Cape Town Family Holiday Magic

Cape Town Aquarium

Skip the 'shopping mall' V & A - but don't miss out on the Two Oceans!

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A visit to the Cape Town aquarium is the only legal way I know to steal a slice of the One and Only Hotel's serenity.

The aquarium nestles under the hotel's left elbow and benefits from the peace and quiet that rubbing shoulders with all that fabulous exclusivity brings :-)

The seals love to lounge outside beyond the Café railings, so why not pay them a visit, too? Cape Town Aquarium 'step inside' tank

While the oceans that lap our famous Cape are far from tropical, no aquarium worth its salt(water) is complete without a display of tropical fish, now is it?

One of our special crowd pleasers for the little 'uns is the "get inside with us" display of jaunty orange-and-white stripes – you guessed it – clown fish!

Everyone always want to find Nemo was soon as they arrive at the Aquarium!

The Why and Who, What and When of the Cape Town Aquarium

Why and Who

The Aquarium is definitely one of the Top 10 Must-Do Family Activities in Cape Town. The displays are fascinating visually and there's so much wonder and excitement for all ages.

Toddlers love it, and babies are mesmerised by the fish. But it's not JUST for kids - it's good for grown-ups too! I keep promising myself a solo visit, when I get to go at my own (slower) pace and read the things that interest ME.

What - as in 'what gem might I overlook'...?

The sharks in the predator tank are totally in your face, you can't miss them! But there are other places that are outwardly less impressive but deserve a little publicity I think.

  • The touch pools are great for all from 0 - 90 years old for interacting with ocean critters and flora. You can learn a lot of interesting stuff there!
  • If you are interested in the microscopic, there is a supervised digital microscope for examining things REALLY close up, just beside the skate and ray tank.
  • The children's activity centre runs a puppet show every day at 11am. And it is my niece's favourite spot with wonderful creative activities for children up to about 8 years old.
  • My children have their favourite exhibits - one loves the pulsating moon jellies and the other is fascinated by the seahorses.
  • There's always the horrid fascination of the slimy hags which fight off predators with bucketsful of snotty stuff, and the sinister swaying of the gigantic eels.

  • waterfront aquarium cape town

    Rockhoppers returning from a swim in the kelp forest

    When - best time to go

    Get going early in the day if you can, or leave it till after lunchtime.

    Why? Well, during school terms there are often educational groups visiting between 0930 and 1200 which can make for a rather frenetic experience.

    During South African school holiday periods thre are always lots of local visitors, so it's still good to steal a march on the late risers.

    Allow at least 2 hours to ensure you don't feel pushed for time.

    kelp forest, two oceans aquarium

    The kelp forest - my favourite peaceful display

    Kelp Therapy and Fishy Fast Food

    I get a 'peace fix' halfway round by sitting in front of the tranquil Kelp Forest and watching the fronds sway in the watery 'breeze'.

    My brother loves watching the shoal of pilchards in Cape Town Aquarium predator tank - they are totally mesmerizing as they swirl in perfect time. (I think they get replaced every so often - numbers dwindle as they get turned into fishy fast food)

    Useful information - Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront

    Opening hours

    Open every day of the year from 09h30 until 18h00.

    Your tickets are valid for the whole day, so you can nip out for a bite to eat or a change of scene.

    Feeding time is always fun to watch, so plan to be there for one of these if you can. We recommend the penguin feeding – you won't believe how they swallow their fish whole!

    Feeding times at Two Oceans Cape Town Aquarium

    • I&J Predator Exhibit - 15h00 daily
    • Kelp Forest Exhibit - Wednesdays and Sundays at 12h00
    • Penguins - 11h30 and 14h30 daily

    Admission prices

    Valid until 31 August 2009

    • Adults R85
    • Under 4 years Free
    • Children ( 4 - 13 years ) R45
    • Children ( 14 - 17 years ) R65
    • Pensioners R65.00 *
    • Undergraduate Students R65.00 *
    • *identification required

    Directions to the Cape Town Aquarium

    • Coming into the CBD on the N1 or N2
    • Turn right into the V&A Waterfront at the first traffic lights
    • Take the first left at the first traffic circle
    • Drive 2km, the Two Oceans Aquarium is on the right hand side

    cape town aquarium

    You may find the following related pages helpful:
    Find accommodation at the Cape Town Waterfront
    Find other Things to Do with the Family
    Go from Cape Town Aquarium to the Homepage




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