Seal Snorkeling with Animal Ocean in Cape Town is the ultimate eco-friendly, all-natural wildlife experience. Connect to nature and join us in the kelp forest with the Cape Fur seals.
Discover the ultimate seal snorkeling experience with Animal Ocean. As the top-rated activity in Hout Bay, we pride ourselves on being the original Seal Snorkeling company, starting in 2009, with the exclusive feature of a private and safe Snorkeling Center for your use. Our facility goes beyond expectations, offering hot showers, change rooms, internet access, and a commitment to your privacy and security.
"By choosing us, you contribute to conservation and research, making Animal Ocean your only choice for an unforgettable seal adventure."
Join us for a plunge into the enchanting kelp forest, where you'll snorkel alongside hundreds of inquisitive Cape Fur seals in their natural habitat. Witness these incredible creatures on their terms, creating a connection with the wild like never before. If you're a lover of saltwater and yearn for an authentic experience in the heart of nature, seal snorkeling with AnimalOcean is undeniably the best thing to do in Cape Town!
SNORKEL SEASON is here! We have had great conditions lately and are running trips every day that is suiatble
Welcome to Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling
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 Table Mountain National Park. 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 close to inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat. We treat them with respect. Cape Fur seals can bite and we cancel trips if aggressive behavior is observed.
SEAL SNORKELING QUICK INFO
When - At the time of your online booking.
Where - 8 Albert Rd, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Trip length - 2,5 hrs
Time in the water - 50 mins
Water temperature: 10-15C / 50-59F
Snorkeling conditions: Calm to Choppy
Snorkel site: Max 5m deep
Min Age - 13 years old
Max Weight - 140kg’s
Group Size - Max 11 snorkelers
Equipment Provided - Yes
Seasickness - Possible
Best months? September - May
Worst months? June - August
Seal pups - April - May
Are there sharks - No
Can seals bite - Yes
Other life? - Whales, Dolphins, Kelp
Booking - Payment in full
We cancel - Full Refund
You cancel - < 48hrs notice, no refund
What can I expect on a seal snorkeling trip?
Cruise to Duiker Island, Hout Bay, Cape Town, on our boats. Enjoy the scenic views and explore our shallow seal snorkeling site amidst a kelp forest. Conditions vary, but our experienced guides ensure a safe adventure, lasting 2.5 hours, with 50 minutes in the water. No prior experience required; just be over 13 years old, weigh less than 140kgs, and able to swim. Please note, it's a natural wildlife encounter, and seal presence depends on various factors.
When is the best time to snorkel?
Cape Fur seals inhabit Duiker Island year-round, yet the prime time for snorkeling is from September to May when warmer temperatures entice the seals into playful waters. Avoid June to August due to larger swells and cold winter conditions, prompting the seals to prefer basking on rocks for warmth.
Seal Snorkel Centre and Equipment
The Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling Centre is your dedicated facility, providing a friendly space to meet, relax, and prepare for your seal snorkeling trip. Private changing rooms, toilets, and hot showers are at your disposal. Enjoy free WiFi and a comfy lounge while waiting for friends or if you're not heading out on the boat. Adorned with seal photography, informative posters, and small ocean-related gifts, our walls offer a glimpse of the aquatic adventure awaiting you. Arrive on time for your booking; no need to come earlier.
We supply a full 5mm wetsuit with hood, gloves, booties, and vest for warmth, along with a mask, snorkel, and fins—all you need for an immersive experience with Fur seals in the water. Experienced freedivers can request a weight belt at the skipper's discretion. Your journey into the marine world starts here, fully equipped and ready for the extraordinary.
Do Fur seals bite?
Cape Fur seals have bitten snorkelers. These are wild animals and should be treated with respect. Almost all of the interactions are curious and friendly but there are 5,000 Fur seals at Duiker Island and occasionally we do see aggressive behavior. It’s important you know there is an element of risk entering the natural environment with any wild creature, this is the same with our Cape Fur seals.
Are there sharks?
No Great White sharks have ever been seen on our snorkeling trips. The cold Atlantic Ocean around Cape Town is not the preferred habitat of this species. there is little incentive for a Great White shark to come to Duiker island as it is shallow, surrounded by kelp, and few young seals to attempt to feed on. In recent years, since 2017, orcas have killed many Great White sharks in the Western Cape, forcing these sharks to move away from our waters.
What other marine wildlife can be seen?
Embark on an oceanic journey to our seal snorkeling site and encounter a diverse array of marine species. From the agile Heaviside's dolphin to the majestic Humpback and Southern Right whales, our waters host a rich variety of cetaceans. Notably, Heaviside's dolphins are relatively small, reaching lengths of about 1.7 meters, and are predominantly found in the cool waters off the coast of Namibia and South Africa.
Watch along the shores for African penguins, Cape cormorants, and Swift terns, each contributing to the vibrant coastal spectacle. Fascinatingly, African penguins are exceptional marine hunters, capable of reaching speeds up to 20 km/h (12 mph) as they skillfully pursue fish, anchovies, and squid. Unlike many other birds, penguins cannot fly but showcase remarkable agility and speed underwater.
