YES. You can swim with Seals (not the Navy kind) in Cape Town, South Africa. These gracious creatures are very playful, and they don’t hesitate to swim up close, say Hi or maybe do a high five (fin).
A Bit of Backstory:
In April 2019, my Fiancee (who also works remotely) had to go for a business trip to Cape Town. Since we all work in different places, our company flies the whole team to one place for a week, so we can get together and dose up on some in-person interaction. Since 3 of Maria’s teammates live in Cape Town, I was hoping that someday she would have to go there and finally they decided to do so.
Being shameless opportunists that we are, we jumped at the chance to spend some time in South Africa. Nature is fantastic here, people friendly and ocean cold. Real cold.
Maria was spending days with her coworkers, and I was working from the city’s amazing coffee shops and researching what could we do after her business was over.
During that research, I stumbled upon a Casey Neistat’s video where he went swimming with
This is the best stuff ever!
I know, right? Who does not want to swim with sea dogs?!
Since famous bloggers think alike, I went with the same company Casey did – the Animal Ocean.
They run an environmentally conscious operation, and they make sure the seals are fairly treated and allowed to unionize.
So here is roughly what happpens:
- You book your trip like 5 days in advance. They sell out fast
- You arrive on time to Houts Bay. We were scheduled at 11:30
- Park your car there, they are looking after it
- Sign paperwork, check out amazing shark socks
- You squeeze into wetsuit, you get a vest and one-piece suit with vest
- You put on wetsuit again since you confused the sides. ZIPPER AT THE FRONT!!
- You can rent a gopro if that’s your jam
- Leave all other stuff at their shop
- You go to the bay in a SealMobile!
- Ride in a speedboat to Duniker island
- Now you get gloves and masks
- You play with seals which is the best experience of your entire life
- After about 1 hour, you are so cold that you really want to go back on the boat (and life)
- They pour hot water inside your suit to make you less cold
- They give you hot chocolate – guess why .
- Speedboat and sealmobile back to the shop!
- You wear a cute seal hoodie while you get warm. Also probably a shower.
Want to know more about the seals?
These particular seals are known as “Cape Fur” seals. They hang out in Duniker island in Houts bay because:
- Island is not connected to the land, so humans are not bothering them too much
- There is plenty of food. They like Mantis Shrimp
- They ocean has good temperature
- Sharks (pretty common predator in South Africa) stay away from Houts Bay.