Tag Archives: penguins

Sharks and Skates at The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town (2018-11-17) Nature and Animal Attractions | Photo Gallery 05 SEP 2019

I was fifteen years old when the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town first opened its doors to the public in November 1995. A world class aquarium showcasing the incredible diversity of marine life found in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans through awe-inspiring exhibits and interactive touch-points, with a vision and mission to encourage love and respect for our ocean, and in so doing, train up a generation of young people to understand the need for using marine and other natural resources in a much more sustainable manner.

It also just so happens to be a wonderfully entertaining activity for parents with young kids.

After all, there is quite a lot to see and take in! From the big I&J Ocean Exhibit, the eerily quiet Predator Exhibit, the serene Kelp Forest Exhibit (unfortunately closed for reforestation during this particular visit), the always cute (if a little smelly) Penguin Exhibit, the interesting Touch Pool & Microscope section, the educational Smart Living Challenge Zone (lots of interactive/digital games to play around with!), and the Diversity Gallery, there is more than enough to keep you busy for a decent amount of time!

Then there are the various feeding times (the penguins are always a treat, not to mention the diver entering the big tank with all the sharks and rays), and if you are feeling particularly brave and have a few extra bucks burning a hole in your pocket, you can head over for a diving experience that lets you scuba down into either the Predator, I&J Ocean or Kelp Forest exhibit!

Jellyfish, sharks, rays, crayfish, eels and sea horses, the girls were kept absolutely enthralled with everything they saw – even if they weren’t really all that sure about actually touching anything in the touch pools!

As always, a wonderful educational experience that I’m thrilled to have been able to share with my kids. Makes me wish all that much more that Cape Town still had a proper zoo to enjoy with them as well. Anyway, as expected, a lot of photos were taken on the day:

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Seals and Penguins at the Bayworld Oceanarium in Port Elizabeth (2017-07-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 16 APR 2018

While the days of the crowd being splashed wet while being entertained and enthralled by Bayworld’s team of well trained bottlenose dolphins are now long since passed, the now visibly less vibrant (despite its R10 million 2013 revamp) Port Elizabeth tourist attracting complex is still worth the visit – even if the oceanarium is no longer the star of the show.

While our day out to Bayworld revolved mostly around the excellent Port Elizabeth Museum (which I’ll dedicate a separate post to), we did of course kick things off at the oceanarium (animal activists perhaps look away now), where the kids were delighted to watch the seals and penguins splash about and play in the two open view pools (next to the sadly, but thankfully hidden, dilapidated dolphinarium zone).

Next came the short seal (and turtle) show, with Jessica particularly pleased at being called out to the front to receive a kiss from a superbly trained seal and his flexible whiskers. (Turns out, the kiss was a lot more ticklish than what she was expecting!) 

Following that, the last remaing thing to be seen in the Oceanarium section of Bayworld was of course the actual oceanarium itself, though to be fair, with the large tanks now all out of action, the dimly lit space is perhaps better referred to as an aquarium, containing only a few tanks, but thankfully filled with enough interesting fish species to make it worth the while.

(When you have a small fish tank dedicated to a LEGO shipwreck build then you might just realise that perhaps something is not running 100% according to plan…)

Anyway, I grabbed a few photos here and there, but honestly, given the oceanarium section’s now diminished state, there isn’t a whole lot to actually take photos of! Still, the kids all seemed to enjoy the space enough to have made the visit worthwhile…

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Still, I have to admit, seeing the now abandoned dolphinarium (which holds such wonderful childhood memories for me) is admittedly more than just a little heartbreaking.

Next up: Bayworld’s much more amazing Port Elizabeth Museum!

Related Link: Bayworld Oceanarium | Port Elizabeth | #JuneHolidays2017

Visiting the Stony Point Penguin and Seabird Breeding Colony in Betty’s Bay (2016-05-28) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 JUN 2016

Since the kids, Chantelle and I have probably visited the world class African Penguin breeding colony at the Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay on average at least once a year, purely because it’s a works so well as a tourist attraction and is always an exciting outing for the little ones.

This time around we were playing host to good friends Retha and Miguel Sanchez (who’ve just launched a very exciting, South African-themed travel series called East West) and following a relaxing evening of sipping Jack Daniels together, we were excited to show off this site which neither of them had yet been to.

By this stage, most of the penguin chicks have already hatched, meaning that you are guaranteed in spotting many a juvenile penguin being fussed over by either their mom or dad penguin, making for some very cute sights indeed. As it was, we lucked out when on arrival, we came across a big group of penguins heading down the slipway for a quick dip!

As I’ve mentioned before, the beautifully constructed walkway is a real gem, allowing you to easily saunter through the breeding grounds and get some great views of both penguins and dassies alike. The weather was playing along perfectly, and the girls in particular were quite excited to have aunty Retha and uncle Miguel tagging along as a distraction!

In addition to all the cute and cuddly on display, all three species of cormorant, the Crowned, Cape and Bank cormorant, were out in full force over by the watch tower area, leading to thus a rather pleasant afternoon filled with sightings!

(In other words, a very successful outing indeed…)

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Related Link: Stony Point Nature Reserve

Betty’s Bay Penguins and Dinner at Kleinmond (2014-04-19) Photo Gallery 14 JAN 2015

Back in April of last year, Monty and Cheryl joined Jessica, myself, Chantelle and a very small Emily on a journey to go and see the penguins at the Stony Point penguin colony in Betty’s Bay, followed by an impromptu drive through to Kleinmond, a place I haven’t personally been to before.

There we found a fantastic place to get a bite to eat and more importantly, catch the Stormers in some rugby action on a big screen.

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All in all, a good outing indeed.

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