Imagine a dog; A very energetic, playful dog. Now, give that dog the ability to hold its breath and swim, the ability to be able to turn its neck around like a parrot. What you now have is a seal! Seal snorkelling is the chance to see something truly astonishing! At times, there can be hundreds of seals around you in the water, putting up a dazzling display of animal movement.
There are a couple of colonies around Cape Town. We go where the ocean conditions are best on the day, and the seals -who are very curious- come out to play. Seals come up to breath on the surface, which means there is a lot to see when you snorkel! The water is also not so deep here, so even when they dive down you can still see them under the water. Seals undergo an almost unbelievable transformation when they leave the land and go into the sea.
On land, they are slow and grumpy, but the minute they are in the water, they become these acrobatic balls of energy! They can swim incredibly fast, and they love to make loops, jump in the air, and play around.
They are also very interactive. Most animals in the ocean will notice you, but not really interact with you. The seals couldn’t be more different! They are so curious and cute… they come with their big puppy eyes and look you straight in the face, blow bubbles, and sometimes even bark at you under the water! We’ve even had them play with a piece of kelp floating around, the same way a dog plays with a stick.
Seal snorkelling is one of those activities that surprisingly few people know about, but is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have!
Seal snorkeling happens from the boat. There are a couple of specific sites where we snorkel with the seals. Not all of colonies are good for snorkeling, so we'll take you to the ones where the water is calmer, and where we normally see more seals. Our guides are equipped with a special floating snorkeling buoy, which warns boat traffic not to come to close to you whilst you're in the water.
We start the day at Into the Blue’s shop in Sea Point, Cape Town, where we select wetsuits that fit you. From here, we go on a short ride to the launch site for the boat. Our seal snorkel sites are season specific, so chances are that in summer the road trip is shorter (about 20 mins), while in winter it’s a bit further (around 1 hour).
After arrival at the snorkel site, your PADI certified divemaster will be doing a snorkel briefing with you. Here you will run over snorkel techniques (if you are unfamiliar with it), and also help you to get into your wetsuits. The boat ride - which is a thrill in itself - takes about 10 – 25 minutes, depending on our snorkel site of the day. The seal snorkeling part of the excursion is approximately 1 hour, which allows you ample time to watch the seals at play!
After getting out of the water, we take the boat back to the harbour. Here you change back into your normal clothes, and then we drop you off at your hotel.