Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

Two Oceans Aquarium celebrates 25 years of ‘big blue experiences’

The iconic Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town celebrated 25 years of existence on 13 November.

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One of Cape Town’s premier tourist attractions, the Two Oceans Aquarium first opened its doors on 13 November 1995. Since then, the popular attraction has welcomed more than 10 million local and international visitors.

The aquarium re-opened to the public on 1 September 2020 after being closed during the coronavirus lockdown since the end of March.

MULTIPLE GENERATIONS CONNECT WITH TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM

“It’s hard to believe that the aquarium has been part of Capetonians’ lives for a quarter of a century already,” Two Oceans Aquarium marketing manager Ingrid Sinclair said.

The Two Oceans Aquarium is very much part of the lives of many South Africans. Many visitors have a shared history with the attraction, having first visited as children.

“Some of our visitors first visited us as children with their parents or as part of a school group visit. Now they are bringing their own children to experience and explore the magic of Southern Africa’s underwater world.

“We are incredibly proud to be a part of their personal journeys,” Sinclair said.

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The aquarium’s kelp forest exhibit is one of its most popular attractions. Image: Adobe Stock

EXCITING EXHIBITS AT TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM

The aquarium’s largest exhibit is the Save Our Seas Foundation shark exhibit, which has been part of the aquarium since 1995. The exhibit underwent a complete refurbishment and reopened in 2017. It holds two million litres of water and is home to ragged-tooth sharks and shoals of fish.

The aquarium’s second-largest exhibit, holding 1.6 million litres of water, is the I&J Ocean Exhibit, which opened in 2016. A unique feature is the 10m-long glass walk-through tunnel that gives visitors the feeling of being underwater.

One of the aquarium’s original exhibits, the Kelp Forest Exhibit, was refurbished in 2018. It is uniquely South African and home to endemic fish species.

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The Save Our Seas Foundation’s shark exhibit is the aquarium’s largest. Image: Adobe Stock

SCUBA DIVES ENABLE VISITORS TO GET UP CLOSE

The aquarium is not just a place to walk around and admire underwater species and marine life. More adventurous visitors and thrill-seekers are able to get up close and personal with its marine life.

The Two Oceans Aquarium restarted its scuba diving activities on 30 October. Visitors and adventure seekers can dive in all of the aquarium’s larger exhibits.  All skill levels, including beginners, are permitted to dive, though dives must be booked in advance.  

PARTNERSHIPS MAKE CONSERVATION EFFORTS POSSIBLE

The Two Oceans Aquarium relies on visitors for its income and revenue stream. The aquarium has, however, formed strategic partnerships which enable it to continue with its work in ocean conservation.

“A recent achievement we are most proud of is the establishment of our non-profit partner organisation, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, which has been mandated with growing the education, research and conservation work that we have been pioneering for the last two and a half decades,” Sinclair said.

UNIQUE DINING EXPERIENCES ON OFFER IN NOVEMBER

To celebrate its reopening, the Two Oceans Aquarium is bringing back its popular series of Deep Blue Dinners. The aquarium is offering fans and friends of the aquarium a rather unique dining experience on 19, 20 and 28 November.

The Deep Blue Dinners are held inside the aquarium, offering diners close-up experiences with the marine life while enjoying a three-course menu. The experience is a special way to enjoy the magical underwater world.

Bookings are essential and can be done via Quicket.  

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