Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of the Two Oceans Aquarium where the oceans come alive in magnificent colours and a variety of shapes and sizes. The Aquarium provides a glimpse below the surface of the oceans that surround the South African coastline and introduces visitors to the fish and other animals that call these waters their home. This all-weather venue is an ideal destination for families to enjoy and young and old will have the opportunity to explore below the waterline and discover a world hidden from many.
The Aquarium’s motto is “changes with the tides” and there have been plenty of changes in the last month or so. The large ragged-tooth sharks have been released back into the ocean (there are still juvenile ragged-tooths on display) and the I&J Predator Exhibit has closed for renovations. But there are two brand new spectacular exhibits which visitors definitely wouldn’t want to miss.
The newly opened I&J Ocean Exhibit, which holds 1,6 million litres of water and boasts a nine metre viewing window as well as a 10 metre long full tunnel – the first of its kind in South Africa – affords visitors the opportunity to get really up close to the animals in the exhibit. Some of the residents of this exhibit include the beautiful black musselcracker, a guitarfish, a number of spotted grunter as well as kob and yellowbelly rockcods. Yellowfin tuna and striped bonito are also on display for the first time in the Aquarium’s 21 years of existence. Yoshi, the Aquarium’s legendary loggerhead turtle now resides in this exhibit and has been joined by Bob and Frankie, two green turtles. The I&J Ocean Exhibit features a beverage area where you can relax and grab a bite to eat and drink while watching the fish swim by. Daily feeds take place in this exhibit at 12pm (hand-feeding by a diver) and at 2pm (drop feed).
The Two Oceans Aquarium affords qualified divers the opportunity to dive in the I&J Ocean Exhibit. Not qualified? Not a problem. The Aquarium now also boasts a dive training pool. Visitors who would like to dive in the I&J Ocean Exhibit are able to do a short course in the morning, spend some time practicing in the dive pool, and then dive in the I&J Ocean Exhibit by the afternoon.
(For more information or to book a dive, visit www.aquarium.co.za; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Jelly Gallery forms the entrance to the I&J Ocean Exhibit and houses various jelly species in a novel and mesmerising way. Discover the magic of jellies and watch elegant moon, box and blue blubber jellies as they pulsate through the water. The beauty of these animals is heightened through the use of special effects, such as lighting and mirrors, in the Gallery. Be sure to have a look through the peepholes to spot the different life stages of these intriguing animals, and keep in mind that some jellies never die.
Visit the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit before it closes for renovations. This exhibit, the only one of its kind in Africa, houses South Africa’s national fish – the galjoen – as well as red stumpnose and white steenbras. Visitors are always mesmerised by the gentle hypnotic sway of the tall kelp plants and the play of dappled sunlight on silver fishes.
As always there is plenty to entertain the small fry – from puppet shows and arts and crafts, to the Nemo Exhibit and the new Jelly Babies photo opportunity next to the entrance of the Jelly Gallery.
Don’t miss ‘Cape Town’s Underwater Wilderness’, an underwater photography exhibition featuring spectacular images. Bringing together nine award-winning photographers and showcasing 90 photos, the exhibition not only shows the beauty found below the waves of the Western Cape shores, but also aims to promote diving opportunities around Cape Town.
Meet the charming African and rockhopper penguins in the Penguin Exhibit. These quirky birds are some of the most popular animals in the Aquarium. Penguin encounters afford visitors the opportunity to get up close with the adorable rockhopper penguins – two people at a time can join the bird trainer for an informative, fun and exhilarating face-to-face encounter with our feathered friends.
Members of the Aquarium can visit the fish as often as they wish for an entire year. Joining the Solemates membership programme also provides members with special discounts at the Aquarium Shop, as well as discounted offers on venue hire and diving. Throughout the year, members are treated to exclusive members’ events such as sleepovers, breakfast with the Curator, and special previews of new exhibits in the Aquarium.
The Two Oceans Aquarium has nappy changing facilities where both Mom and Dad can see to the needs of their little ones. The Aquarium has a limited number of prams and wheelchairs available. Should you require a wheelchair, please be sure to book one with the Aquarium’s Visitor Services Desk on 021 418 3823.
(subject to change without notice)
Feeding time in the I&J Ocean Exhibit, daily at 12pm (by divers) and 2pm (general feed) is a spectacular sight and visitors are able to see Aquarium divers hand-feeding the fishes, rays and turtles. The penguins are fed twice daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm. For correct times, call Visitor Services on telephone 021 418 3823.
The Two Oceans Aquarium is a place where families can spend their time exploring, discovering, having fun and enriching their knowledge base. Young and old are catered for from the highly informative signage at the exhibits, to interactive and entertaining activities and areas for the little ones.
Truly, an attraction for all seasons and ages.
* The Two Oceans Aquarium is open from 9.30am to 6pm every day and is located on Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
The Aquarium can be contacted on 021 418 3823; or visit the website at www.aquarium.co.za to learn more about the Aquarium or to plan you visit.