Steve – Founder

Steven Benjamin started Animal Ocean in 2009 as a way to keep himself on the ocean and experiencing the wonders beneath the waves. A degree in Zoology broadened his understanding of the natural world and the in-water skills he developed through spearfishing and photography set him in good stead to share the ocean with others. He has guided BBC and National Geographic photographers in South Africa and abroad as well as thousands of adventurous visitors to Cape Town. He pursues a passion for underwater photography and growing his understanding of South Africa’s diverse coastline. He is a happy and Friendly person and will share all his knowledge with a smile.

Kate – Manager

Kate Horne, is the backbone of Animal Ocean and the happy voice at the end of the line when you want to join us on the water. She loves the ocean and started Scuba Diving 7 years ago. This is when she got hooked on the Ocean and fell in love with the underwater world. She has been managing and scuba Diving every since and hasn’t looked back. She is the glue that keeps Animal Ocean together and running smoothly.

Lauren – Seal Snorkeling Guide

Lauren van Noort grew up in Cape Town but lived and studied in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape for 8 years. She completed her PADI Open Water scuba diving certification in the warmer waters of Port Elizabeth, and was hooked on her first breath underwater. She is now a PADI Divemaster as well as a Pure Apnea Level 2 Freediver, and spends as much time underwater as she can – either helping introduce others to the joys of the ocean environment or playing underwater herself!

Riaan – Seal Snorkeling Guide

Riaan van def Merwe grew up in the bush veld of Groot Marico, however he did most of his diving in the tropical waters of Mozambique and Kwa Zulu Natal. He got hooked on SCUBA diving for the first time in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since. He completed his SCUBA diving instructors in 2010. Being frequently surrounded by the natural beauty of the ocean sparked one of his great passions and got him started on the path to become an underwater videographer. He has worked and filmed on the sardine run and has also won the best video in the Sodwana Bay shootout. Apart from diving Riaan also works in Tourism, Film and Farming. When he’s not close to water he is not 100% complete or happy. He loves sharing his passion for the ocean with everyone and is a friendly welcoming person.

Rob – Skipper

Rob Caine, born and raised in Cape Town and on Sailing boats, has always had a passion for the ocean. He loves anything to do with the Ocean from Surfing, sailing to swimming with the Seals. He is an active member of the NSRI as a Coxswain in Kommetjie Cape Town. He is one of the friendly faces looking after you in the water.

Lara Caine – Seal Snorekling Guide (future Skipper)

Lara Caine was a born water lover, sailing from an early age and growing up on boats.
She is a member of the NSRI and aims to keep growing her knowledge and love for the Ocean.
Lara is currently a Seal Snorkeling guide at Animal Ocean, but strives to be one of the skippers very soon.
She is one of the helpful faces you will see first and have in the water to look after you while you swim with the adventurous Cape Fur Seals.