location

We meet at 8 Albert road, Hout Bay.
See directions below.

Trip Duration

About 3 hours. This includes arriving 30 minutes before your trip time to sign in and kit up, briefing and travelling to and from the Harbour and island. On average, visitors spend 45 mins – 1hr in the water.

Snorkeling Site Conditions

The snorkeling site is very shallow (1 – 5m deep) and you will see the bottom clearly most days. This is the ocean so there can be small waves and a choppy surface. The water temperature varies from 8C – 13C. This means that the water is COLD ! The boat is always nearby and you can return to warm up if needed.

What experience do I need?

To snorkel you need to be able to swim confidently. Motion sickness is a problem for some. If you suffer from motion sickness, this experience may not be for you. We recommend one motion sickness pill the evening before and one the morning of your trip

Can we SCUBA dive?

Yes, you will need to email info@animalocean.co.za directly with a copy of your certification and the dates you are interested in diving. We will then check availability and make the booking for you.

What is provided?

We provide all snorkeling equipment, a seal guide, transfer from the office to the Harbour, boat ride, educational briefing, water, biscuits, hot chocolate and hot water to pour in your wetsuit after the snorkel, along with tea and coffee at the office and 2 minute rinse off showers. ( due to the drought no showers will be permitted)

Age Limits

Snorklers can be from 10 – 16 years, with a guardian present and all ages upwards are welcome. It is very important that you let us know that children are joining your group as we need to make sure the conditions are not too rough. Boat viewers can be from 6 years old and up.

Sea Sickness

Please take medication if you are prone to motion sickness. Once we are with the seals we cannot return until after the snorkel has finished, 1 and a half hours at sea.

Are there any sharks?

No, the island is situated on the cold Atlantic side of the Cape Peninsula where temperatures range between 8C -15 C. This is very cold for Great White sharks, who prefer the seal colonies on the east coast of South Africa. The island is surrounded with shallow reefs and thick kelp forests, this would prevent any large sharks coming close to the island. The well-established and long-running seal watching ships have not seen a shark at the island in over 20 years of operation. If you would like to see a Great White shark we will happily assist you by booking you onto a Shark Cage diving experience from Gaansbaai.

What is the best time to snorkel with the seals?

Seal Snorkeling is possible September till May. The most consistent and warmest weather conditions occur from December to February. Snorkeling during mid-March and April is great as the seal pups have just learnt to swim and enter the water to play. June till September we are closed as the Seals are less active.

How big are the groups?

We take a maximum of 10 snorkelers out at a time per boat. There will always be a skipper and two dive guides with each boat. We have two boats and the maximum would be 20 snorklers at one trip time in high season

Can I come view the seals?

Yes, we charge a reduced rate for people who want to come look at the seals from the boat while the snorkelers are in the water.

What equipment do you provide?

We have fleece lined 5mm one piece wetsuits with hoods. We also provide 2mm vests, 4mm gloves, booties, fins and silicone masks and snorkels. Our equipment comes in a range of sizes to suit everyone.

Do you offer transport?

No. Any taxi company will happily transport you to Hout Bay harbour. There are also the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off busses that operate a route from Cape Town to Hout Bay and around the peninsular.

What is you booking policy?

Bookings are confirmed only when payment has been received. Our online booking system only takes payment in full by credit card. Irregular bookings may be refused at any time. Please be careful not to double book yourself onto multiple time slots, if this occurs there will be a 10% admin fee on the refund unless it is within 48 hours, then no refund is given.

What is your refund policy?

We will only cancel when conditions are unsafe to go out, or we think we are not able to provide the good experience. We try cancel trips 24 hours before arrival, but will cancel at short notice if the ocean is unexpectedly rough. A full refund will be given if we cancel due to poor ocean conditions. Refunds are processed in batches and can take up to 30 working days to be processed and completed. Please be patient, we are a small company, and we will get it done. We only refund via the same method that we received the payment from.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellation within 48 hours of departure and no-shows will not be given a refund. All cancellations prior to 48hrs incur a 10% administration fee.

How does payment work?

Please fill out the booking form with all the relevant details. Please make sure your contact details are correct, we may need to cancel the trip or re-schedule. Master Card and Visa credit cards are accepted through the online payment and booking system, we also have snap scan now. If the trip is cancelled due to bad weather we will try reschedule the trip or refund you.

Trip Pricing Snorkeling
Experience
*everyone welcome
Safe Seal Diving Experience
Professional Dive Master Present
Snacks and Refreshments
Wetsuits Provided
Snorkeling Equipment
SCUBA Equipment (tanks, BCD, weights)  
Price (per person) R800; 900 as of 1 September 2018/pp
 

Giving Back...

