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Cape Cross Fur Seals: Namibia

Nowadays, Cape Cross is well-known for its colony of Cape Fur Seals - the most easily accessible in Namibia. The 'cross' at Cape Cross is a replica of the one erected by Diego Cão in 1485, to mark his achievement in reaching such a southerly point of the western African coast.

Cape Cross is easily accessed by driving north from Swakopmund on the C34, then the D2301 past Henties Bay.
The Seal Colony is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day, and there is a small entrance charge.    More details.

There is a new Lodge nearby, which would be handy if you wanted to spend a whole day out here (take a wide-brimmed hat and lots of water!) There are between 200,000 and 340,000 seals (of the subspecies Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus) present at any time of the year, but the big 'beachmasters' (bull seals) come to stake out their territories and fight for the females in mid/late October. The pups are born in November/early December.

At any time of year it is an incredible sight. There is a short walk from the car park to the low wall which separates you from the seals. As you walk over, the smell and noise become stronger. The noise is a bit like sheep and lambs on steroids. The smell is, well, you have to experience it for yourself! There are many thousands of seals hauled out on the beach, just the other side of the low wall: sleeping, scratching, feeding young, squabbling. further away are thousands more in the ocean.

Cape Cross Seal Colony
Cape Fur seal The seals don't seem to notice their human observers, and just get on with their lives.
Lots of them are even dozing . . . Cape Fur Seal, dozing
Cape fur Seal, sratching its head with its flipper . . . or scratching . . .
. . . or yawning! Cape Fur Seal yawning
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