Tag Archives: seals

Seals and Penguins at the Bayworld Oceanarium in Port Elizabeth (2017-07-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 16 APR 2018

While the days of the crowd being splashed wet while being entertained and enthralled by Bayworld’s team of well trained bottlenose dolphins are now long since passed, the now visibly less vibrant (despite its R10 million 2013 revamp) Port Elizabeth tourist attracting complex is still worth the visit – even if the oceanarium is no longer the star of the show.

While our day out to Bayworld revolved mostly around the excellent Port Elizabeth Museum (which I’ll dedicate a separate post to), we did of course kick things off at the oceanarium (animal activists perhaps look away now), where the kids were delighted to watch the seals and penguins splash about and play in the two open view pools (next to the sadly, but thankfully hidden, dilapidated dolphinarium zone).

Next came the short seal (and turtle) show, with Jessica particularly pleased at being called out to the front to receive a kiss from a superbly trained seal and his flexible whiskers. (Turns out, the kiss was a lot more ticklish than what she was expecting!) 

Following that, the last remaing thing to be seen in the Oceanarium section of Bayworld was of course the actual oceanarium itself, though to be fair, with the large tanks now all out of action, the dimly lit space is perhaps better referred to as an aquarium, containing only a few tanks, but thankfully filled with enough interesting fish species to make it worth the while.

(When you have a small fish tank dedicated to a LEGO shipwreck build then you might just realise that perhaps something is not running 100% according to plan…)

Anyway, I grabbed a few photos here and there, but honestly, given the oceanarium section’s now diminished state, there isn’t a whole lot to actually take photos of! Still, the kids all seemed to enjoy the space enough to have made the visit worthwhile…

Still, I have to admit, seeing the now abandoned dolphinarium (which holds such wonderful childhood memories for me) is admittedly more than just a little heartbreaking.

Next up: Bayworld’s much more amazing Port Elizabeth Museum!

Related Link: Bayworld Oceanarium | Port Elizabeth | #JuneHolidays2017

Things to See in South Africa: uShaka Marine World in Durban Travel Attractions 13 OCT 2016

One of Durban’s premier attractions is without a doubt the sprawling 16-hectare large uShaka Marine World theme park, home to one of the world’s largest saltwater aquariums as well as the highest water slide in the Southern Hemisphere!

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Opened in 2004 as one of the first phases of the Durban Point redevelopment project, uShaka Marine World comprises of five main sections, namely uShaka Sea World (the aquarium), uShaka Wet ‘n Wild (water slide theme park), uShaka Beach (a beach), uShaka Village Walk (a shopping and dining area), and uShaka Kids World (kids entertainment area).

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Entertainment options are almost limitless, with plenty to see and do throughout this amazing place. You can watch the penguins at the Penguin Rockery, be entertained by the dolphin show at the Dolphin Stadium, and laugh at Seals at the Seal Stadium. You can dive with the sharks, snorkel with the turtles, zip about in the Chimp & Zee rope adventure course, soak up the rays on the beach, or get wet on the multitude of water slides in the Wet ‘n Wild section.

Shopping, dining, and plenty of children’s entertainment means that this place is definitely worthy of a full day visit!

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The uShaka Sea World aquarium is very impressive the first time you visit (I think that I’ve been there twice already), and visiting it and its magnificently themed salt water tanks is reason enough to visit uShaka Marine World if you get the chance!

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So, basically, if you are a tourist in Durban, then you should definitely make the effort to spend at least one day at uShaka Marine World!

As per usual, here’s a handy map:

Related Link: uShaka Marine World | Wikipedia

Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris (2015-07-15) Photo Gallery 08 AUG 2015

It’s actually turning out to be a pretty good year in terms of experiencing new things – seriously, if I’m not flying a plane then I’m on a boat watching whales! :)

IMG_20150715_105748 craig lotter Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Gordon’s Beach Lodge has a work relationship with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris and often send their guests off via shuttle to go and experience whale watching in Gansbaai. As things go, Ivanhoe Sea Safaris then often invite guest house staff members out on the boat, so that they can better inform guests as to what to expect.

Luckily for me, Chantelle opted to let me with on just one such ‘educational’ ride!

IMG_20150715_093949 chantelle lotter Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

So on a sunny Wednesday morning, we dropped the kids off at their respective little schools and made the scenic drive through to Gansbaai, a place that neither Chantelle nor I can really remember ever visiting as adults.

We arrived just in time for boarding, and pretty soon we were seated on The Ivanhoe, a 42 ft. custom built catamaran, specifically designed for watching whales.

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A good selection of both tourists and locals made up the spectators for the day, and after a brief instructional by a very amicable and knowledgeable crew, we were out of the harbour and hunting for whales!

The water was calm, the weather sunny, and no wind to speak of, making conditions perfect for whale watching.

It’s quite exciting as you zoom across the water, and then suddenly have the engines cut as you stop because of a possible sighting in the distance. Then it’s everyone to the front of the boat, and seriously, it is so quiet that you can hear a pin drop – everyone is scouring the water, looking for that telltale ‘footprint’ of a whale nearby.

(Though when a whale does come up, then its an instant cacophony of camera shutters clicking – sadly, cellphone cameras like mine are pretty useless at this sort of thing!)

IMG_20150715_110910 Whale watching in Gansbaai with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris

Of course, half of the fun is this expectation (similar to when you are out in a game reserve, scouring the brush for a sighting of something special), but when a whale does finally break surface and comes right up to you, then it really becomes extraordinary.

Massive, gentle, and interesting giants without a doubt! (We spotted plenty of birdlife, seals, a couple of fast moving Bryde’s whales in the distance, and of course the slow moving Southern Right whales who came right up close to the boat).

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So needless to say, this 2+ hour long experience is definitely one well worth a recommendation!

Related Link: http://whaleviewing.co.za/