The Two Oceans Aquarium is a Cape Town hotspot, a favourite with locals and visitors alike thanks to its vivid and educational displays of marvellous life from beneath the waters of two immense oceans – the Indian and the Atlantic.

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Staff at the aquarium participate in monthly coastal clean-ups... and volunteers are welcome to join.

The southern tip of Africa is the meeting place of two mighty oceans – the Indian and Atlantic – and the Two Oceans Aquarium is perfectly placed to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life from both.

This Cape Town aquarium is among the top tourist attractions in the Mother City, and with over 8 000 specimens representing over 300 species in their care, it's not hard to understand why.

Most popular of all the displays is the magnificent I&J Predator Exhibit, the grand finale to a Two Oceans Aquarium visit. Here, in more than 2 million litres of seawater, large ragged-tooth sharks patrol the tank as graceful rays, loggerhead turtles and shoals of giant yellowtail flash by.

If you hold an open-water diving certificate – and are feeling particularly brave – there is also the option of getting into the exhibit. Shark sightings are guaranteed! Those of a less bold nature can dive and feed the fishes by hand in the more sedate Ocean Basket Kelp Forest exhibit.

While lacking in the visceral thrills of big marine predators, the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest exhibit is equally popular and is one of only three living kelp forests on display in an aquarium. The kelp forest exhibit here contains three species of giant kelp that provide shelter to a variety of smaller fish species, and the simulated tidal movement of the water has a calming effect on all who spend time here.

Slightly different for an aquarium is the Sappi River Meander, a display that traces a typical Western Cape river's journey, from its mouth all the way to the source upstream. Look out for the penguin beach here, where you'll find African and rockhopper penguins.

While adults will thoroughly enjoy the Two Oceans Aquarium, it's the younger members of the family who will be really thrilled, especially when they discover the AfriSam Children's Play Centre – here children and rockhopper penguins have fun alongside one another. A touch pool and microscope exhibits adds to the appeal, and the aquarium often runs special programmes and tours aimed at children.

The intriguing kelp forest in the Two Oceans Aquarium. Photo: Tara Turkington/Flow Communications

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Two Oceans Aquarium
Tel: +27 (0)21 418 3823

How to get here

The Two Oceans Aquarium is located next to the V&A Waterfront near the harbour. There's plenty of parking and it's easily accessible by car, bus or taxi.

Best time to visit

The aquarium is open daily between 9.30am and 6pm. Feeding time at the I&J Predator Exhibit is 3pm daily. Penguins and seals are fed at 11.30am and 2.30pm daily.

Around the area

The V&A Waterfront next door is a shopping mecca and also boasts a number of nautical themed pubs and restaurants as well as loads of entertainment for the family.

Tours to do

If you have an open water diving certificate don't miss the opportunity to dive with sharks or feed the fish in the Ocean BasketKelp Forest by hand.

What will it cost

Approx. R118 for adults, R58 for children aged between 4 and 13, R92 for those aged between 14 and 17. Children under the age of 4 are admitted free of charge.

What to pack

Comfortable walking shoes.

What to eat

The Aquarium has its own restaurant, Shoreline Café, serving hot meals (including sustainable seafood), cool drinks and snacks. The V&A Waterfront next door also has a wide variety of restaurant and fast-food options.

What's happening

The aquarium offers an enticing range of educational programmes and tours. Visit the website for more information.

Best buys

Aquarium souvenirs and marine-themed gifts are on sale at the Aquarium Shop on site.

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