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Published: February 18th 2015
Emerging from below into aquarium centre!
a very ingenious and intriguing experience... Crawl thru a tunnel and emerge in the heart of a living aquarium display! Very cool! These were clownfish
Here it is, Monday report ... It was bright and early, and we are heading to the waterfront area for today's discoveries.
In the morning the time will be spent at the Two Oceans Aquarium featuring enormous aquarium displays of the indigenous fish and marine life of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which wash ashore on South Africa's two coastlines. I won't visit the Indian Ocean coast as thats too far away, but have already seen the rugged and beautiful Atlantic landscapes. At the right time of year - or the Southern Hemisphere winter months - it is common to see whales and sharks in the waters off the coast here! but these are the summer months now.
The Aquarium gives me the best opportunity to know what's in these waters. But neither Great Whites nor Whales will be in the tanks! just to give you the feel for how HUGE this aquarium complex is, there are over 30,000 sea creatures including very large specimens and a shark.... The display tanks are so large they offer SHARK DIVING! Guaranteed to dive with sharks too lol.
The tanks are acrylic and not glass walled so the sizes of fish
seen were actual size not enlarged, and some of the fish were enormous. The tanks and walls were sparkling clean. I know people with little fish tanks at home who keep a worse bowl than these giant tanks.
Another very impressive aspect of the displays are their interactive and learning elements. You can crawl through a little tunnel and emerge within a bubble inside the tank so there are fish swimming all around you. That was fun. Other displays feature hands on touching of marine life with an aquarium guide to tell you about the specimens. The dozens of school children visiting the day i visited were thrilled and excited! There is an open tank with young Rays which I think had been rescued and were being rehabilitated. There are sea anemones and giant kelp And corals.
There is a huge display tank with very large fish species swimming around .... Including penguins and a shark .... Which is used for teaching. A young aquarium guide gave a talk on the endangered status of sharks to a group of young male students. Questions and answers in a very inclusive conversational style. Seated in front the tank with the
shark gliding past, their attention never wavered.
But the Penguins again stole the show. So full of life, so much fun, so human in certain aspects, Penguins easily capture and hold your interest. At Two Oceans there is a creative and large area simulating a beach with waves washing ashore so they swim around then come waddling ashore to potter about.
Later I was hugely privileged to meet, through Alison, Claire the woman in charge of the Aquarium. She took me behind the scenes and I observed some of the intricacies and factors governing placing of species, rehabilitation of rescued species, simulation of natural environments. Very very fascinating indeed. But the biggest treat of all was when Claire took me to the Penguins where one of them, Odiba I think is his name, is so attached to her! She walked by, called his name and he whizzed out of the display, jumped out to the walkway and promptly followed her simply everywhere! Enjoy it in the video just as it happened.(oops when I tried to upload the travelblog advisory said no can post videos currently ... I should try to upload to you tube or Vimeo and post
A pond with Rays, young and small
rescued specimens are rehabilitated then returned to the oceans
from there. Sigh)
That was the morning. We had lunch at the restaurant at the Aquarium which once again was staffed with very friendly and hospitable young Africans mostly women. I cannot over state just how friendly all the staff I've met everywhere here have been. Genuinely friendly, not fake.
After lunch I walked over to the jetty to meet the 1pm Robben Island ferry to visit the island of Nelson Mandela's incarceration. I don't want to mix the two totally different moods of these two totally different experiences so I will do a separate page for Robben island with the pics.
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