Did you know that you can tour the uShaka Marine World aquarium at night? Neither did I until recently. So it was with great excitement that we all hopped into the car (me, husband, 2 teenagers and my Mom) and headed down to Durban last Friday afternoon. It had been many years since we last visited the aquarium so we were all keen to see the displays again.
The After Dark Experience opens at 4pm but we only entered at about 6pm. It was still light and there was lots of activity on the beachfront – people walking, running and cycling and a surfski race out on the water. We had our entrance bands attached to our wrists and then we were scanned through the turnstile.
Down, down, down we walked passing the whale skeleton hanging in the middle, until we reached the bottom of the old ship. Let the adventure begin!
It was quiet and there was no one but us so we had so much space to be able to study the fish and other sea creatures in their tanks. A lot of the tanks have artificial light so you can see the sea creatures within better but the larger tanks are open at the top. It is wonderful to see the changes that happen in the tanks as night closes in. This is especially seen in the shark tank as we noticed how the sharks swam around faster when it became dark.
I expected my kids to look briefly at the displays and do the “how much longer” cry – a saying that all parents must know very well. To our surprise they really enjoyed themselves – my daughter was Snapchatting and my son was taking selfies with the sharks as background. He even caught a shark “yawning” on camera.
We loved looking at all the different displays but everyone agreed that sitting and watching the sharks was the best. One Ragged Tooth (Raggie) shark swam so slowly round and seemed to be giving us the eye. Maybe she was sizing us up for dinner!
The aquarium plays ship sounds through the sound system so you hear creaking and chains being released. It also has authentic looking decor with barrels, rope, crates and signage giving you the feeling of being on a real ship.
We had entered the aquarium when it was light and now we emerged to the night.
We took a walk on the uShaka pier and saw the night fishermen and a few other people on the beach. Less people were walking, running and cycling as most were heading to the restaurants for supper. We decided to join them and we had a delicious meal at Spur situated in the Village Walk.
If like us you have not been to the aquarium in years, why not do the After Dark Experience. It was wonderful to be able to see the exhibits clearly without fighting your way through people.
uShaka Marine World
After Dark Experience
Monday – Sunday
R55.00 per person
Please phone before hand to check that there is not a function
booked for the evening that you wish to go.