uShaka Marine World
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uShaka Marine World logo
A blacktip shark in the shark aquarium.
|Date opened||April 2004|
|Location||Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa|
|Land area||16 hectares (40 acres)|
|Number of animals||10,000 (2010)|
|Total volume of tanks||17,500 cubic metres (4,600,000 US gal)|
|Annual visitors||790,433 (2010)|
uShaka Marine World is a 16-hectare (40-acre) theme park which was opened in April 2004 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It comprises 4 sections: uShaka Sea World, uShaka Wet 'n Wild, uShaka Beach, and uShaka Village Walk. It is located on the strip of land between the beachfront and the harbour. It was the first phase in the redevelopment of the Durban Point.
The park was opened on 30 April 2004 after 3 years of development. In 2005, the park was awarded for "Outstanding Achievement in thematic creative design" by the Themed Entertainment Association.
uShaka Sea World 
uShaka Sea World is the 5th largest aquarium in the world, with 32 tanks totaling 17,500 cubic meters of water. The underground aquarium is designed around 5 shipwrecks, with its entrance through the above ground "Phantom Ship", which contains several restaurants including the "Cargo Hold," with a wall sized shark aquarium visible from most of the dining areas, and the "Upper Deck," with views of the open sea exhibits that surround the "ship". The dolphin stadium can seat 1,200 visitors, and the seal stadium can seat about 450.
The aquarium is home to shark species such as ragged-tooth sharks, spinner sharks, hammerhead sharks, and local catsharks, large rays including eagle rays, local moray species including honeycomb morays and geometric morays, local gamefish, and large fish species including giant groupers, potato bass, kingfish, and cobia. uShaka also housed a Manta ray for a short period of time before it was moved to the Georgia Aquarium in the United States.
In addition to the dolphin and seal shows, there is penguin, shark and ray feeding at various times during the day, check the schedule for times.
Take part in an animal encounter. It is possible to snorkel in the lagoon with approximately 1500 fish. If you want to try something even more adventurous, try a shark cage dive or see what its like to breath underwater and walk on the ocean floor with the ocean walker.
Calypso, the local dive centre at Ushaka also run discover scuba and bubble maker experiences in the snorkel lagoon. 'bubble maker' is for children aged 8-under 10. Anyone over 10 can do the discover scuba course. If you are a certified diver you can also dive in the open ocean lagoon with pelagic fish and rays.
The Dangerous Creatures exhibit includes various reptiles, amphibians and arachnids, some of which are venomous in their newly set-up Dangerous Creatures section, which is apart from the main aquarium. This sub-section contains both local and exotic animals, from rock pythons to Burmese pythons, Nile crocodiles, black mambas, tarantulas, scorpions, and gila monsters to name a few.
uShaka Wet'n Wild 
uShaka Wet'n Wild is a water park which contains everything from a lazy river ride that goes through the ship wreck and past some tanks, to high speed slides, and boasts the highest water slide in Africa. It includes a large grass area for relaxing, and its own restaurants.
uShaka Beach 
uShaka Beach is a beach which has direct access from the amusement park. It boasts a large pier leading out into the ocean, and sand beaches.
uShaka Village Walk 
uShaka Village Walk is designed to look like an African village, and includes restaurants, cafes and other shops.
Financial troubles 
The park was built at a cost of R700-million, has been subsidized for a total of R450-million by the eThekwini Municipality, suffered a net loss of R44.5-million, and a total deficit of R377.5-million. There have also been irregular expenditures (expenditures which do not undergo normal procurement procedures) of R3.15-million on the park.
- "About Us". ushakamarineworld.co.za. uShaka Marine World. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "Durban Marine Them Park (Pty) Ltd. Trading as uShaka Marine World Annual Report". durban.gov.za. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "uShaka Marine World". southafrica.net. South African Tourism. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "Cargo Hold". ushakamarineworld.co.za. uShaka Marine World. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "The Upper Deck at uShaka Marine World". safarinow.com. Safari Now. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- "Map". ushakamarineworld.co.za. uShaka Marine World. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- Tolsi, Niren (4 February 2011). "Durban bleeds municipal funds". mg.co.za. Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
Media related to uShaka Marine World at Wikimedia Commons