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Ola

#Throwback Rihanna in Two Oceans Aquarium in RPA

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"Rihanna's visit to the Aquarium was a blast. You never know how exclusive tours like this are going to turn out, but this visit was amazing!" - Dr Patrick Garratt – Managing Director of the Two Oceans Aquarium

There were about 20 people in her group, including her family, and the Nemo exhibit stopped them “dead in their tracks”. We were there for about 15 minutes and the flashes were going non-stop. Her family and their professional photographer must have got some wonderful shots. Throwing in a little info on sex change certainly piqued their interest before we moved on to the “jewels” of the Aquarium – those small exquisite displays that show off the beauty and complexity of the oceans. Rihanna was enthralled with the backlit shark egg cases with their babies writhing around inside.

Evening is the most beautiful time of day to visit the Aquarium (join us during our extended hours – from 16 December 2013 until 12 January 2014 we are open from 09h00 until 20h00) and it took some time to get past the jelliesoctopussoles and Knysna seahorses. The octopus was a star performer, moving about on the inner surface of the glass and appearing to “communicate” with Rihanna. There is nothing like getting special attention from a wild animal! 

Turning the corner we came face to face with the giant spider crabs, and the group could not believe what they were seeing. Again, the cameras clicked and Rihanna started mimicking the crabs. She had realised by this time that an aquarium offers a photographic extravaganza. Again, I added a little to the experience by asking if they could see a face in the abdomen of one of the crabs standing against the glass. There were great exclamations when they realised that they could see the face of a Samurai warrior. I then shared an account of a great Japanese sea battle in which the young emperor, seeing that the battle was lost, threw himself into the water with his Samurai warriors. The legend has it that the emperor and his warriors turned into crabs and have been wandering the floor of the ocean ever since.

 

Taking the ramp, we entered Frogs beyond the Pond and, being in the entertainment business, the group was enthralled by the frog puppet show. There was a mixture of hilarity at seeing the frog actors, and sober nodding as they heard the urgent messages of the actors. All the while Rihanna had been asking when we were going to see the penguins. We entered the Sappi River Meander and she gasped at its authenticity and the waves washing against the beach. And there were the African penguins – the animals that she had wanted to see above all else. Again the cameras clicked. After a while I asked if she would like to step on to the beach to join the penguins. Not believing her luck, we hopped across the water on to the beach and her photographer took some beautiful shots. By this time I realised that Rihanna was making the most of every moment and that there had been excitement and laughter all the way – it was a tour of a lifetime.

 

Before we knew it, almost two hours had passed and it was time to go – so they thought! They had not reckoned on the majesty of the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest and the I&J Predatorexhibits. It was in front of the I&J Predator Exhibit that we stopped briefly for pictures of Rihanna and the “Professor”, as I had been dubbed by her mum. The group tried to get past the I&J Predator Exhibit quickly – but who has ever been able to do that? They left the Aquarium 20 minutes later with big smiles and effusive thanks. Staff members Kath Thorne, Amina Hoosain and I waved them goodbye, marvelling at what an incredible evening it had been!

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I loved how we got such amazing pics from this trip ❤️

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