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Duiker Island

Duiker Island, off the coast of Hout Bay, is home to a plethora of Cape fur seals. Also known as Seal Island, but not to be confused with the one in False Bay  © Vaiz Ha, License

Duiker Island

Duiker Island

Just a short boat trip from one of Cape Towns favourite tourist spots, Hout Bay, will take you to a fascinating little Island call Duiker Island. Duiker Island is a 77 metre by 95 metre rocky island which is the resting ground for thousands of Cape fur seals and birds. Because of the enormous amounts of seals that enjoy sunbathing on it and swimming in the surrounding waters, the island is also known as Seal Island. However, this should not be mistaken for Seal Island in False Bay, the popular hunting grounds for the great white shark.

The boat trip out to the island gives visitors the opportunity to get close to these magnificent creatures. Although visitors don't go ashore on the island the trip around it allows for some great photo opportunities. The thousands of mostly male Cape Fur Seals wait out their time on the island until they reach breeding age and can join breeding colonies. The best time to see the island is from January to March when it has its highest occupation of seals. During this period they moult and spend most of their time sun bathing rather than in the water hunting.

The island is also home to various bird species, such as the Cape cormorant, bank cormorant, kelp gulls and Hartlaub's gull. These birds can also be seen during the boat trip from Hout Bay. For those who crave a little more adventure in their lives, you can also brave the chilly waters in a wetsuit and take a guided snorkelling trip or scuba dive amongst the seals and the giant kelp.

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