TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has awarded us 10th place in the 2014 Travellers’ Choice Zoo and Aquarium Awards. Of the 25 aquariums listed, the Two Oceans Aquarium is the only one in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Travellers’ Choice Awards are generated by reviews and opinions of millions of travellers around the globe.
According to TripAdvisor: “Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for zoos and aquariums worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.”
Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, says in a press release: “For those wanting to see the world’s most wondrous creatures, TripAdvisor has named the Travellers’ Choice Zoos and Aquariums, as chosen by the community of millions. Travellers can enjoy a fun and educational experience at any of these popular award-winning attractions around the globe.”
Two Oceans Aquarium’s CEO, Dr Patrick Garratt, says: “While our aquarium is neither big, nor massively impressive by world standards, its ambience is magical, our exhibits are beautiful and our staff and volunteers are friendly, enthusiastic and dedicated. I believe it is these elements, together with the fact that we mostly house only species from off the Southern African coast, that astound our visitors and which set us apart from many of the larger aquariums around the world.”
The featured comment alongside the Two Oceans Aquarium’s TripAdvisor profile states “Best aquarium I have ever been to”. The same reviewer, from Baltimore in the USA, says: “I really liked the variety of animals here. You see animals that you do not normally see. The animals are also quite large. It is very affordable.”
Another reviewer, from South Africa, said: “What a great attraction in Cape Town. We had an absolute great time. The staff were super friendly, informative and helpful. I would definitely visit next time I am in Cape Town.”
A visitor from New Orleans commented: “We came across the aquarium while enjoying the Red Bus tour. While on the bus we heard an advert offering dives in the Aquarium’s Predator Tank. It sounded like fun so we gave it a shot. What a wonderful attraction! From the people running the gate to the lovely folks who signed us into the dive to the dive masters all were exceptional! We had such a good time we came back and did the dive again!”
A visitor from the UK had this to say: “On our recent holiday in Cape Town, one of the things on our list to do was a visit to this world class aquarium and we weren’t disappointed. There is so much to see from the big sharks, the little tiddlers, the giant spider crabs, the beautiful turtle with a panache for being the centre of attraction … We went there with an open mind and came away rating this as possibly the highlight of our holiday. We could keep on waxing lyrical about this great attraction, but rather if you are in Cape Town put it on your list to see, you won’t be disappointed.”
special mention of TripAdvisor award was made in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, by Beverley Schafer.
The top 10 highlights of the Two Oceans Aquarium include:
- Diving with the sharks
- Encounters with the rockhopper penguins
- Feeding of the African penguins
- A tactile experience at the Touch Pool
- The antics of Yoshi, the loggerhead turtle in the I&J Predator Exhibit
- The mesmerising sway of kelp in the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest
- Feeding of the ragged-tooth sharks on Sunday afternoons
- Viewing microscopic life at the Hi-Tec Microscope Exhibit
- The interactive “Nemo” exhibit
- interaction with the Aquarium’s friendly and passionate staff and volunteers
First place in the Travellers’ Choice Awards went to Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, USA. Other aquariums in the top 10 include Oceanario de Lisboa (Portugal), Georgia Aquarium (USA), Tennessee Aquarium (USA), Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (USA), Aquaworld Aquarium (Greece), Dallas World Aquarium (USA), Vancouver Aquarium (Canada) and Mundomar (Spain).