Visit Durban’s Splendid Aquarium: uShaka Marine World

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Durban is one of South Africa’s major cities and a popular tourism destination in South Africa. One of its key attractions is the world-class uShaka Marine World Aquarium and Water Park. The uShaka Marine World is the largest marine theme park in Africa and houses the fifth-largest aquarium in the world, measured by the volume of water! Sounds interesting? Let’s explore the location of the uShaka Marine World, how to get there, its history and the things to do in this park.

Where Is the uShaka Marine World?

You can find uShaka Marine World at the end of Durban’s Golden Mile, near the Durban Port.

How to Get There?

You can quickly get to uShaka Marine World by car, bus or taxi. If you drive, take the Western Freeway (N3) towards Durban’s CBD. You will reach Pine Street, where you turn into Mahatma Gandhi Road. Keep following this road until you get to uShaka Avenue number 1. 

Alternatively, if you drive from central Durban, join Point Road from West Street or Victoria Embankment. From there, travel south by continuing on Point Road. You turn left into Southampton and left again into Albert Terrace.

uShaka Marine World

If you flew to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport or arrived in Durban by bus from Johannesburg, you may need a rental car to explore Durban. We always get a car from Consider booking accommodation near King Shaka International to explore Durban and its surrounding areas.

If you want to stay near uShaka Marine World, consider staying at the highly-rated Sails Penthouse C703 or the Point Waterfront Apartments.

History of uShaka Marine World

An American firm, Creative Kingdom Inc, designed the uShaka Marine World. It took over three years of development for the park’s completion. 

Bottom of the ocean at uShaka Marine World
Bottom of the ocean at uShaka Marine World

uShaka Marine World opened on 30 April 2004 in Durban, South Africa. It covers 16 hectares (40 acres). Its capacity totals 4.6 million gallons, housing 10,000 animal species. 

Best Things to Do at uShaka Marine World

The uShaka Marine World is a popular attraction in KwaZulu-natal. It is the best place for family entertainment. 

Read more about the attractions in KwaZulu-Natal.

Shopping at The Village Walk Beach Mall

The Village Walk is open between 9:00 and 18:00. Here, you can shop at outdoor adventure stores, curio stores, surf and ethnic clothing stores. You can find most restaurants at uShaka Marine World in the Village Walk.

Test Your Rope Skills at U Shaka Marine World’s Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure Park

The Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure Park has Africa’s longest continuous belay system! If you like a challenge, come here to see if you can master these rope challenges.

The Beginner Rope Adventure has 18 elements, including two zip lines over the Rocky Reef and the turtle enclosures.

The intermediate challenge has 17 elements with climbing nets, obstacles and a double zip line over the snorkel lagoon. 

To enjoy the Rope Adventure Park, you can do the challenges either with closed shoes, such as sneakers, or barefoot. You must wear sunscreen and comfortable clothing (including a shirt AT ALL TIMES). Ladies, tie your hair if it is long! 

The Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure Park is open as follows: 

  • Wednesdays to Fridays: 10:00 – 17:00 
  • Saturdays to Sundays: 9:00 – 17:00 

You can book by phoning them on +27 31 332 1167 or +27 81 049 9146. Alternatively, email them at

Experience the Dangerous Creatures Exhibit

Learn more about reptiles at the Dangerous Creatures Exhibit in the Village Walk at uShaka Marine World.

Snake at the Dangerous Creatures Exhibit
Snake at the Dangerous Creatures Exhibit

Some of the animal encounters you may have here include seeing:

  • The Sungazer, or Smaug Giganteus, is one of South Africa’s most threatened lizards.
  • The Vine Snake, or Thelotornis Capensis, looks like a vine or twig but is venomous. 
  • The Eticulated Python, or Python Reticulatus, is non-venomous but the longest of all the python species in the world.
  • The Bull Frog, or Pyxiecephalus Adspersus, eat anything that fits their mouths, including snakes and other frogs. 
  • Other creatures include Tarantulas, Dart Frogs, Bearded Lizards, False Water Cobra, Tree Vipers and many more. 

You can also have yourself photographed with a giant anaconda, the largest snake in the world. 

If reptiles are your favourite thing, why not visit the Croc City Crocodile and Reptile Park near Johannesburg! The Johannesburg Zoo also has a reptile exhibit worthy of a visit!

Have Fun on uShaka Beach

uShaka Beach has a lot of beach activities and water slides for young and old. Adrenaline seekers can enjoy water rides like the Zoom Zoom multilane racer, the Mamba Tunnel, the Toperdo Kamikaze, the Drop Zone, Fast River, and the Plunge free-fall slide. For smaller kids, there are the fun Jika Jika rafter, the Toti Splash, and a splash area with water mushrooms and water canons. 

