The KwaZulu Natal coastline is known for its abundance in marine life, not least of all as one of the preferred sites of the feared Great White shark. Of course, the swimming beaches are protected by shark nets and other effective efforts.
These animals are beautiful, graceful and powerful. Although they may strike fear into the hearts of a swimmer, they are also intriguing. So, Durban has several facilities that enable its visitors to come into closer contact with these and other majestic sea creatures.
Meeting The Sharks in Durban: The KZN Sharks Board is the only organisation in the world that works to ensure the safety of swimmers, conduct public education programmes and embark on important research with the aim of protecting both the animals and the humans that share their habitat. It has been involved in these initiatives for some 40 years.
The KZN Sharks Board offers boat trips in the early morning, on which visitors can accompany the staff and observe as they check the protection gear. This is also a fabulous chance to spot some of the marine life that lives off the Durban coastline.
Audio-visual presentations are designed to inform tourists and school groups. A real treat for visitors is to observe the dissection of a deceased shark. This is fascinating for young and old, and provides the researchers with very important data for their research, which they share and explain during the course of the dissection. For show and dissection times, see the website. There is also a curio shop.
This is an affordable and unique experience for both locals and first-time visitors.
uShaka Sea World is one of the initiatives of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR), along with the Oceanographic Research Institute and the Sea World Education Centre. It is also part of the greater uShaka Marine World.
There are a number of fascinating displays at this facility, and the experienced, knowledgeable staff members are more than happy to explain and share their insights on these.
Popular activities include:
- Meeting a dolphin up close
- Shark diving
- Walking on the floor of the Open Ocean Exhibit, giving visitors a very real idea of what walking on the real ocean floor is like
- Lagoon snorkelling
- Meeting the seals
All of these require booking.
uShaka Marine World combines an endless variety of insights and experiences (with some of the world’s most exciting sea creatures) with entertainment and endless fun. It boasts a board of wildlife specialists and researchers that add to the experience by providing valuable insights and unique studies.
The uShaka Sea World is part of this larger body. Therefore, the activities and attractions of one applies to the other.
The Dangerous Creatures exhibit is acclaimed as one of the world’s best reptile displays, covering 450 square metres. All three of these facilities are designed to educate and to cultivate a respect for the marine species off the South African shoreline.
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