We rolled in to Cape Cross, and paid the park fee of 80 Namibian dollars per foreign adult (€5/$8 CAD) and 10 Namibian dollars for the car. From the entry point, the seals were 1km away. We used that time to prep our kids, three and five years old, with what we knew from our online reading.
It was going to stink.
“So now that you know, there’s no reason to scream and make a scene.” My husband said to the children, but looked in my direction, raising an accusing eyebrow.
It was about 2:00 pm when we pulled in and the only other two people who were there were on their way out. We stopped the car and as I opened the door I had clearly already forgotten my husband’s pep talk.
“OH F#CK!!!!” I screamed, unable to retain any parental composure, throwing a hand over my nose and mouth. The smell hit me like a baseball bat to the face. Luckily, my ‘F-bomb’ went unnoticed because ‘seal’ in French is ‘phoque’, so the kids had already been dropping a lot of ‘Ph-bombs’ in the car while talking with their Dad.
Back outside in the stench, I quickly searched the vehicle for something to breath into for myself and the kids. I would have breathed into a stinky shoe at that point, but thankfully I had a scarf, and the kids each had a long sleeve shirt to use as a smell barrier. I can’t describe to you the odour that saturated the air from all those seals, simply because nothing that potent has ever crossed my nostrils before then.As we walked up and opened the gate we were overwhelmed by just how many seals there actually were. We expected a lot, but this was just crazy!
There were more seals at Cape Cross than there were people at Donald Trump’s inauguration. I’m not an estimator, but I’d say there were hundreds of thousands of seals. And they were loud! Between the smell and the sound, our kids, who were squealing in the backseat a few minutes earlier, were now momentarily paralyzed by the assault on the senses.
We walked the boardwalk, slightly in shock, as seals lined both sides and the underneath of our walking path.
The land and shoreline were difficult to make out under the literal blanket of seals. The first few meters of water was a moving blanket of baby seals. It was like being in some strange alternative universe…run by seals.Even with the gut-wrenching smell, I absolutely recommend you stop there if you’re in Namibia because it will be like nothing you’ve ever seen (or smelled) before!
Check out my little video below…