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 by nature and love to come check you out!
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TripAdvisor award winning

We always aim to give you the best experience possible.
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Every day is an ADVENTURE
and we love sharing the ocean with our amazing guests
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A wildlife adventure
If you don't want to get in the water, there is still a lot to see!
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A fun-filled water experience
Suitable for first time snorkelers or qualified SCUBA divers.
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Professional guides
Help is at hand to guide you in the water and handle your equipment.

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. This half day excursion is for ocean lovers and will be the best activity you do on your visit to Cape Town, if the ocean conditions are suitable.

Check availability by clicking on the "BOOK NOW" button and searching through the calendar for your date of choice.
Trip update: The swell has dropped, the wind has died and the sun is out. Its going to be a great week for Seal Snorkeling.


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

There are afternoon options if the morning is fully booked. Always arrive 30 minutes before your booked trip time.

Meeting Location

We meet inside Hout Bay Harbour, outside the NSRI building (National Sea Rescue Institute). We do NOT have a physical building in the harbor, but meet and change under a gazebo (tent).
See directions below.

Trip Duration

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.

Dive Site Conditions

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 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. If you suffer from motion sickness, this experience may not be for you.

Can we SCUBA dive?

. Yes, but this you will need to email directly with a copy of your certification.

What is provided?

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.

Age Limits

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.

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. If you do get motion sickness this trip may not be suitable for you.

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 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 Gaansbaai.

What is the best time to snorkel with the seals?

Seal Snorkeling is possible all year round. September till May is our high season. 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. May till September is our low season and the Seals are less active.

How big are the groups?

We take a maximum of 10 snorkelers out at a time. There will always be a skipper and two dive guides with you.

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.

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. 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. If the trip is cancelled due to bad weather we will try reschedule the trip or refund you.

Trip Pricing Snorkeling
*everyone welcome
*certified only
Safe Seal Diving Experience
Professional Dive Master Present
Snacks and Refreshments
Wetsuits Provided
Snorkeling Equipment  
SCUBA Equipment (tanks, BCD, weights)  
Price (per person) R800/pp R2150


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
*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

Contact Us

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

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

We also have merchandise on the Day of your Trip for sale. Please ask one of the Guides if you are interested. Seal Snorkeling Merchandise


Find Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling inside Hout Bay Harbour off Harbour Road.

Inside the Harbour, on the right hand side, outside the NSRI station 8 building.

GPS : 34 03'00.99" S 18 20'43.45"

Contact us

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

Public Transport - MyCiTi Bus

Route 108 Hout Bay - Hangberg - Sea Point - Civic Center
Allow for 1.5 hours to reach us on time
Plan you trip your trip on the MyCiTi website