Fix your fins, grab a mask and get ready to go diving or snorkelling with Cape fur seals. If the weather conditions are right, prepare yourself for a memorable experience. Cape fur seals are great show-offs and may well treat you to a display of underwater acrobatics or surface sunbathing.

Did you know?

Partridge Point lies in the rich waters of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area.

Maybe you've dived or snorkelled in South African waters before and had amazing encounters with reef fish, technicoloured corals or even an octopus or two. Now try a totally new marine experience and go diving or snorkelling with Cape fur seals. You'll be amazed at how friendly and inquisitive these playful marine mammals are.

If you're below the surface you’ll dive down between 12m and 22m. The seals love to swim around you to investigate this odd human sea creature. Dazzling displays of aquabatics are common as the seals swirl, twist, turn and gyrate around you. You may even get a mock charge (they'll swerve away at the last moment), or a gentle bump or nudge signalling 'come and play!'

If you stay on the surface, you may find the Cape Fur seals cruising slowly along, or just lolling in the sunshine warming their flippers. If you're very quick and very lucky, you'll get some great photographs.

The place to go diving or snorkelling with Cape fur seals is Partridge Point, near Simon's Town on the Cape Peninsula, where great white shark guru and brilliant marine photographer Chris Fallows runs a dive and snorkel operation. There's a colony of over 100 seals here that have become accustomed to both divers and snorkellers.

If you want to visit much bigger colonies, then take a trip to Seal Island in False Bay or Duiker Island off the Sentinel in Hout Bay. You won't dive here but you'll see huge seal colonies numbering in the thousands at least.

A bonus at Partridge Point is the reef, which is home to wall sponges, featherstars, nudibranch, starfish and all sorts of crustaceans. Fallows' company, Apex Predators, provides your cylinder and weight belt and you can hire all the other gear you need.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Apex Predators
Tel: +27 (0) 21 786 5717
Cell: +27 (0) 79 051 8558

How to get here

By road drive south from Cape Town to Simon’s Town. Apex Predators is on Main Road in the Quayside Building. Alternatively, take a train. The scenic journey takes approximately an hour from Cape Town Station along the coast via Muizenberg to Simon’s Town.

Best time to visit

Cape fur seals can be seen all year round.

Around the area

Don't miss the African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach in Simon's Town.

What will it cost

Approximately R550 per person.

Length of stay

A diving or snorkelling expedition lasts approx. two to three hours.

What's happening

Simon's Town hosts the South African Navy Festival annually in March.

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