Jul 8 - 2019 | Posted by chris

Seal Island (Duiker Island) Hout Bay

Seal Island (Duiker Island) Hout Bay

Cape Cormorant (Duiker) at Duiker Island Hout Bay. Pic by Wendy Moulder

Duiker Island was once covered in Cape Cormorants, which in Afrikaans are called Duikers.  That is where the island originally got its name from.  Today when you visit the island you will see lots of bird life, but the main inhabitant of this island is now the Cape Fur Seal.  Hout Bay’s Duiker Island has an endemic population of thousands of seals.  Watching them perched and sunbathing on the island is a sight to behold.   In the water around the island there is also lots of activity, with playful seals swimming and eating. 

Thousands of Seals basking in the sun

Male seals are much bigger than the females.  They have a thick layer of blubber under two coats of skin – hence the name Fur Seals- they have a thick outer layer and a thin inner layer of fur.  This also means they can withstand the cold Atlantic Ocean temperatures. 

Seal Island fun. Pic by Nici Mamacos

Access to the Island is easy by Boat Ride from Hout Bay Harbour.  We offer boat trips to Seal Island aboard our vessel, CAWSAW.  Some of the interesting things we have seen recently is that there is an elephant seal that visits every year during mating season.  We’ve seen a pair of African Black Oystercatchers, who are very at home on the island. 

Heading to Seal Island from Hout Bay Harbour