Animal Ocean are the seal snorkeling experts and are dedicated to getting you in the water with these fantastic creatures. Our enthusiastic owner and zoologist, Steve Benjamin, together with his team of marine guides, are only too keen to share the beauty of the ocean and its most playful mammals with you.
Our 8m Rib (inflatable boats) take up to 10 snorkelers and will get you to the seals quickly and safely. Fur seals are most active and abundant in the heat of Cape Town's summer.
Our season operates from August to May each year, with the best time to visit during the heat of Cape Town’s summer or in March and April when the seal pups are learning to swim. This is a wildlife adventure that brings you nose-to-nose with playful and inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat. Join us for a unique marine adventure and meet the friendly Cape fur seal locals!
Meet us at our Snorkel Centre to get into wetsuits and listen to our educational and safety briefing, before heading down to the harbour to meet the Skipper. Our vessels take up to 10 guests and are well equipped to transport you to Duiker Island, only 15 minutes from the Hout Bay Harbour. The island is home to up to 8000 Cape fur seals, which are not fed or trained. In the water they behave naturally and interact with snorkelers on their own terms. You’ll spend just under an hour in the water marvelling at the playful seals, before getting back on board to enjoy some hot chocolate, cookies and warm water poured inside your wetsuit to warm up!
Once back at the Snorkel Centre visitors can enjoy the comfort of hot showers and bathrooms, as well as WiFi and refreshments on site. Have a look at our souvenir shop for reminders of your experience!
Good to know
- Expeditions are weather dependent and run year round
- The tour is approximately 2,5 hours
- No experience needed for snorkelers but must be competent swimmers
- Motion sickness is a problem for some people, so please be aware of this
- Cape Town’s summer is best, from September until the end of May
- During the end of March and into April the seal pups start to swim and this is the best time for interactions
- Minimum age is 10 years old to snorkel and 6 years to view from the boat with a parent present
- High speed boat ride
- Informative seal briefing
- Seal snorkeling guides
- Hot chocolate and biscuits
- Drinking water
- All seal snorkeling equipment
- Cameras available for rent on arrival - R200 including take-home micro SD card / R150 if you bring your own empty micro SD
- COVID face mask
- Swim suit
- Motion sickness tablets
- Travel insurance/medical aid details
- Rain jacket (If booking as Boat Rider)
- Casual clothing with swim wear under your clothes
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Awesome experience! The water was cold so I didn't manage to stay in the whole time, despite warm wetsuits. I was given hot chocolate and warm water on the boat when I had had enough. I was one of few guest that actually felt cold tho. The seals were very playful,nibbled on my wetsuit and came right up in my face. I did feel a bit unsure at first, since there were loads of baby seals around that also came up real close followed by adult seals and they all swam fast towards me. There were two guides present in the water the whole time and one of them assured me the seals were just being playful and would not bite hard. That calmed me down and I could just let the seals play and enjoy the experience fully! A must do!
5 star day out. The crew were informative and attentive. Breakfast and lunch was great. Felt safe at all times. But most of all the snorkelling was a amazing experience. Thanks for a great day
Other than one miserable staff member, the rest were the complete opposite. Very helpful. Exciting and positive atmosphere at their offices. Perhaps that lady just had an off day, but all the staff made sure we had fun and covered all the necessities for a safe and enjoyable experience. Highly recommended!
Incredible experience I will never forget, so many seals (including baby ones) playing all around you and coming so close! I was smiling and giggling to myself the whole time, my eyes so wide, like a child in a candy store. The staff was great, customer service impeccable. I want to go back again! Highly recommend!!! Thank you!!!
Really great fun. Great staff and amazing experience! I have also done shark diving in cape town and I think this experience could be better! Thank you for a great day!
It was so incredibly well organized. Lovely team of people. From reception to Skipper. Seals were a little shy, but we had some beautiful curious visitors. They come to within a metre. Water was icy but the equipment was 1st class. I would definitely do it again.
I have done two seal snorkeling trips with Animal Ocean now and absolutely loved them both from start to finish! All the Animal Ocean staff are incredibly professional, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and passionate about marine conservation. They go out of their way to ensure all their guests have an amazing experience, from the easy booking process, greeting you with a big smile when you arrive, through to helping you out on the boat and in the water, offering hot chocolate and warm water poured down your wetsuit after your snorkel to warm you up, and getting you into a hot shower once you get back. The experience of swimming with the beautiful, curious, playful Cape fur seals is absolutely incredible. I will never tire of watching their antics and seeing their gorgeous big, round eyes watching us from underwater. I have no doubt I will book another trip with Animal Ocean before I leave Cape Town, and any time I return. Thanks to the Animal Ocean team for giving me such amazing experiences that I can re-live over and over thanks to their underwater camera hire!
What an amazing experience guided by amazing people. Truly top-rated adventure with well trained guides and quality equipment. 10/10 would recommend.
Can't say enough good stuff about this trip. What a fantastic day out. Professional company, staff are fantastic, seals are amazing, scenery is spectacular. Honestly it would be worth it just for the scenery alone. Getting to snorkel with the seals is like a giant cherry on the top.
Really wonderful experience! Animal Ocean really do an amazing job of making sure that every step of the process, from getting into your wetsuits and the safety briefings, to the boat trip and assisting you in climbing back onto the boat is met with a smile and is a pleasant experience. Even the car guard was excellent! The diving itself was amazing too, but other businesses really could take a leaf out of this team's book for customer satisfaction!
Medium Cancellation Policy
The guest can cancel free of charge until 48 hours before arrival. The guest will be charged the total price if they cancel in the 48 hours days before arrival.
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The beauty of Table Mountain, Lions Head and the Atlantic Sea Board coastline from the comfort of our kayaks is unrivalled. Dolphins, seals, penguins, Sunfish and occasionally whales frequent our Cape Town.