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During our last trip to Africa we had the chance to go kayaking with seals in Namibia. It was a foggy and chilly morning but we didn’t care too much. We had been waiting for this moment for months.

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 us.

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.

We stayed with 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, we had no time left. Hal dipped a toe in the frigid water and said. “Yeah,  maybe next time we’ll bring dry-suits.”

To swim with the seals. A perfectly acceptable excuse to come back to Namibia.

 

Curious seals approach the kayak

Curious seals approach the kayak