We do a lot more than just swim with seals

Animal Ocean supports a huge range of conservation, education and environmental activities. We want to make a difference and our beautiful oceans cleaner and better managed. We enjoy working with passionate researchers and organisations making a difference in the conservation world.

Some of the things we do are to help are

  • Support academic institutions by providing free boat and crew to Duiker Island to conduct research on Cape Fur Seals.
  • Co-ordinate and rally everyone to join beach clean ups, which we run monthly.
  • Educational talks about Eco-tourism and the South african marine life to school groups.
  • Provided boats and skilled staff for marine conservation field work trips around the South Africa coastline.
  • Provide video footage and photographic images and services to NGO’s and researchers.

Join us this year as we run our monthly Beach Clean Up series at the more hidden beaches of Cape Town. Go to Animal Ocean on Facebook for updates and details. Help us clean up the oceans and spread environmental awareness.

Cameras

Rent a Camera on the Day of your Trip

Take your memories home by using our underwater cameras. These easy to use Underwater cameras will capture photos or video, and our staff will give you a quick lesson on how to use them. Push one button and capture the day on a Micro SD memory card that we can provide and is yours to take home. All cameras are available for rental on the day.

GoPro cameras for rent
Cameras in use off Hout Bay
Camera Rentals Camera+
4GB Memory Card
*and take home
Camera
Only
*bring own SD card
Underwater Camera Provided
Video and Photo Capability
Free How-To-Use Training
4GB SD Memory Card Provided & Take Home  
Price (per person) R300/pp R200/pp
 

Reviews & Press

Getaway Magazine

“Shark-cage diving? Pffft. In this issue of Getaway Magazine, our intrepid journalists went exploring the underground playground of some furrier sea creatures. Turns out, snorkelling with seals is a lot of fun.”
Read review

Africa Geographic Magazine

“It doesn’t take much to interact with a seal. Curious by nature, these fascinating creatures will swim right up to you and investigate your neoprene-covered body. The young pups especially seemed intrigued by our long flippers which they nibbled away at when we weren’t looking.”
Read review

Cape Town Green Map

“The seals are very inquisitive and seemingly friendly. They eye you out from a safe distance, blowing bubbles, gaping and generally doing exactly what we are doing – eyeing each other out..”
Read review

Film ...

Expertise and logistics for wildlife film makers

Animal Ocean We have shared our passion for the ocean with everyone we meet, and sometimes that leads to amazing film productions being created buy the best in the business. Animal Ocean and Steve Benjamin have assisted, skippered, filmed, dived and traveled with the BBC, National Geographic Magazine and many many others. Being on the water and keen observers of the natural world with photographic eye, makes us unique in translating the vision of cameramen and directions with the unpredictable natural world.

We provide skilled water personal and equipment of the film industry and help cameraman get what they want… from seals surfing shallow reefs, surfers towing into giant waves or feeding Humpback Whales… ask us we know how to get it done

We have been involved in the following productions

  • BBC Blue Planet II – Surfing Dolphin sequence 2017.
  • BBC Natures Great Events – Sardine Run 2008.
  • Disney  – Dolphins
  • National Geographic Magazine conservation articles assisting Thomas P. Peschak in Seychelles, Mexico, Galapagos, South Africa, Namibia and Peru

Contact us to help make you film shoot a success on the ocean around Cape Town or South Africa 

Cape Town Peninsular Tour

Travel informed with a biologist

We have partnered with Justin Blake of Rock Hopper tours to bring a chance to explore the peninsular with trained knowladagble and passionate local biologsts. Let them share this amazing coast line with you. Its a personal and intimate way we get off the beaten track.

Find out more and book… www.rockhoppertours.co.za

Contact Us

To send an enquiry please use our form below. If you’d like to make a booking please use our booking form.

Contact Details

We also have merchandise on the day of your trip for sale. Please ask one of the Guides if you are interested.

Directions

Find Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling at the Animal Ocean Offices

8 ALBERT ROAD, HOUTBAY

GPS : 34 02’04” S 18 20’58” E

 

Contact us

8am-4pm : +27 (0)72 296 9132

Public Transport – MyCiTi Bus

Route 108 Hout Bay – Hangberg – Sea Point – Civic Center
You will then need to walk to 8 Albert road from the bus stop, this will take between about 5 minutes
Allow for 1.5 hours to reach us on time
Plan your trip on the MyCiTi website