Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsThe East London Aquarium
East London Aquarium and Whale Viewing Deck, said to be the oldest aquarium in South Africa, opened its doors originally in 1931 and lies on the esplanade on the beachfront in East London.
Where? Aquarium Building, Esplanade, East London, Eastern Cape
When? Open daily, please confirm times
How much? Call +27 (0)43 705-2637
The East London Aquarium is an interesting little aquarium with daily fish feeding and rather exciting seal shows, and more than makes up for its lack of size with a few wholly unique displays, like the three Cape pigmy clawed lobsters - the only specimens ever to be kept in a public aquarium anywhere in the world.
There is a colony of African penguins that produces an average of 20 chicks a year, which are then exported to other countries around the world. The aquarium also serves as a haven for injured, oiled and distressed marine creatures washed up on East Londonís beaches, which total a few hundred seabirds, turtles and dolphins that are treated, rehabilitated and released every year. Thereís also a shark tank built above the shoreline rocks.
However, the big draw card to East Londonís aquarium is the wooden boardwalk that protrudes from the foyer over the inter-tidal zone and surf, offering hours of uninterrupted whale watching during whale season, and part of the Cape Whale Route.
The observation deck hovers 11 metres above the Indian Ocean and the aquarium has provided token operated binoculars at the far end of the deck, which dramatically improve your view of breaching humpback whales or bottlenose dolphins that are virtually daily visitors to the deck. The East London aquarium makes it easy to see when the best viewing times are as they fly a set of blue flags immediately whales are sighted.