HOUT BAY & SEAL ISLAND
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.