Credit: Martine Viljoen / Two Oceans Aquarium

Meet our rockhopper penguins

Get up close and personal with the adorable northern rockhopper penguins of the Two Oceans Aquarium with our awesome, educational and interactive Penguin Experience!  

No more than two people will join our bird keeper for an informative, fun and exhilarating face-to-face experience with our feathered friends.

  • The Penguin Experience happens Tuesdays to Sundays at 10h30 on the roof of the Kelp Forest Exhibit, where the rockhopper penguins enjoy their morning swim at the Two Oceans Aquarium. 
  • The Penguin Experience is suited to adults and for children aged 8 and up.
  • Penguin Experience bookings may temporarily close if our birds are moulting, nesting or undergoing health checks - the team will advise you when making your booking. 
  • Please email experience@aquarium.co.za or call us on +27 (0)21 418 3823 with any queries you may have!

Book your Penguin Experience here

The rockhopper penguins at the Two Oceans Aquarium were found stranded on southern Cape beaches and were rehabilitated by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) before being donated to us. They cannot be released because of the risk of introducing diseases into wild populations.

Penguin Experience prices:

  Cost
Adult R750
Child between 8 and 17 years R600
Adult member R563
Child member (8 and 17 years) R450
  • This fee includes your general entry ticket to the Aquarium
  • Bookings must be made at least 24 hours in advance
  • The Penguin Experience is suitable for children aged 8 and up, and adults.
  • R100 of this fee will go towards supporting conservation.

Book your Penguin Experience here

Important information

Bookings

  • Book your Penguin Experience online here.
  • Alternatively, email experience@aquarium.co.za or call us on +27 (0)21 418 3823 to book your Penguin Experience or book in person at our Visitor Centre!
  • Bookings and payment must be made at least 48 hours in advance and are subject to availability.
  • Remember - Aquarium entry is included in the Penguin Experience booking fee for the 1 or 2 participants. Anyone accompanying them will need to book a normal Aquarium ticket to enter.
  • Please note: Penguin Experience bookings may temporarily close if our birds are moulting, nesting or undergoing health checks - the team will advise you when making your booking. We will always do our best to make your experience convenient - but we too are at the discretion of nature!

Arrival at the Aquarium

  • Please arrive on time.
  • Report to the Visitor Centre.
  • You will need to undergo a health screening when entering the Aquarium. Please see the next section for details.
  • If you are not on time, our animal keepers may need to continue with the penguin's daily routine and your Experience will be cancelled and you will be liable for the entire fee.

Health and safety

The Two Oceans Aquarium has strict health and safety protocols in place, and all visitors are required to adhere to them. These measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Temperature and health screening upon entry to the Aquarium.
  • Wearing of masks that cover the nose and mouth at all times.
  • Maintaining social distancing.
  • Regular sanitising of hands.
  • Requesting the cancellation or postponement of a scheduled activity if you are exhibiting Covid-like symptoms.*

*Please see the "Cancellation and Postponement" section below to see the process involved if you need to postpone your Penguin Experience due to illness.

Please see all our health and safety measures here. 

During the Experience

The rockhopper penguins are always free to choose whether they want to interact with participants or not. They are not trained and we do not reward them in any way for interacting if they do choose to. They can also choose to move away from the participants either by hopping into the water or moving away to another part of the exhibit. Despite this, you are certain to have the opportunity to get up close, and learn all about their quirks, charisma and conservation! A few things to remember:

  • A Penguin Experience itself lasts roughly 30 minutes – although the entire process from signing in at the Aquarium to saying goodbye to the penguins can last up to 90 minutes.
  • Experiences happen Tuesdays to Sundays at 10h30 on the roof of the Kelp Forest Exhibit, where the rockhopper penguins enjoy their morning swim at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
  • We will supply you with towels to prevent you from getting too dirty if the penguins do decide to investigate you, but we advise you to wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, or to keep a change of clothing on hand if you have other plans after your Aquarium visit (just in case).
  • Cameras are encouraged! Just keep in mind that your Penguin Experience will be next to an open water exhibit, so lanyards are advised to avoid dropping!
  • Your Penguin Experience booking fee includes your general entry ticket to the Two Oceans Aquarium, giving you aquarium access for the entire day.

Age limits

  • Children under the age of 8 are not permitted to take part in the Penguin Experience.

Terms and conditions

Please read our terms and conditions:

  • Children must be 8 years and older in order to participate in this experience.
  • Please wear your face mask, comfortable clothes and soft-soled shoes appropriate for the beach (no high heels).
  • Payment is required at least 24 hours prior to secure your booking.
  • A maximum of 2 accompanying visitors may pay the day ticket entrance rate either at the ticket office or online.
  • Report to the Visitor Centre at 10h30 to complete your indemnity form. 
  • Failure to arrive for your Experience will result in cancellation and you will be liable for the full fee.

Cancellation & postponement

  • Should you cancel your Experience 48 hours prior to the time, 90% of the fee will be refunded. Please be advised that the refund process may take 5 to 10 working days.
  • Should you cancel your Experience on the day, you will forfeit the entire fee. No refund will be given, unless it’s due to medical reasons and you can provide proof, e.g. a medical certificate.
  • Should you wish to postpone your Experience for another day, please do so at least 24 hours in advance. If you postpone on the day of the booking, you will be charged a penalty fee of 50% of the experience fee. If the reason to postpone is medical and happened on the day of the booking, there will be no penalty fee, provided you have proof.