HOUT BAY & SEAL IS­LAND

Business Traveler (USA) - - HEALTH AND WELLNESS -

To my de­light, it was Sha­heed him­self who met me in the ho­tel park­ing lot and out­lined our itin­er­ary for the day. Our first stop was the quaint coastal vil­lage of Hout Bay. To get a feel for the his­tory of the area, the Hout Bay Mu­seum has ex­hibits on the early strand­lop­ers (hunter gath­er­ers) who lived in the Cape when the first Eu­ro­peans ar­rived, as well as mem­o­ra­bilia re­lat­ing to the early fish­ing in­dus­try. Af­ter­wards, there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to stock up on lo­cally made crafts, ei­ther at the Hout Bay Craft Mar­ket, or down on the docks where en­ter­pris­ing mer­chants spread out an end­less ar­ray of trin­kets for the tourists.

From here we em­barked on the 20-minute voy­age to Duiker Is­land, also known as Seal Is­land. Sev­eral cruise com­pa­nies ply th­ese wa­ters at a cost of about R70 ($8). The ride af­fords great views of the bay and the an­tics of the large colony of South African fur seals that give the is­land its nick­name. We were cau­tioned, how­ever, not to con­fuse this seal en­clave with the larger Seal Is­land in False Bay. It’s 10 miles off­shore, so the trip would have taken all day, plus great white sharks have been known to hang out there – so this less ad­ven­tur­ous ex­cur­sion sounded about right to us. Visit capetown.travel.

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