Dive deeper to spot intriguing fish species such as the elusive Sunfish, known for its affinity for jellyfish. Did you know? Sunfish are the heaviest bony fish globally, with some individuals weighing over two tons. They can be found at depths ranging from the surface to about 2,300 feet (700 meters).
Explore the kelp forest at Duiker Island, a thriving ecosystem for a variety of marine life. Kelp, a type of brown algae, undergoes a fascinating life cycle. It starts with microscopic spores developing into floating microscopic plants called gametophytes, which then fuse to form diploid sporophytes, growing into tall, floating structures. The kelp's holdfast anchors it to the substrate, while the stipes and blades reach toward the surface, providing a rich habitat for numerous species. Within the kelp's intricate embrace, you may encounter the Cape Rock Crab, Pyjama Shark, Red Roman, Sea Urchins, Kelp Klipfish, and Octopus. These captivating species navigate the kelp's stipes and blades, contributing to the dynamic underwater tapestry. Kelp Gulls and Cape Fur Seals also interact with this environment, creating a harmonious and diverse marine community.
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.
We will only cancel when conditions are unsafe to go out. 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 weather conditions. We only refund via the same method that we received the payment from.
Cancellations within 48 hours of departure and no-shows will not be given a refund. All cancellations prior to 48hrs incur a 10% administration fee.
Explore the ocean and see Cape Fur seals from our kayaks. Animal Ocean is now offering kayak trips in Hout Bay to see the life in the bay and harbor. Glide past Cape fur seals in the harbour and when in the bay try to spot a Sunfish, Humpback whales, or Dusky dolphins.
This easy adventure is led by our trained Animal Ocean kayak guides and starts at our Seal Snorkeling Centre where you can change in privacy, keep your belongings, and have a hot shower.
Visit our Seal Kayaking website for more info SEALKAYAKING
2-hour guided Seal kayak tour – R450 p/p
Connect with the ocean from our kayaks. Animal Ocean is now offering kayak trips in Hout Bay to see the life in the bay and harbour. Glide past Cape fur seals in the harbour and when in the bay try spot a Sunfish, Humpback whale or Dusky dolphin.
This easy adventure is lead by two trained Animal Ocean guides and starts at our Seal Snorkeling centre where you can change in privacy, keep your belongings and have a hot shower.
Visit our Seal Kayaking website for more info – SealKayaking.co.za
2 hour guided kayak tour – R300 p/p
GoPro 10 and 11
THE REAL DEAL! - up to 4K 120 fps
R700 p/seal snorkel
MiVision Action Camera
Perfect Holiday memories - HD 60fps.
R350 p/seal snorkel
Rent a GoPro – Capture Memories
No need to worry about forgetting to rent a camera – our crew will remind everyone! On the day of your adventure, seize the opportunity to capture every moment with our top-tier underwater cameras. Choose from GoPro 11, GoPro 10, or MiVision action cameras, and we provide high-speed Micro SD cards for you to keep.
Receive a quick lesson from our Animal Ocean experts on using these cutting-edge cameras. With a simple push of a button, you can preserve the highlights of your day on a Micro SD memory card, creating lasting memories. Share the joy of your seal snorkeling experience effortlessly with our hassle-free camera rental service.
Responsible Eco-Tourism – Giving back to Fur seals
Its important to us that we are a benefit to the Cape Fur seals of Duiker Island. We put their interests first and through our trips and actions support their welfare. We support a range of conservation, education and environmental activities. We want to make a difference and be a benefit to Cape Fur Seals. We enjoy working with passionate researchers and organisations making a difference in the conservation world.
Rescuing Fur seal pups and disentangle Fur seals when possible
Support academic institutions by providing free boat and crew to Duiker island to conduct research on Cape Fur Seals.
Co-ordinate and rally the public to join beach Clean-Ups.
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.
Expertise and logistics for wildlife film makers
Animal Ocean We share our passion for the ocean with everyone we meet and because of this, amazing films are produced. Our team at Animal Ocean has assisted, skippered, filmed, dived and traveled with the BBC, National Geographic Magazine and many others. Animal Ocean is unique in translating the vision of any producer as we are keen observers of the natural world and have that photographic eye and mindset. 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.
Our featured work …
Netflix ANIMAL – Squid nesting sequence 2021
Smithsonian – Oceans Greatest Feast 2020
Disney’s – Dolphin Reef 2018
BBC Blue Planet II – Surfing Dolphin sequence 2017.
BBC Natures Great Events – Sardine Run 2008.
National Geographic Magazine conservation articles for 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
Lets go SEAL SNORKELING!
To make an inquiry please call us, email us, or fill in the contact sheet. But whatever you do, don't miss snorkeling with us and our seals ... or just click here and check availability and book
8 Albert Road, HOUT BAY
Cape Town, South Africa
+27 (0) 72 296 9132
Mon - Fri
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Find Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling at the Animal Ocean Offices
8 ALBERT ROAD, HOUT BAY, CAPE TOWN
GPS : 34 02’04” S 18 20’58” E
8am-4pm : +27 (0)72 296 9132
Car Rental – RentaCheapie Car Hire
The best way to get around Cape Town is with your own hired car. We recommend RentaCheapie for the friendliest, most affordable car rentals. Check them out if you are thinking about hiring a car for your visit.
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