Ideally located in the epic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, The Two Oceans Aquarium is a gigantic display of aquatic life from both the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans. The incredible diversity from both oceans is exquisitely presented in state of the art tanks that range from small to insanely huge whilst still keeping the feel of being under the sea intact. There are also phenomenal opportunities to get up close and personal with many of the creatures from under the deep blue.
The incredible exhibits on offer at the Two Oceans Aquarium are as follows:
- The I&J Predator Exhibit: The exhibit is showcased in an excessively impressive 2 milion litre tank which includes large shoals of yellowtail, garrick, black musselcracker and giant kob. There is a huge semi-tunnel which allows one to have a closer look at the sharks, the rays, a big loggerhead turtle and the fish mentioned above. One of the most magical experiences is standing in the semi-tunnel and catching a sight of one of the rays glide above you. Well worth visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium simply to experience that.
- The Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Ehibit: It’s a calming spiritually overwhelming experience to view this exhibit. Within the exhibit are three species of kelp that have been allowed to grow and they tower high above you swaying in the currents so majestically keeping the visitors mesmerised and almost hypnotised by the peaceful magnitude that the swaying kelp provides. The tank contains 800 000 litres of sea water housed in a 12m x 12m x 6m deep tank which is made from 180mm thick acrylic.The 800 000 litres of sea water is filtered every two hours. This magnificent display of the ocean also contains many species of fish, abalone, sea urchins and rock lobsters.
- The Penguin Exhibit: Amazingly this exhibit accurately represents a pristine river from its origin high up in the mountains all the way to its mouth. It is The Two Oceans Aquarium finds this exhibit one of its proudest most intensely inspiring displays of nature. Boasting a ten year old milkwood forest as well as a breeding colony of what once were called the Jackass Penguins, now the African penguins, Rockhopper Penguins and African Black Oystercatchers plus a large selection of freshwater fish which are both alien and indiginous to the Western Cape Rivers. There is also a quaint bird hide with adequate seating for people to relax and watch out over the rockhopper rookery.
- Indian Ocean Gallery: Displaying a mammoth of vibrant tropical species from the Indian Ocean. Each tank contains extensive information on the creatures contained therein, for example the mimic blenny imitates the blue cleaner wrasse but has a nasty turn on the unexpecting fish waiting for a clean, instead of cleaning them the mimic blenny tears flesh from them. There are also all the great reasons explained for the vast amount of colours found between the fish in the Indian Ocean. There is also an incredible show of corals, which against common belief, corals are not plants or rocks, they are actually colonies of small animals which are called polyps that incredibly live closely together with minute single-celled plants known as zooxanthellae. These single-celled plants live in a symbiotic relationship with the corals, feeding the corals and in turn being fed. Sadly, most of the worlds reefs are under threat from human activities,all these are explained within The Two Oceans Aquarium.
- Atlantic Ocean Gallery: Contained in the Atlantic Ocean Gallery is the magical creature who sadly is endangered, the Knysna Seahorse, there is also the creepy alien like Giant Spider Crab, as well as translucent jellies, the well known Common Octopus, and the most delightful cryptic fish playing hide and seek.
- Touch Pool and Microscope Exhibits: An experience that always finds visitors staying for a little while longer, thanks to the amazing opportunities one gets to see the marine life under the microscopes as well as being able to feed and touch kelp, starfish anenomes and some hermit crabs.
- Smart Living Challenge Zone: This is where humans can view the intense impact that they have on the environment around them on first grade installations. Perhaps this Smart Living Challenge Zone hopes that people will change their ways for the better of both humanity, mother earth and the creatures around them. The Smart Living Challenge Zone consists of four different exhibits:
- Biodiversity Exhibit: This exhibit is a wonderful way for visitors to see their impact on the environment both positive and negative, the negative issues that are addressed range from planting of invasive species, illegal dumping and throwing of burning cigarettes into the environment. The positive attributes include buying organic food, trying not to hit frogs and toads on the roads, and composting.
- Energy Exhibit: This 3D cityscape allows visitors to learn about the different types of power generation through different scenarios being projected onto the 3D cityscape. The types of power generation include solar, wind, coal, hydroelectric and nuclear. The 3D cityscape also allows visitors to make decisions on cooking, heating and lighting through exciting ways which includes loadshedding.
- Waste Exhibit: Encouraging visitors to reevaluate their shopping choices that contribute to waste which ends up in landfill. There are some household items that visitors can scan and decide to make better choices on their future shopping expeditions.
- Water Touch Screen: Requiring multiple visitors to act as a team, questions are then posed in order to stop leaking pipes and taps that are represented in an animated plumbing system. Its interactive learning at its best and promotes great fun for everyone.
- AfriSam Children’s Play Centre: With three puppet shows a day, children are entertained with arts and crafts that range between marine mobiles, fridge magnets and glitter cards all made from recycled materials.All this entertainment for the little ones provide an important message teaching them about the environment.
The Two Oceans Aquarium has the first restaurant in Africa to obtain MSC certification. The restaurant allows for a fantastic view of both the sea and the beautiful Table Mountain. The Shoreline Café allows patrons to take part in their green initiatives which allow for a reduced negative impact on the environment including biodegradable straws, converting used cooking oil into biodesel and soap, there are also two worm farms which is just a few of the current initiatives that the restaurant have on offer. Besides that all seafood served is fresh and fabulously delicious whilst also being cost effective. There is also a grand play centre for the little ones to entertain themselves.
If you are 18 years or older you may apply to become a volunteer or as The Two Oceans Aquarium prefers to call them, Ocean Ambassadors. This allows you to be immersed in a fascinating underwater world that reaches far beyond your immagination. There is conservation work available, as well as being able to support The Two Oceans Aquarium in much appreciated donations if time is not available to you. You are also welcome to go and dive with in some of the tanks if you are a professional diver, view fishing times and view this incredible moment with the marine life. Overall The Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the most incredible places in Cape Town, there are so many amazing wonders within the walls of The Two Oceans Aquarium that it requires more than one visit for a full day, and there are yearly cards available for this very reason. The next time youre in Cape Town do not miss the most incredible Aquarium in all of the Southern Hemisphere.