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USHAKA MARINE WORLD UPDATE (article first published : 2004-03-17)

uShaka Marine World is fast approaching completion. Construction of this world-class marine theme park located in Durban’s Point area began in August of 2002. The eThekwini City council invested more than R753 million to create the park which houses the world’s fifth largest aquarium.

The centerpiece of this 17 hectare theme park is the Phantom Ship. This is the wreck of a 1920’s cargo steamer spanning 80 metres in length. The Phantom Ship houses restaurants, a food court and the Captain’s bar from which one can have spectacular views of the Durban beach front. The ship also serves as an entrance to the Wreck, the underground aquarium boasting exhibits of over 200 species of sea life and the largest collection of sharks in the southern hemisphere.

The 11 000m2 Village Walk at uShaka is a shopper’s paradise. Designed to celebrate its African heritage the Village Walk incorporates the largest commercial use of thatch roofing in the country, open spaces and views of the ship and the sea add to the festive ambience. The Village Walk incorporates 89 shops and restaurants, catering for every taste and pocket.

Wet ‘n Wild, South Africa's newest water park offers exhilarating, fun and safe entertainment for the whole family. The water park has rides for the whole family, ranging from the Duzi Adventure River that takes you all around the theme park to exhilarating water rides. Also featured are swimming pools for children and adults with plenty of space to sunbathe on the sand, grass or decks.

Sea World at uShaka is the new home for Durban’s old aquarium and dolphinarium. Sea World at uShaka Marine world incorporates a 1200-seater dolphin stadium, 300-seater seal stadium, a penguin rookery, the Snorkel Lagoon, on ground features such as the Rocky Touch Pool as well as the Wreck which is the underground aquarium.

The exciting feature of the new aquarium is that over and above the species of sea life on display, the 500 metre meander is completely themed. The theme is that of shipwrecks celebrating the heritage of shipwrecks along the Durban Coast. The walk takes the guest through four different kinds of shipwrecks, a Spanish galleon, believed to have sunk in 1600, a passenger steamer sunk around 1900, a cargo ship sunk in the 1970’s, finally guest come into what has come to be known as the Dark Ship, which, it seems has not quite given up the ghost.

A 150 metre pier has been built off Bell Beach in front of uShaka to accommodate the pumps and pipes extracting sea water from the Bay. The water, pumped in at 600 cubic metres per hour, will be cleaned and pumped into the aquarium tanks before being pumped out to the adjacent canal about 24-hours later.




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