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.
TripAdvisor award winning
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 Rib (inflatable boat) 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.
There are afternoon options if the morning is fully booked. Always arrive 15 minutes before your booked trip time.
We meet inside Hout Bay Harbour, outside the NSRI building (National Sea Rescue Institute).
See directions below.
3 hours Max. This includes kitting up, briefing and travelling to and from the island. On average, visitors spend 45 mins - 1hr in the water.
The snorkeling site is very shallow (2 - 5m deep) and you will see the bottom clearly. This is the ocean so there can be small waves and a choppy surface. The water temperature varies from 10C - 15C. This means that the water is cold ! The boat is always nearby and you can return to warm up if needed.
To snorkel you need to be able to swim confidently. Motion sickness is a problem. If you suffer from motion sickness, this experience may not be for you.
. Yes, but this you will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org directly with a copy of your certification. This will also be on a separate boat.
We provide all equipment, a seal guide, boat ride, educational briefing, water, biscuits, hot chocolate and hot water to pour in your wetsuit after the snorkel.
Everyone can snorkel and we take minors (10 - 16 years) with a guardian present. It is very important that you let us know that children are joining your group as we need to make sure we have the children's size wetsuits with us. If the conditions are too rough we need to advise a different day for you.
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 hour at sea. If you do get motion sickness this trip may not be suitable for you.
No, the island is situated on the cold Atlantic side of the Cape Peninsula where temperatures range between 8C -15 C. This is too 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 False Bay or Gaansbaai.
Seal snorkeling is possible anytime during Cape Towns summer (September - 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.
We take a maximum of 10 snorkelers out at a time. There will always be a skipper and two dive guides with you.
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.
We have fleece lined 5mm one piece wetsuits with hoods. We also provide 3mm vests, 4mm gloves, booties, fins and silicone masks and snorkels. Our equipment comes in a range of sizes to suit everyone.
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.
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.
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. If the trip is cancelled due to bad weather we will try reschedule the trip or refund you.
|Safe Seal Diving Experience|
|Professional Dive Master Present|
|Snacks and Refreshments|
|SCUBA Equipment (tanks, BCD, weights)|
|Price (per person)||R800/pp||R900 - R1600|
Take your memories home by using our underwater cameras. These easy to use GoPro Hero 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 SD memory card that we can provide and is yours to take home. All cameras are available for rental on the day.
4GB Memory Card
*and take home
*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|
"Streamlined and quick, they treat the cold waters around Duiker Island, near Cape Town’s Hout Bay, as their personal playground and visiting snorkelers as something new to play with. "
"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."
"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.."
Inside the Harbour, on the right hand side, outside the NSRI station 8 building.
GPS : 34 03'00.99" S 18 20'43.45"