Cruise trip to the Seal island.

Elsie Gabriel.

Cape Town is blessed with abundant marine life. Sharks, dolphins, Whales and seals swim off the Cape Town coastline very often and it is truly nature’s spectacular offering.

Cruise trip to the Seal island.All pics copyright Elsie Gabriel

I enjoyed the rough sea’s and had the experience of a lifetime on this cruise trip to Seal Island located only 8 nautical miles from Simon’s Town harbour in False Bay which takes about half an hour to reach actually. Seal Island is home to 75,000 Cape Fur Seals and the hunting ground for the Great White Shark. Only 40 minutes from Cape Town Centre. One can not actually get off and visit the island as it is protected.

Seal Island, also known as Duiker Island, is an island off the coast of Hout Bay in Cape Town. Providing a sanctuary for Cape Fur seals, the island is also inhabited by many water birds, including Kelp Gulls, Pelicans,Cape and Bank Cormorants and Hartlaub Gulls.

Watching these seals bask on the rocks in the warm waters of the Atlantic is a sight I will always keep close to my heart.

Although next time I will pluck up the courage to go deep sea cage diving to see the Great White sharks.


I visited in summer but if you plan well, choose the winter months where you will see the birthing of thousands of baby seals. And during these cold winter days you may also get to see the Great White sharks how off their aquatic tactics and it’s the best sight in the world for a nature lover.

I unfortunately did not get to see any whales or sharks but was in awe of the huge granite island filled with thousands of seals. They have a good safe habitat now and are said to be multiplying well.



The only evidence of humans ever reaching the island, is a fallen World War II radio mast, and the remains of huts that were built in the era of guano collecting and sealing.

But on the contrary due to the increased number in the seal population, the island has become an attraction for Great White Sharks. So now the great White sharks hound the island and hover around it.

Seal Island is a nature reserve and falls under the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board.


You will always find some sort of marine activity around the islands so which ever month you choose, the guide will explain how the season is valuable.

I strongly advise you get a strong sun hat which gets well fastened to your neck, the ocean is so rough that it may just fly off. You must carry sun block, a warm jacket, and don’t forget your camera. The cruise boats aren’t that huge so hold on tight and look after your kids and companions if any. Book in advance and be there on time because the boats are very punctual.

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