It's time to celebrate our carapaced companions - it's officially Turtle Week at the Two Oceans Aquarium! Join the experience from 20 to 26 May 2019 as we take you on a journey of turtle-themed family fun, learning and compassion for everyone's favourite ocean wanderer.

Check out the full list of activities and events taking place during Turtle Week below.

Why should we care about sea turtles?

Five of the seven species of sea turtle live in South African waters, and two of these – leatherbacks and loggerheads – nest on our beaches. Sadly, all five of these species are at risk of extinction due to humans. Plastic pollution is suffocating and choking hatchlings, unsustainable fisheries are catching and killing turtles as bycatch, poaching is destroying their eggs and climate change is affecting their migrations and their young.

We can only save turtles if we start working together now.

The Two Oceans Aquarium is committed to conservation and environmental education efforts that will help turtles in the wild and give a second chance to those that become injured or stranded because of humans. During Turtle Week, we’ll be showcasing our rehabilitation work, which has already received over 200 rescued loggerhead hatchlings in 2019. We’ll also be giving you a deeper look into the lives of turtles, what makes them so truly wonderful and what you can do to help protect them. You’re never too young or old to help a turtle – all ages welcome at Turtle Week.

Amazing prizes

Take a shell-fie and you could win a behind-the-scenes tour for two! 

Visit us between 20 and 26 May, take a photo in our giant turtle shell and you could win a behind-the-scenes tour for two! (Ts & Cs)*

Simply visit the educational Turtle Wall in the Skretting Diversity Gallery during Turtle Week, climb inside the giant loggerhead turtle shell replica and snap a photo of yourself. Post the photo to Instagram with the hashtag #TurtleWeek, tag and follow the Two Oceans Aquarium (@2oceansaquarium) and give it the most turtally awesome caption you can think of! Terms and conditions apply.

Kids' "Get Well Soon" drawing competition

Tiny turtles need all the encouragement they can get to grow up big and strong so that they can return to their ocean home. During Turtle Week, children aged 4 to 12 can draw a "get well soon" picture for the turtles at the I&J Childrens' Play Centre and the best ones will be displayed in the Aquarium. The first prize is a collection of art supplies and family membership to the Aquarium - valued at R1 800!**

**Entry forms, paper, colour pencils and competition terms and conditions are available in our I&J Children's Play Centre.

Discounted gifts

For a whole week, all turtle plush toys at our gift shop will be 20% off - 20 to 26 May 2019 only!

Daily activities

Learn about our turtles' journeys back in the wild at the I&J Ocean Exhibit (daily at 14h00)

Join a passionate Two Oceans Aquarium team member in front of the I&J Ocean Exhibit every day at 14h00 - you'll be given an in-depth presentation about how we release rehabilitate turtles, track their ocean adventures and where we think Yoshi, Sandy, Noci and other released turtles are heading. We'll be taking your questions - so hang around to chat with our turtally awesome team!

I&J Ocean Exhibit feeding (daily at 12h00)

Meet at the I&J Ocean Exhibit at 12h00 for a chance to see our scuba divers in action feeding the animals. And, as a bonus, our scuba divers will be able to talk to you from underwater, introduce you to everyone's favourite rescued green sea turtles, Bob and Alvi (if they aren't feeling shy), and take your questions.

I Love Turtles puppet show (10h30, 13h30 and 15h30)

Children adore the I Love Turtles puppet adventure, featuring Hatch the Turtle, which teaches little ones about the dangers of marine litter – like discarded balloons, which look like food to sea turtles. Catch this puppet show in the I&J Children’s Play Centre three times a day during Turtle Week.

If your kids love this Puppet Story as much as they love the turtles, you can take home the I Love Turtles storybook too - the perfect gift for Turtle Week!

Children's arts & crafts (all day)

The I&J Children's Play Centre will have ongoing turtle-themed arts and crafts throughout the week. One might say we've "hatched" the ultimate kids' day out!

Photo courtesy of Jozi Momtog.

Tiny turtles need all the encouragement they can get to grow up big and strong so that they can return to their ocean home. Children aged 4 to 12 can draw a "Get well soon" message to the turtles and the best ones will be displayed in the Aquarium. The first prize is a collection of art supplies and family membership to the Aquarium - valued at R1 800!**

Special events

23 May - World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day, in the middle of Turtle Week, is a special day for everyone at the Aquarium. It is a chance for us to thank the diligent and compassionate staff that keep our sea turtle rehabilitation facility running smoothly, and also to appreciate the quirks of the amazing animals that pass through our care on their journey back to the ocean.

Credit: Kyle Burns/Two Oceans Aquarium

While we will not be having a public event (other than the usual Turtle Week fun), we would like to encourage everyone to support the efforts of our Turtle Rescue Programme - which has been able to rescue over 200 stranded loggerhead turtle hatchlings already in 2019 - with a small donation to the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation. You can make a donation online or drop your gift in the wishing well when you visit us.

24 May - Special screening of Deep Blue \ Middle C

Join us at the Two Oceans Aquarium on 24 May 2019 for a special screening of locally produced documentary Deep Blue \ Middle C. This genre-bending film was inspired by and takes place on the west coast of South Africa – a place of profound meaning and impact for filmmaker Bryan Little who, along with a group of his friends, spent 10 days and 10 nights re-connecting with the wild and enigmatic part of South Africa’s coast.

All proceeds from this event will go towards the Turtle Rescue Programme of the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation. Secure your spot here.

25 May - Trash Bash Monwabisi Beach

Join the Two Oceans Aquarium Trash Bash at the next of our regular environmental cleanup events on 25 May 2019 at Monwabisi Beach - let's help clean up our coastline! We want to do more to tackle plastic pollution in our waterways… And we want YOU to join us.

25 May - Turtally Awesome Members' Family Sleepover

We are celebrating turtles at this sleepover, which is happening just two days after World Turtle Day. Members are invited to attend the exclusive, ever-fun and ever-popular Two Oceans Aquarium family sleepover on 25 May 2019. It's the chance you've been waiting for - a turtally awesome night sleeping with the fishes! And this sleepover will be all about turtles.

Not a member? Change that and get a boatload of benefits.

*Competition terms and conditions

  1. All content sent to the Two Oceans Aquarium as entry into the competition may be used on the Aquarium’s website and associated digital platforms.
  2. Entries close at 24h00 on Monday 27 May 2019.
  3. Winners will be notified on Friday 31 May 2019.
  4. To be entered into the draw, your photo must be taken inside the Two Oceans Aquarium's interactive turtle shell display.
  5. The hashtag #TurtleWeek must be used and the Two Oceans Aquarium must be tagged in your post to qualify for the draw.
  6. You must follow the @2oceansaquarium on Instagram.
  7. Winners will be chosen by lucky draw from qualifying entries.
  8. Representatives of the Two Oceans Aquarium will pick the winner from eligible entries.
  9. Nobody under the age of 8 is allowed to participate in a behind-the-scenes tour.
  10. Prizes are non-transferable or redeemable for cash.
  11. Prizes must be redeemed within three months of the date of issue.
  12. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  13. Entry into the competition and acceptance of any prize shall constitute consent on the winner's part to allow the use of the winner's name, image, voice and/or likeness by the Two Oceans Aquarium for editorial, advertising, promotional, marketing and/or other purposes without further compensation except where prohibited by law.
  14. This competition is not open to Two Oceans Aquarium or volunteers and their families (because you get to see the turtles every day - don't be greedy, share the love).
  15.  Anyone who has won a competition or promotion through the Two Oceans Aquarium in the last six months is not eligible to win again.

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