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Holidays in Namibia – Namibia and Cape Lobos

When you think of Africa and its amazing wildlife that almost inevitably evoke images of the plains endless antelope scattered huddled together under the deceptively disinterested gaze of the 'king of the beasts. "Then you may be surprised to know that Namibia is also home to more than half the world population of Cape Fur Seals. A population of approximately 1 million of these intelligent creatures and gentle grace of the cold Atlantic coast of this desert-dominated country.

Can be found almost anywhere along the coastline of 1,200 kilometers, but mainly in the colonies are dotted up and down the coast. The largest of these is the famous Cape Cross seal colony, where December breading season can be seen in populations more than 100,000! Packed into the small beach filled with the cries of a noisy crowd of barking and mothers and lost puppies constant noise from the ocean for attention, this makes for a memorable – if smelly – stop. Females grow to 90 kg and have a life expectancy of 20 years, while males before weight gain in breading, increasing to a maximum of 350 kg immense.

Once on the ground the males often do not eat for up to 3 months, as they use stored energy reserves to defend their harem of females against male imposters offenders. The energy required to survive this requires them to eat fast up to 14% of their body weight per day in the period before the breeding season. This results in an estimated total consumption of 900,000 tonnes per year, is 300,000 tons more than the fishing quota in Namibia throughout the year.

This inevitably puts man against the annual slaughter animals still being a highly controversial subject. Research indicates that while only half of the diet is composed of commercially viable fish stamps and food has little or no effect on bottom-feeding fish stocks. However, the Government of Namibia has awarded this year a quota of 86,000 seals to be killed, most of the pups and the rest is bulls being killed by their genitals that are sold in the Far East as an aphrodisiac.

Last week my family and me got to the coast to spend some time learning more about these fascinating creatures. Our base was the resort town of Swakopmund, staying in the comfortable and Sea Breeze Guest House welcoming, but the real basis for displaying the seal is the port city of Walvis Bay, located 30 km south of Swakopmund. In addition to being principal Namibia's deep water port, Walvis also offers a host of leisure activities based on the catamaran boat very popular sea kayaking.

We chose to travel Mola Mola with Coastal Safaris, one of the oldest operators and most reputable on the coast.

We left the yacht club at nine of three and a half-hour in search of seals and dolphins would not be disappointed. Just were far side of the pier we saw an old friend of Wally, our captain and guide experienced much the day. Output seal jumped aboard our shiny new motor launch with the ease of an acrobat, and with the help of a bribe of sardines leave Wally speak to us through layers of waterproof skin, whiskers and fins powerful.

Our boat was soon joined by a school of dolphins Heavyside, indigenous to the coast West Africa and he jumped and ran our boat, fighting for space under the bow. We were also lucky to see a group of bottlenose dolphins, which also were enough to mount a spectacular display of speed and athletic prowess. Pelicans flew over the boat, eager to catch a fish on the wing of Wally outstretched hand, gulls and cormorants circled blatant settled on the boat, waiting patiently for breakfast. All this has been felt more power hungry as well, so right on the tail of fresh oysters, appetizers and champagne were served, so for the perfect end to the perfect boat trip!

About the Author

For Namibia self-drive tours go to www.infotour-africa.com or email infotour@iafrica.com.na Tel. ++264 61 228 717

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