Discover the life that thrives in South African waters.
The iconic Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town has been showcasing Southern Africa’s marine biodiversity for more than 25 years. This jewel in Cape Town’s crown is loved by locals and tourists alike for its educational messaging, its spectacular displays, and its focus on conservation and animal welfare.
The Aquarium’s large annual membership base is a testament to the enduring impact of this world-class facility, and the glowing visitor reviews are further proof of the Aquarium’s perennial appeal.
The Aquarium’s collection holds more than 200 indigenous species and changes often, resulting in a dynamic experience geared towards fostering curiosity and love for the ocean. As you journey across three levels, you will encounter many of South Africa’s marine marvels: from tiny Knysna seahorses flanked by a common octopus, bashful shysharks and bold braying penguins, to colourful anemones and deep-sea recluses, all rarely seen in the wild.
Three distinct large-scale exhibits with giant viewing windows are the highlights of your Aquarium journey. The Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Exhibit proudly displays large ragged-tooth sharks – all of which are at the Aquarium temporarily, and tagged and released for research purposes – along with other predatory fish found on the South African coast. The Kelp Forest Exhibit is one of only a handful of its kind in the world, boasting a swaying, mesmerising underwater forest and large white steenbras, galjoen and other endemic fish species which most people never get to see. The I&J Ocean Exhibit is a temperate-water display with various stringray species, musselcracker, schooling fish, and some of the Aquarium’s resident rehab sea turtles.
You can scuba dive in any of these three large exhibits, depending on your diving qualification. PADI-accredited Discover Scuba Diving short courses are offered for a same-day diving experience in the I&J Ocean Exhibit, and divers with an Open Water 1 or higher qualification can dive in all three exhibits. The Aquarium is a professional, full-service dive resort which means that all gear is provided, experienced dive masters are on hand, and hot showers are available.
And, as this is an indoor facility, you don’t have to wait for good visibility or calm water – sightings and conditions are guaranteed, and dives are available daily.
Visitors to the Aquarium can also take part in a Penguin Experience, which affords private access to the too-cute rockhopper penguins along with one of the Aquarium’s bird keepers, as well as guided behind-the-scenes tours. Members enjoy preferential rates.
Pre-booking is required; details on the Aquarium’s website.