Cape Fur Seal | Marine Life | Wild Safari Guide

Meet the playful cape fur seal

Cape Fur Seal

The playful demeanour of the Cape fur seal has given way to the nickname ‘dog of the ocean’. And one that is able to dive as deep as up to 200 metres for a period of around seven minutes. Experts at fishing, these animals are also fond of squid, crab, and sometimes birds. One individual was also spotted killing a handful of blue sharks near Cape Point in South Africa. It was most likely after their livers and the fish in their stomachs.

When on land, where they breed, Cape fur seals prefer boulder beaches and rocky islands. This is where they are most at risk of attacks by land-based predators such as brown hyenas and black-backed jackals. In the water, they fear the great white shark and killer whales. The curious and playful nature of the animal in the water, on occasion, leads to interaction with humans, especially divers. They are more fearsome on land and tend to go into fight mode when approached.

The large population size of the Cape fur seal (in excess of 10,000 animals) has led to the classification of ‘Least Concern’.

More marine life

The Southern right whale got its name centuries ago as it was regarded as the ‘right’ whale to take down by whale hunters. It has since escaped the spears and guns and calls large parts of the oceans in the Southern hemisphere home.

Bottlenose dolphins thrive in the waters of both the Atlantic and Indian oceans along the African coastline. This species is the most abundant of all oceanic dolphins and it’s only the icy conditions of the Arctic and Antarctic regions that they avoid.

As the apex predator of the underwater world, the great white shark is a fearsome and at the same time enigmatic animal. With virtually no natural predators, the species rules supreme in the coastal surface waters of Africa.

Confined to the waters of southern Africa, the streamlined body of this flightless bird is ideally suited to its marine habitat. The donkey-like loud noises it makes has also given it the nickname of the jackass penguin.

Popular destinations Across Africa

The cold waters of the Namib coast in Namibia are home to a wealth marine life. Visitors to this part of Africa stand the chance of spotting dolphins, whales, seals, and turtles. 


For an incredible experience, very few places on earth compare to diving off the beaches of Marsa Alam in Egypt. About 5,000 dolphins call the seas home.

Kenya  has several impressive marine parks along its coast. The parks are home to diverse marine life and offer excellent diving experiences for beginners and experts.

Mozambique has long been a tourist destination. And for those looking to experience the water, the marine life is rich and diverse, and home to bottlenose dolphins.

South Africa attracts local and international tourists to its beautiful coastlines. The West Coast is home to ocean dwellers such as the African penguin and the Cape fur seal.

The 'dog of the sea'