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TThe southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, is the meeting place of two mighty oceans – the Indian and Atlantic – and the Two Oceans Aquarium in nearby Cape Town is perfectly placed to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life from both.
This Western Cape 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.
Among its popular displays are the magnificent I&J Ocean Exhibit and the Predator Exhibit, the latter usually serving as the grand finale to a Two Oceans Aquarium visit. Here, in more than 2-billion 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 Kelp Forest exhibit.
While lacking in the visceral thrills of big marine predators, the Kelp Forest is equally popular; in fact, it is one of only 3 living kelp forests on display in an aquariumanywhere in the world. The exhibit 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.
There’s also a popular Penguin Exhibit, housing 2 species of penguin and other birds, reptiles and amphibians.
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 I&J Children’s Play Centre – or the Smart Living Challenge Zone, a fun series of interactive games that teach players about conserving the environment.
TTravel 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 Cape Town harbour, Table Bay. 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 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 that boasts numerous pubs and restaurants plus 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 Kelp Forest by hand.
What will it cost
See the listed website for current prices.
What to pack
Comfortable walking shoes.
What to eat
The aquarium has its own restaurant, Ocean Café, for snacks and light meals. The V&A Waterfront next door also has a wide variety of restaurant and fast-food options.
The aquarium offers an enticing range of educational programmes and tours. Visit the website for more information.
Aquarium souvenirs and marine-themed gifts are on sale at the Aquarium Shop on site.
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