Snorkeling With Seals In Cape Town

Snorkeling With The Cape Fur Seals

I Went Snorkeling With The Seals At Seal Island In Hout Bay, Cape Town


Hey guys!

It’s been quite a while since you heard from me last, but our guests simply kept me too busy over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so blame it on them. Oh, and happy New Year by the way. I hope you had a great party and a good start into 2015.
​Although it was already a couple of weeks ago, I want to tell you about the awesome experience that I had in Hout Bay, Cape Town with seal snorkeling and what I did there should by now be quite obvious: Snorkel with the Cape Fur Seal.

A few days prior to one of my precious days off, I came across the seal snorkelling in our tour info folder at Riverlodge Backpackers in our office and thought that would be the perfect thing to do for me, so I made a booking for that day.

Unfortunately the trip starts at 9 o’clock in the morning and I first had to get from Pinelands to Hout Bay harbour where the tour starts, so I got up at 6am, which gave me just enough time to get ready and catch the train to Cape Town and then the bus to Hout Bay, which literally takes ages!

If you are a guest at Riverlodge Backpackers, we have a shuttle to get you there in a little more style.

So if you want to go to Hout Bay someday, take the car if you can! Or alternatively bring a good big book along.
Book a shuttle.


Hout Bay Cape Town
Hout Bay


I made it just in time, meaning at 5 minutes to 9 – punctual as a German should be. I was the first one to arrive there and somehow I am still surprised by that. It is called "Cape Town Time"!!

While we were waiting for the others, I was chatting to the staff members and arranged to rent a GoPro from them, which they offer for only R200 for the trip if you bring your own memory card, or for R300 with a memory card with a seal snorkeling sticker on it. I, as a poor student, I had brought my own memory card, but if you want to do the Cape tourism industry some good, take the memory card as well. Besides for the photos and videos of the trip, it is a nice little souvenir itself.

The dive takes place at Seal Island just off the back of Carbuncle Berg, which is part of the mountain range in which Hout Bay is situated.
The Atlantic water is a cool 15 degrees C, so all of us were wearing wet suits to keep us warm and the cold water at bay.


Seal Island Cape Town
Seal Island


The water in Hout Bay was crystal clear with a visibility of about 15m horizontally. The Cape Fur Seal is very inquisitive, playful and very fast. It's like now you see me and now you don't. They bark under the water just like dogs bark to get your attention!

The seals are not afraid so they come up close, close enough to touch, although I did not try. I was so mesmerized that when we got the call to get out as the dive was over, I felt a little cheated about not having had enough time! However I was told that I had been in for 2 hours - wow, it felt like 20 minutes.


Boat Ride To Snorkel With The Seals At Seal Island Cape Town
Boat Ride to Seal Island


Cape Fur Seals At Seal Island In Cape Town
Cape Fur Seals


Next time I will come more prepared with my own gear for snorkeling with the seals. This was definitely an experience I must do again while I'm still in Cape Town.


Written by Nina Dammann


If you enjoyed this article and want to read more about the exciting things we get up to in Cape Town, follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page. If you'd love to have your own Cape Town experience, contact us at Riverlodge Backpackers to book accommodation, or book online.

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