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Urban wildlife

Cape Town’s 5 million human inhabitants live right alongside an incredibly diverse urban wildlife population that includes flamingos, Cape fur seals, Chacma baboons and many more exotic species. The city waters host whales, including the humpback and the southern right whale, so whale-watching is a popular activity for locals. South Africa even has its own national animal, the graceful looking South African antelope, the springbok.

Here is just a small selection of the diverse wildlife in and around Cape Town:


Penguins at Boulders Beach – African penguin colony
Situated between Simon’s Town and Cape Point lies Boulders Beach, this is where rare African penguins may be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment.


Watch Cape fur seals frolic
Cape fur seals like to frolic in the waters around Cape Town, and although they may appear to be playful and friendly, please beware as they’re pretty powerful animals and males can weigh up to 300kg. They eat mostly fish, squid, and crabs and are preyed upon by large predators like sharks and orcas. You’ll find them on the Kalk Bay and Hout Bay harbours and on the V&A Waterfront. If you want to meet them up close you can go seal diving in Houtbay.


Flamingo flocks
The flamingo flocks that frequent Cape Town waters are mostly of the ‘greater flamingo’ species, that grow between 130-160 cm tall. Although they breed further north up the country, they flock to Cape Town for the great weather, very much like the people. The gracious birds were once a rare sight, but these days large flocks of flamingos inhabit most of the waterways of Cape Town. Spot them at Black River around Pinelands, Milnerton lagoon or in Kommetjie.