I have walked pass the sign for the Shark Lab hundreds of time since I moved to Mossel Bay in 2006 and have never been inside. On Saturday 13 May 2017 I decided to visit with my 2½ year old son, JW. JW watched a cartoon with a shark and is now fascinated with sharks. While he was interested I thought the Shark Lab was a good place to visit.
You can enter the Shark lab from 2 sides. We entered from the Point side. I knocked en opened the door. It was dark inside and I could just about see a person sitting at the other end of the room. She was very friendly and gave us about information about the animals. I could hear that she cares a lot about them.
We then paid our entrance fee. It was R 20 for an adult; R 10 for children from 4 years old and children until 3 was free. For R 150 you can swim with two Smooth-hound sharks but we decided to skip this. After paying we walked through a small curio shop and entered the aquarium through a security gate.
The description of the aquarium on some internet sites is “an intimate aquarium”. This is very nice words to say it is small. And I mean very, very small. There is a tank for the 2 sharks, the tank for the octopus and about 6 – 8 small tanks. You could see all the fish in about 3 minutes.
With an entrance fee of R 20 and spending only 3 minutes inside the trip is very expensive. I tried everything to make the visit a bit longer. We walked around the tanks about three times. I took photos. I showed my son every tank. And still the whole visit was only about 15 minutes.
Overall we enjoyed the visit. My son has told all his grandparents about the sharks and octopus. He was ready for another visit the next day. But at R 20 it is a bit expensive for a weekly outing. Reading reviews on Tripadvisor I see that many people feel it is too expensive. If I could make a suggestion to the owners I would drop the entrance fee to R5 per visitor and maybe a year membership for locals to make it more affordable.