South African Beaches
Garden Route Highlights
South African Road Trips
Cape Town Restaurants
Ushaka Marine World
Visit uShaka and Swim with the Sharks
Flipping through travel or wildlife channels on your television you may have come across a program on sharks filmed in South African waters. There have been quite a few shark documentaries made off the South African coast, notably on Great Whites around Robben Island near Cape Town, but another shark haven is created by the warm Mozambique current passing by the East coast, which makes for conditions conducive to finding the beautiful Tiger Shark, Hammerhead Shark and others.
The East coast of South Africa has a warm sub tropical climate, making for excellent holiday conditions, with pleasant waters and golden beaches, and shark diving is one of the many adventure activities you can enjoy when visiting the coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. While you are in the area, you may want to check out the uShaka Marine World as well.
uShaka Marine World
Visiting KwaZulu-Natal, and Durban in particular, it is vital to visit uShaka Marine World in order to gain the fullest experience the area has to offer. This sea-life spectacle spans more than 15 hectares along the beach front and is the biggest marine theme park in Africa, and boasts the fifth largest aquarium in the world.
uShaka has a wide range of activities on offer, from water rides, dolphin performances and great restaurants to shopping or sunbathing, so the whole family can enjoy the visit. The uShaka Marine World is centred around a shipwreck theme with an open plan that includes land, sea and sky, capturing the subtropical climate of the region perfectly.
uShaka was built for the purpose of providing a top notch tourism and entertainment attraction for Durban, part of the eThekwini Unicity Municipality’s development drive. Today uShaka is one of South Africa’s top tourism destinations.
Swimming with Sharks
At uShaka you can see a large variety of sea-life, but if you are looking for a more adrenaline pumping experience you are going to want to head to Durban’s best shark diving spots. The Durban Sharks Board has a great audiovisual show to educate you a bit more on these beautiful creatures. And then, if you are keen to swim with sharks, there are organised dives run for all the spots mentioned below.
The first shark diving spot worth mentioning is at “Eelskin” at Aliwal Shoal, where you can see the Tiger Shark in water of around 25 degrees Celsius and between 14 and 20 meters in depth. The visibility is great, typically allowing for between 8 and 20 meters of clear vision. Tiger sharks are thought to be of the most dangerous and difficult to find sharks, so swimming with these sharks is something special indeed.
Another great shark diving spot is at Protea Banks, rated as one of the top spots in the world for swimming with sharks. This dive is for experienced divers though; it is advised that you should have at least 20 dives under the belt.
A boat ride will take you out 8 km’s from Shelly Beach to the Protea Banks, where you can see the Hammerhead Shark, considered an aggressive predator and one of the icons of the shark world. Other sharks to be seen here include the Bull, Giant Guitar and Tiger Sharks, as well as Manta Rays, Devil Rays and Bull Rays. The visibility here can be even better than at Aliwal Shoal, and the water temperature is also pleasant, usually above 24 degrees Celsius.
A boat trip to the waters just South of Eelskin takes you to a spot where organised shark diving expeditions bait Tiger Sharks for divers to enjoy swimming in the vicinity of these sharks, which can grow to 4 meters in length. The boat is anchored and the guides throw bait into the water, making sure that they only use bait which forms part of the shark’s natural diet. Also, they only use enough to bait the sharks, they are not actually giving the sharks anything to eat. The bait is in a drum and gets released when the sharks come into the area. Once the bait drum has dropped divers can view the circling sharks and take amazing photo or video footage which will wow friends and family.
So with the great weather, warm water, great variety of sharks and family entertainment of uShaka Marine World, Durban is a great place for sea life enthusiasts.
About the Author:
RoadTravel is an accredited and well established tour operator specialising in tailor-made road trips in South Africa. Their vision is to share the magic that is Africa; to encourage clients to return again and again and above all to create authentic and memorable experiences for their clients.