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.

Incredible interactions!
Every day is an ADVENTURE
WE LOVE SNORKELING!!

TripAdvisor award winning

Meet us at the Animal Ocean Offices
Seal Snorkeling in Cape Town with Animal Ocean image by Steve Benjamin
A wildlife adventure

Seal Snorkeling with Animal Ocean in Cape Town is the ultimate wildlife experience on your holiday. We are THE TOP rated activity in Hout Bay by TripAdvisor. 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. If you love seals and the ocean, as we do, this is the best thing to do in Cape Town !

Join us on Tuesday 21st for a midday Seal Snorkeling trip! The tour starts at 12:30 - book on this page for an ocean adventure like no other!

Welcome to Animal Ocean’s Seal Snorkeling website. We are the seal snorkeling experts and are dedicated to getting you in the water with these fantastic creatures. Our team of passionate marine guides are keen to share the beauty of the ocean with you. Join us at our Snorkeling Center and enjoy hot showers, private change rooms, free Wifi and coffee. Our vessels take 10 snorkelers and will get you to the snorkeling site, Duiker Island, quickly and safely. Cape 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 Cape Fur seals are not fed or trained, they behave naturally and interact with snorkelers on their own terms. Seal Snorkelers 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.

Snorkeling Information

Meeting Times

Please ARRIVE ON TIME – the transport to the harbour leaves on the hour and we do not want you to miss your trip! We use the first half an hour to meet the team, sign in, get into wetsuits and listen to a safety briefing.

Meeting Location

We meet at the Seal Snorkeling Center – 8 Albert road, Hout Bay, Cape Town.
See directions below.

Trip Duration

About 3 hours. This includes 30 minutes 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 Center

Our facility is a converted house right near the harbour. It took us a long time to find a “Brick and Morter” home for our Seal Snorkeling operation and we are very proud of our building. Our guests enjoy changing rooms, hot showers and free Wifi. We have a lounge to relax in while you wait or warm up in after the dive. It’s a great place to be and we hope to share it with you.

Snorkeling Site Conditions

The seal 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?

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

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 a HOT shower.

Age Limits

10 years or older can snorkel. It is important that you let us know if children are joining us, 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 Cape Town 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?

The best time is whenever you can and time allows ! Summer is generally best – September to May. The most consistent and warmest conditions occur from December – February. From mid-March onward the seal pups are learning how to swim and are very curious in the water!

How big are the groups?

We take a maximum of 10 seal snorkelers. There will always be a skipper and two dive guides with each boat. We have two boats and the maximum would be 20 snorkelers 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 3mm 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. UBER is the cheapest and most reliable.

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 PricingSnorkeling
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)R900/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.

Camera Rental

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 RentalsCamera+
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/ppR200/pp
 

Reviews & Press

National Geographic Magazine

OFF THE COAST of Cape Town, South Africa, two powerful ocean currents meet. The rugged coastline produces powerful swells at a place where the reefs come out of deep water, making it the perfect playground for fur seals—social, playful creatures that surf the waves like dolphins, just for fun. – Read Article 

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

Film productions ...

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 by 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, and our favourite thing to do is snorkeling with seals ! … 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 

Ocean Film productions done with Animal Ocean

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, CAPE TOWN

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