‘Explore’, ‘Experience’ and ‘Engage’ are the Two Ocean’s Aquarium’s touchpoints, and there are plenty of opportunities to do all three, for visitors. This isn’t an entertainment showcase for all things aquatic – it’s a working conservation environment where sea creatures are often brought in from the surrounding oceans for rehabilitation.
Probably the country’s premiere aquarium – though the team at uShaka Marine World in Durban would probably have something to say about that – the Two Oceans Aquarium’s focus is on immersive learning experiences, and there are plenty of chances to get up close and personal with the fish, birds and allsorts, without having to wonder about the ethics of the animals being taken advantage of for entertainment.
Apart from wandering the wondrous halls, glass tunnels and interesting displays, visitors can also enjoy feeding time, with sea turtles, rats and guitarfish getting hand-fed at noon in the massive I&J Ocean Exhibit, and the African penguins being fed individually – according to their unique dining preferences – at 11:30 and 14:30.
The ragged tooth sharks also get their weekly meal from divers on Sundays at 15:00. Qualified divers can swim with the sharks in the predator tank and the other large fish in the ocean exhibit – so not necessarily for the kids, but fun, nonetheless.
They would probably be perfectly happy diving head-first into a giant turtle shell (a great photo opp, and permanent display), racing between the luminous jellyfish tanks and gently handling shells, plants and animals in the Touch Pool.
Pack some snacks (there are plenty of pause areas), make time to sit in front of the giant windows at the Ocean and Predator exhibits to just marvel at the tank inhabitants circling and don’t miss the chance to buy a plush turtle or harmless-looking shark at the gift shop on your way out.
Book your tickets online to skip the long queues during the holiday season – not a terribly common feature amongst South African attractions!
Children under 4 access the Two Oceans Aquarium for free, with prices rising through age groups to R185 per adult.