Sunday 20th December, I joined a group of about 15 people to meet Wolfgang Steinbach who led a walk to the Rooiels community of South African Cape Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus).
It is not a breeding colony, but the seals are there year-round, numbering between 30 and about 200, all part of the population of 5-700,000 in South Africa. They feed up to 180km offshore on pelagic schooling fish (particularly sardines, anchovies, bearded gobies, mackerel and demersal hake), cephalopods (particularly the Loligo species) and crustaceans. Their diet also includes the occasional Cape gannet, Cape cormorant or African penguin. The seals are preyed on by sharks and Orcas (killer whales). There have been several sightings of these whales in False Bay and Wolfgang thinks this may account for the recent significant drop in the population on Roman Rocks in Rooiels.
We gathered on Perspicua Drive, with Klein Hangklip looming large above us, and took a short walk along the rocky ridge leading to the point known as Roman Rock - about 300 meters.
Some careful clambering over the rocks was necessary as we approached the point, and this is a trip definitely to be taken at low tide only.
The views along the way were spectacular
From this point we were able to view Roman Rock and its occupants as you see above.