Seal Snorkeling with Animal Ocean in Cape Town is the ultimate eco-friendly, all-natural wildlife experience on your holiday. We ARE AMAZING, join us with the seals.
We are THE TOP rated activity in Hout Bay and the FIRST CHOICE for everyone when Seal Snorkeling. We are the ORIGINAL Seal Snorkeling company and the only ones with a DIVE CENTRE. We offer hot showers, change rooms, internet, privacy and security at our facility. We contribute to conservation and research and are the ONLY choice for your experience with the seals.
Join us and plunge into the kelp forest and snorkel with hundreds of curious Cape Fur seals, in the wild ! You will witness them in their environment, on their terms. If you love getting salty and experiencing the natural world, this is the best thing to do in Cape Town !
Swell Swell please go away! Difficult conditions at the moment, we will be heading out as soon as the ocean allows us
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 time of 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?
Step aboard our boats and head out to sea, take in the spectacular scenery and mountain cliffs as you cruise to Duiker Island, Hout Bay, Cape Town. Our seal snorkeling site is shallow, at less than 5m deep, and surrounded by a large kelp forest. The surface conditions vary from calm to rough and we do snorkel in choppy conditions as the Fur seals are still swimming in most conditions. This is a natural wildlife experience and we have no control over the seal's movements or behaviors. The number of seals in the water varies according to the seasons, temperature, tide, and ocean state. The trip takes 2,5 hours from start to finish with 50 minutes of that spent in the ocean. You don’t need any experience but you must be able to swim, older than 13 years, less than 140kgs.
When is the best time to snorkel?
Cape Fur seals are always present on Duiker Island but the best time to come snorkel is during Cape Town’s warmer months September - May, as the warmer conditions encourage the seals to enter the water and play. The worst time to snorkel is June - August as the swell is often too big to snorkel and the cold winter conditions mean that the Fur seals rather lie on the rocks to stay warm.
Seal Snorkel Centre and Equipment
The Animal Ocean Seal Snorkeling Centre is our dedicated facility to provide you with a friendly place to meet, relax, and get ready for your seal snorkeling trip. We have a private changing room, toilets, and hot showers for you to use. We provide free WiFi and a comfortable lounge for you to wait for your friends if you’re not heading out on the boat. The walls are covered with seal photography, informative posters, and small ocean-related gifts that you may want to take home with you. Once booked, please arrive at the time you booked, you don’t need to come earlier.
We provide a full 5mm wetsuit with hood, gloves, booties, and vest to keep you warm, as well as mask, snorkel, and snorkeling fins. Everything you need to interact with Fur seals in the water. For experienced freedivers, we can provide a weight belt to help you sink, but this is at the discretion of the skipper.
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?
The ocean is our playground and a wide range of marine species might be spotted whilst on the way to our seal snorkeling site. A number of cetaceans have been seen, smallest to biggest being - Heaviside's dolphin, Dusky dolphin, Common dolphin, Humpback whale and Southern Right whale! There are a number of seabirds to look out for African penguin, Cape cormorant, Cape Gannet, White-breasted cormerant, Bank cormerant, Swift tern, Kelp gull, and Hautlaubs gull. We have also seen some interesting fish species such as Sunfish, Snoek, Hotentot, Lesser guitar-shark, and Dark shyshark.
The kelp forest surrounding Duiker Island is a highlight and swimming amongst the canopy, stipes, and holdfasts of the kelp forest is a unique experience.
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
Take your memories home with you, by using our underwater cameras. We have GoPro 11 and GoPro 10 and MiVision underwater action cameras to choose from. We provide the high-speed Micro SD cards for you to take away with you.
The Animal Ocean crew 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 is yours to take home.
All cameras are available for rental on the day, and we will remind everyone. So don’t worry there will be ways to share your experience with the seals.
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