If you like getting out into nature and checking out marine life then you have to have a go at seal snorkelling. It is honestly one of the most thrilling and rejuvenating experiences out there. We had a go a few weeks ago and have added the experience to our portfolio of outdoorsy things to do. We think this should be a compulsory bucket list item for anyone visiting the Cape!
You’ll meet at the Hout Bay Harbour and get briefed on the morning’s activity. You’ll also be kitted out with your wetsuit, gloves, booties, cap, goggles, snorkel, flippers, the works! No worry of freezing in the cold Atlantic with all this equipment and the team are on hand to help you climb into your gear.
Next you’ll head over to the jetty and pile into the launch boat that will take you out to the seals. You have about 5-10 minutes of cruising out of the harbour and around the Sentinel, the impossibly steep mountain peak that looms high above the crashing waves and keeps constant watch over the entrance to Hout Bay.
Passing the Sentinel to starboard (right hand side) you’ll see Duiker Island in front of you to port (left hand side), a little way off from the coastline. This is where the seals frolic in the waves and sunbathe in the hot sun. Your captain will drop the anchor and you’ll be ready to dive into the swell with your goggles, snorkels and flippers securely fastened.
Seals are curious creatures and the connection you get with them while you are in the ocean is difficult to describe. The seals will swim up to you and have a good look, much the same way you are looking at them. They hang upside down in front of you with their tail flippers just above the surface of the water, scrutinising you with their big, wide eyes. What they lack in grace on land they more than make up for when they are in the water, darting from place to place and swirling around you with streams of bubbles left in their wake – like the stream of carbon dioxide released in soda water.
When you’re done frolicking with the seals at Duiker Island, hop back onboard and warm up with a bucket of hot water down the front of your wetsuit, a cup of delicious hot chocolate and a cookie to top it all off!
You feel totally immersed and in touch with nature when you are snorkelling with seals. A truly unique experience and one that we hope to do ourselves on the regular.
Check out our video above for an overview of the experience!