There are few animals in the world that play as energetically as young fur seals. One of the best ways to observe this entertaining spectacle is to paddle a kayak near a seal colony. Cristina and I took a paddling tour with Namibia Kayak Tours through the Cape Fur Seal colonies along Pelican Point near Walvis Bay in Namibia. The protected waters of the bay and the still, foggy morning made a perfect backdrop to our kayaking with seals tour in Namibia.
Our tour vehicle stopped at the beach on Pelican Point, a deserted and fog-immersed sandy peninsula. Not too far from us, the seal colony went on about their business. Just behind us, a curious but shy jackal pretended not to watch.
We hit the water and as soon as we got close to the colony, a handful of young cape fur seals surrounded our kayak. They swam by us and peeked above the water to get a better look at us, jumping gracefully into the air and diving under our kayak.
The closer we were to the colony, the more seals came out to see us. They were everywhere. In front of us, behind us, under us and to our sides. We were warned that some seals have landed on kayaks while showing off their jumps. We both hoped and feared that one might.
Kayaking with seals turned out to be exhilarating. You never know when one will jump out in front of you and splash you with a flipper. By using a GoPro, I managed to catch some of their antics both above and below the water.
We stayed at the colony for about three short hours. When it was over Hal asked if he was allowed to swim with them. “I don’t see why not. You can go now, but the water is pretty cold,” said the tour guide. You can swim with the seals? We hadn’t even thought of that! We were about to leave for South Africa and had no time left. Hal dipped a toe in the frigid water and said. “Yeah, maybe next time we’ll bring dry-suits.”
If you’ve ever dreamed of doing a seal kayak tour, we highly recommend you go kayaking with seals in Walvis Bay Namibia. Kayaking with seals was definitely one of the highlights of our African wildlife tour!
Zoologist and wildlife photographer. She has worked in the field with jackals, wolves, cheetahs, & leopards. She serves on the Board of Directors of SEE Turtles, a non-profit sea turtle conservation organization.