Diver in the I&J Predator Exhibit
Diving among the sharks
One of the aquarium’s unique features is the opportunity to scuba dive in 2 different tanks. Experienced divers may swim in the kelp forests of the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit. More fearless swimmers may dive with the sharks in the I&J Predator Exhibit. Divers are not inside a cage but swim freely among the large predators. Fortunately, these sharks are on the list of `friendly shark species` so the dive is safe. In addition to courage, divers must also possess a valid scuba diving license.
The ‘touch pool’ in the Atlantic Ocean Gallery
Two completely different oceans
The Oceans of Contrast Exhibit is divided into 2 parts. The Atlantic Ocean Gallery showcases life in the cold Atlantic Ocean. Here you will encounter the very rare Knysna seahorse or come eye-to-eye with a giant spider crab. In the ‘touch pool’ visitors can feel the texture of anemones, starfish and kelp (a type of seaweed). The Indian Ocean Gallery focuses on life in the warmer Indian Ocean; this display is an explosion of colour, full of bright tropical fish.
Mysterious kelp forests
Kelp forests are a very common phenomenon in the oceans around Cape Town. Aquarium visitors may explore the unique ecosystem of these seaweed forests. The Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit is an underwater forest where metres high kelp plants flourish. The long stems create a mysterious environment and provide a safe haven for the hundreds of colourful fish that hide in this forest.
There is also the Sappi River Meander that follows the course of a river: from the source high up in the mountains all the way to the mouth where it flows into the ocean. Waves crash on the manmade beach near a colony of African penguins. The chicks that are born in the aquarium are often placed in the wild. Beautiful tropical plants grow along the river and gurgling waterfalls come cascading down. There is also a frog pond where you can learn more about these amphibians.