If you are a big fan of the ocean, and you’ve always wanted to get a closer look at life under the surface, this experience is perfect for you! It’s hosted in the safe environment of the I&J Ocean Exhibit of the Aquarium.
Meet face to face with friendly rescue turtles, the mesmerizing short-tail stingrays, the giant guitarfish, and the man-faced black musselcracker. You will be surrounded by almost 200 fish who call the large-scale exhibit home.
Up Close and Personal
You can enjoy this experience with a mask and snorkel. Or if you are an experienced scuba diver, you can kit up for an immersive experience. This aquatic adventure is perfect for those who have always been intrigued with scuba diving, but who never took the plunge to get licenced.
Although the Two Oceans Aquarium loves inviting people into their amazing space, the main priority is the wellbeing of the residents of the exhibit. The animals will not be forced to interact with visitors, no bait is used to lure them closer. You are entering their world and it’s up to them whether they want to interact with you or not.
The two turtles, Sandy and Bob, loves a good carapace tickle. So they will most likely come greet you upon arrival, especially Bob. Most of the other animals may not be touched. Animals are not restrained or held so that you can engage with them. These animals feel safe in the I&J Ocean Exhibit pool and in the familiar environment their curiosity will most likely nudge them closer to you when you enter the water.
Please note: due to the animals not being forced to interact with humans, the Two Oceans Aquarium cannot guarantee interaction experiences with specific animals. But Bob will most likely request a scratch from you.
The Ultimate Ocean Experience
All you need to bring, is your swimming costume. And an underwater camera if you have one. The Aquarium will provide you with a towel, wetsuit and a snorkelling kit. Luckily the water temperature rarely drops below 21 degrees Celcius.
During your exploration of the I&J Ocean Exhibit, an in-house expert will guide you. Learn more about the animals in the exhibit, as well as the exhibit itself. And you are more than welcome to ask questions. The environmental threats of the resident animals are also discussed and you can find out more about the turtle rehabilitation-and-release work of the Aquarium.
The Ocean Experience is limited to three people at a time. It is facilitated in the shallow area of the exhibit, so you don’t have to be able to swim to enjoy the wonder of it all. It’s suitable for kids aged 8 and upwards.
The fee includes general admission to the Aquarium. Plus R100 is donated from each Two Oceans Aquarium Ocean Experience to the conservation fund.
The Ocean Experiences are scheduled from Wednesdays to Fridays, starting at 12h30 in the I&J Ocean Exhibit pool. You must report at the Visitor Centre no later than 12h00 to prep for the adventure. An Ocean Experience lasts for about 30 minutes, but you can schedule up to 90 minutes for the entire process from welcoming to departure.
Fully Immerse Yourself
But if you are keen to dive deeper, a scuba experience is also offered. The expansive I&J Ocean Exhibit is ideal for a unique dive. It’s 6m deep and features a 10m tunnel as well. Swim besides cute rescue turtles, feisty rays, brindle bass, a guitarfish, and a spotted grunter.
To dive in the exhibit you must have an Open Water qualification or higher. Alternatively, you can complete the Discover Scuba Diving course at the Aquarium to dive in the I&J Ocean Exhibit. If you haven’t dived for more than 12 months, you’ll be required to do a refresher course at the Aquarium before your dive.
If you’re not a qualified diver, you can get your scuba qualification at the Aquarium. The one-day PADI Discover Scuba Diving course will include one dive in the I&J Ocean Exhibit, on the same day. Iain Robertson is the resident dive master, who has been offering courses at the Two Oceans Aquarium for over a decade now. You can contact [email protected] or call +27 (0)21 418 3823 for more information and rates.
Alternative Dive Option in the Predator Exhibit
Yes, you heard right, you can dive with sharks – no cage needed! But don’t worry, it is completely safe. Dive with the Two Oceans Aquarium resident ragged-tooth sharks, plus schools of yellowtail and giant kob. Learn more about the formidable predators of the South African coastline. This is a diving experience like no other! Thrills guaranteed.
You must have an Open Water qualification or higher to dive in the Predator Exhibit. If you haven’t dived for more than 12 months, you must do the refresher course at the Aquarium before being allowed to dive in the Predator Exhibit.
Please note: You must present your dive card, logbook or certificate before the dive. To qualify for the dive, you must have a minimum Open Water qualification.
* The reduced rate only applies to active Two Oceans Aquarium members.
** For the “own gear” discounted rate you must bring along your wetsuit and hood; mask and snorkel; booties; fins; BCD (Buoyancy control device); as well as a regulator with depth and air gauge
The Aquarium will supply weights and cylinders regardless of payment option.
*** The PADI Discover Scuba Diving course is a flat rate, paid in addition to the I&J Ocean Exhibit dive rate.
Book Your Two Oceans Aquarium Ocean Experience Now
Bookings can be made with an email to [email protected] or you can call +27 (0)21 418 3823. You need to book and pay 48 hours in advance to secure your space. Bookings are subject to availability.
A unique experience at the Two Oceans Aquarium, facilitated in the expansive I&J Ocean Exhibit. Option to either snorkel with the curious aquatic creatures, or to do a full dive
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