The Cape Fur Seals of Cape Cross
The moment you hit the Skeleton Coast (part of the Atlantic coast down from Angola) you feel the change in temperature. I’m talking about going from wearing shorts and a sleeveless top and feeling hot, to trying to find your ski jacket – it was icy cold.
However, the moment you hit Cape Cross, it’s not the temperature that affects you, it’s the smell. It stinks of seal poo. Personally I got over that pretty quickly, but most other people on my tour didn’t.
Cape Cross holds a cross erected by the first European settler Diego Cao in honour of John I of Portugal in 1486. This area of Cape Cross is home to 80,000-100,000 cape fur seals at any given time. We hit it just as the seal pups were being born so it was a mix of little baby pups both alive and dead. The mortality rate of the pups is about 27%, but those that live have a striking black coat and squeal like little lambs.
I absolutely loved the visit to Cape Cross. I’d never seen seals before and thought they were so cute. They are unique to other seals with their external ears. I didn’t realise we visited this part of Namibia, so it was an incredible surprise that made me so happy. I was the last one back to the truck and I don’t think anyone could understand why I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I couldn’t understand why so many people didn’t really like it there!