A visit to the watery wonderland that is the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town left everyone feeling satisfied and in awe of the magical world that exists below the surface. Here are some of the highlights from a fun-filled day out enjoyed by two of Heritage’s youngest ambassadors:
It all started as a treat outing during the winter school holidays several months ago. Granny and Grandpa were to accompany us girls, Erin and Freya, 14 and 10, respectively, on a day out. The toughest part was deciding on a venue that would be enjoyable for everyone and also one not affected by the miserable, wet weather. The aquarium felt like it ticked all the right boxes and we’re happy to report that we were not disappointed at all.
From the moment we walked in to get our tickets, the service from the staff was welcoming and efficient, whilst the relaxed atmosphere seemed to set the tone for what was to come. Once through, we began our exploration of the many displays, all of which are very well laid out and easy to navigate. Thankfully, the tanks are also clearly labelled, making finding what you want fast and simple.
One of our favourite exhibits had to be the special jelly fish display. We walked into a dark yet magical cave-like space filled with exquisite, glowing shapes performing ballerina-like dances. We could have stayed there all day watching the grace and beauty of these creatures – it was totally mesmorising!
The dive feeding tank was a theatre of fun with the handsome turtles acting their part and the rays floating gracefully. The sparkling sardines were amazing to watch, a true example of “unity is strength”. As we watched them all gliding around their watery home, we felt as if we were all right there with them under the sea. As we turned the corner, we met the crabs, anemones and soles - how can we eat such clever fish?
The touch pool is one of the interactive displays at the aquarium that allows you to get to know some little critters not just by sight, but by touch too. Volunteers keep a watchful eye over the table but at the same time provide interesting information about what you’re feeling. Kids really love this because there’s nothing better than being able to touch things – it’s really so exciting. And the penguins? Well they delight in so many ways! They are like small clowns dressed in tuxedos that just make you laugh non-stop. If you’re lucky, you can catch feeding time when these little guys go crackers for their fishy lunch.
Apart from the visual feast you’re treated to at the aquarium, it’s also a place where you learn so much, particularly about how we can manage our planet better, the diversity of species that inhabit our waters and how little we actually understand the underwater world and its phenomenons. It’s truly fascinating and a visit to the aquarium only increases our curiosity and need to know more about water and the life it supports. The fact that we took so many photos is testament to our awe and enjoyment (and of course us ensuring we could re-live the experience again and again).
We can happily say that the experience we had was amazing, beautiful and breath-taking, and that everyone, both young and old, thoroughly enjoyed the time spent here. The best part has to be that each time you visit, you find yourself discovering something new – perhaps this is why we have no problem coming back time and time again.
Address: Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Tel: 021 418 3823
Open daily between 9.30am and 6pm
Buy tickets online or at the aquarium
www.aquarium.co.za for more information
Jellyfish image: Cape Town Magazine. Penguins: flowcomm. All other images: writer’s own.