Play behavior


One of the most positive and emotional dives you can experience is diving with cape fur seals near Cape Point, South Africa.

You can meet seals in harbour and everywhere near the shore,  but there are several places where you can find them with a guarantee. Ten minutes boat drive from Simon’s town will bring you to the rocks, where seals live, play and relax. Seals have a strong fish smell, so they don’t seem to be very cute from surface. When you enter the water, seals start approaching you. It’s hard to define is it adult females or young males.


Underwater seals behave quite the same as dog pups – they play, swim around divers, scratching their ears while hovering in the water. After a while they become bolder, come closer and closer, start to bite gopro, strobes and even fingers. It’s a perfect example of play behavior which you can observe in wild animals. It’s definitely the same as dog pups do, so I think the seals we meet were mostly young males. Adult males are large and aggressive, it would not be so easy and fun to dive with them, but didn’t shown any interest in us and stayed on the rocks.


Sometimes seals bite diver’s hood and start to pull it. At first it looks a bit dangerous, like you gonna be eaten right now and right here. But then you realise that it’s harmless play behavior, not the aggressive one. So when you will see another breaking news about horrible and aggressive seals attack divers, do not believe it. They just like you, so they bite your head!


Facts about cape fur seals: They live both in Cape and southern Australia, such population division is not very likely for seals. Also, they both feed on sharks (small inshore sharks and pelagic blue sharks) and being shark’s food (great white shark).


Meeting seals underwater brings a lot of positive emotions. Their playful, interactive and kind behavior is something unforgetable. Fairly speaking, I love seals more and more. My next plans include walruses, elephant seals, steller sea lions and leopard seals… Don’t think ill of me!