Celebrate South African culture and history and make the most out of this annual holiday
Discover a unique Two Oceans Aquarium in the Waterfront
15 reasons you’ll have oceans of fun at this underwater wonderland
Whether you’re a small fry or a big fish, an escape into the enchanting world of the Two Oceans Aquarium is bound to be an unforgettable experience.
With more than 3000 creatures and 88 species on show, the aquatic entertainment land gives both adults and little ones the chance to come face-to-face with predators of the deep, fish as multi-coloured as the most vibrant rainbow, crabs the size of toddlers and feathered friends so lovable they don’t mind a soft pat on the head.
Not to mention, this year the Two Oceans Aquarium received the 2015 Traveller’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor. This is the second year the aquarium has received this accolade once again proving itself worthy of global recognition, both thanks to its breathtaking exhibits and its commitment to educating visitors about the marine environments on South Africa’s doorstep.
And if you’re still not convinced this V&A Waterfront wonderland is worth a visit, here are 15 reasons to dive under the sea. Also, don’t forget, the Two Oceans Aquarium is open 365 days a year, and if you become a member, you get free entrance into the venue for 12 months!
15 REASONS TO VISIT THE TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM AT THE V&A WATERFRONT
1. Explore the vibrant and colourful Atlantic and Indian oceans without ever having to get wet! This is your chance to venture under the sea, no scuba diving certification or snorkel skills necessary.
2. See species that can’t be found in any other aquarium. For example, the strange, serpentine and somewhat grotesque hagfish – it produces up to 5L of slime when it gets scared – is an ancient fish without jaws, eyes, fins or scales that can only be viewed at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
3. Touch and feel an assortment of marine creatures. Affording visitors an up-close-and-personal, hands-on experience, the Two Oceans Aquarium’s interactive touch pool lets both adults and little ones handle kelp, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs.
4. Bask in the glory of the stunning I&J Exhibit. As the first display of its kind in South Africa to feature a 10-metre tunnel, the I&J Exhibit is undoubtedly a must-visit. What's more, the venue's main viewing window is a continuous 9-metre wide panel that allows visitors to watch a magnificent turtle and elegant rays amongst other ocean dwellers in over 1.6 million litres of seawater!
5.Experience an other-worldly Jelly Gallery. This exhibition sees the likes of Moon and Box jellyfish being displayed with a glow-in-the-dark effect. It truly gives visitors an alien-like, deep sea experience.
6. See species completely unique to our local coastline. The proudly South African galjoen may not be the prettiest fish in the sea, but it only makes its home near our shores, so we love it, nonetheless.
7. Wonder at one of the only living kelp forests in the world. By far one of the most breathtaking exhibits at the Two Oceans Aquarium, the tranquil kelp forest features countless fish swimming around sea bamboo as tall as trees. This is like watching the underwater world in the wild.
8. Watch the animals get fed. No matter which day you visit, a feeding will be scheduled. Both the African and rockhopper penguins eat for an audience every day, and the beautiful creatures in the I&J Exhibit tuck in daily at 12pm and 2pm. Consult the Two Oceans Aquarium’s website for specifics.
9. Meet three cute rockies face-to-face. Those who want to connect with the Two Oceans Aquarium’s rockhopper penguins (the birds with the crazy yellow rock ‘n’ roll hairdos named Roxy, Hopper and Bubbles) can book a penguin encounter, which is an informative, fun and exhilarating meeting with the feathered friends under the guidance of the venue’s bird trainer. Do note, this experience comes at an extra cost and no more than two people can join the trainer at a time.
10. Dive with creatures of the deep. If you have a Discover Scuba qualification (or higher) you can scuba dive the loggerhead turtle and the yellowfin tuna (no cage required)! Advanced divers can also dive in the kelp forest exhibition. This also comes at an extra cost, and booking is required.
11. Support an aquarium that rehabilitates creatures. Many of the Two Oceans Aquarium’s ambassadors are animals that were rescued and can either no longer live in the wild due to their injuries or need time to recuperate. For instance, Teddy the toad, who was found with a broken jaw after being hit by a car, now lives a good life at the Waterfront centre; similarly, the aquarium has released rehabilitated loggerhead turtles back into the wild every year since 2009.
12. A new restaurant will be opening soon. While the popular spot's Shoreline Café officially closed its doors in early 2016, visitors can look forward to a new eatery called Vista Marina, which will be opening in spring 2016. More details coming soon.
13. Rain, shine or public holiday, the Two Oceans Aquarium is always open! Whether it’s pouring outside or Christmas day, the V&A Waterfront’s marine world awaits eager visitors. More specifically, the entertainment centre is open 365 days a year from 9:30am until 6pm.
14. Educate yourself so you can be better to our Earth. While the aquarium is all about fun and entertainment, it’s also devoted to educating visitors. Take time to learn the story behind many of the creatures’ existences and develop a greater appreciation for their fragile lives.
15. Be part of a body that puts conservation first. By visiting the aquarium, you’re supporting the staff’s efforts to free seals entangled in litter, assist injured or stranded sunfish, rehabilitate turtles and conduct research on harmful fish parasites and other health problems affecting aquatic animals.
Where: Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town
Opening Times: 9:30am - 6pm | 365 days a year
Read more about Hosting a Year End Function at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Also, if you're interested in learning more about celebrated landmarks in the Mother City, be sure to check out 15 Things You Didn't Know About Table Mountain.
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