The huge Cape Cross seals colony
In 1486, Diego Cao was the first European to set foot on the coast of Namibia, and he erected a cross in honour of John I of Portugal at the site now known as Cape Cross. In addition to be a place of historical interest, Cape Cross has a breeding colony of Cape Fur seals.
Cape Fur Seal is one of the three species of fur seals occurring in southern Africa, and they don’t migrate, as their movements are not of a seasonal nature. Seals are present at Cape Cross throughout the year, and the number fluctuates between 80.000 and 100.000 individuals. During the non-breeding season, adult males are infrequent visitors to the colony, but by October, they start arriving to form territories. The females weigh around 80 kg on average and are always smaller than the males. The males weigh around 190 kg, but at the beginning of the breeding season, due to the accumulation of food reserve in the form of blubber, they can reach 350 kg. Most of the pups are born around November or December. At birth, they weigh between 5 and 7 kg and have a thick black coat.
The mortality rate of seals at Cape Cross has been estimated at 27% of the total born. If you are crossing the Skeleton Coast, it’s a must to have a stop here to admire this incredible and huge colony. Just a tip… take with you a handkerchief because the smell is terrible!
Need to Know about Cape Cross
Cape Cross is 120km north from Swakopmund along the road that leads towards the Skeleton Coast.
Entrance fee: 80 N$ (around 6 $) plus 10 N$ per vehicle.
You can also pay with South African Rand, and the change is 1 to 1.