Splash Around in The uShaka Wet N Wild Water Park

The uShaka Water Park offers several freshwater slides, tube rides and free-fall slides to cool down in Durban’s wonderful subtropical weather. Here, you can find kamikaze water slides, the lazy river ride, the five-lane tube slides, many swimming pools and water rides. One of the most exciting rides here is the tunnel ride, an enclosed roller-coaster ride that speeds around the curves in the dark at an exhilarating four metres per second. 

See Dolphins, Seals, Penguins and Other Sea Creatures at uShaka Sea World

At uShaka Sea World, there are so many choices for activities. The SeaWorld is in the centre of uShaka Marine World. You can visit the saltwater aquarium with various indoor and outdoor displays and exhibits here. There are also various special interactive activities, including snorkelling and scuba dives.

The dolphin show at uShaka Marine World
The dolphin show at uShaka Marine World

Apart from visiting the saltwater aquarium and an old shipwreck here, you can watch the world-famous dolphins for dolphin shows. There are also seal shows during the day. The dolphin and seal shows occur in the Dolphin Stadium and Seal Stadium, respectively. Ask at the reception for show times.

African penguins are an endangered species. You can visit the penguin rookery between 9:00 and 16:00 daily to see these waddling birds. 

Another place to see African penguins but in a more natural habitat is the penguin colony at Stony Point near Cape Town.

You can explore the Sea World aquarium to learn more about various marine animals, including turtles, fish, sharks, penguins, snakes, frogs and many more creatures. There are several interactive displays, including the rays and starfish touch pool and the beach exhibit, where you can dive among the reef species in the Snorkel Lagoon.

Witness Feedings at uShaka Sea World

Shark tank at uShaka Marine World
Shark tank at uShaka Marine World

There are different types of feeding you can witness, including:

  • the open ocean feed at the open ocean exhibit in the aquarium on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11:00. 
  • the rocky reef feed at the rocky reef exhibit in the aquarium on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:00
  • the snorkel lagoon feed at the snorkel lagoon exhibit in the aquarium on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00
  • the large shark feed in the shark tank exhibit in the aquarium on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 14:00
  • the turtle feed at the turtle lagoon at the top of Sea World on Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:00
  • the reef predator feed at the coral gardens in the aquarium on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 14:00.

Learn at uShaka’s Sea World

Star fish in the salt water aquarium
Star fish in the salt water aquarium

SeaWorld houses the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) research facilities. The ORI manages and protects the scientific and environmental credibility of Sea World and SAAMBR. Schools can attend lectures in the onsite classrooms to learn more about marine and other coastal matters. There is also a research and reference library on the premises.

Important Information for Your Visit to The Park

Find the uShaka Marine World at 1 King Shaka Avenue in Durban’s Point Waterfront.

You can phone the attraction at telephone number: +27 (0)31 328-8000

Their email address is

Some other things to take note off:

  • You can only take your pet to the park if it is a service animal.
  • Peak season prices apply on all Public Holidays and KZN Government School Holidays. 
  • You cannot take food hampers, cooler boxes or braais to the uShaka premises for health and safety reasons.

What Are uShaka Marine World’s Opening Hours?

The park is open daily between 9:00 and 18:00. The uShaka Wet ‘n Wild area is open from Wednesdays to Sundays between 9:00 and 18:00.

What Does It Cost to Visit uShaka Marine World?

The costs depend on which attractions in uShaka Marine World you want to visit. There are six different areas to visit, each with its costs. The park used to offer combo tickets but no longer does. 

Sea WorldWet n WilduShaka Shipwreck MuseumDangerous CreaturesChimp & Zee
Toddlers (under 3)FreeFreeFreeFree
Fees to uShaka Marine World’s attractions as of 22 July 2023 – Prices can change without warning

There is free entry to uShaka Beach throughout the year, and you can walk through the uShaka Village Walk for free throughout the year.

How Long Should You Spend at uShaka Marine World?

We spent half a day at uShaka Marine World, exploring the Dangerous Creatures Exhibit, watching the dolphin and seal shows and walking around the aquarium and other sights in Sea World.

If you brought your family here and spent some time in Wet n Wild or at uShaka Beach, you may want to spend a full day here to explore all the park offers.

Restaurants at uShaka Marine World

There are several options for meals at uShaka Marine World. Let’s see what they are:


If you want a casual lunch, cocktail or sundowner venue, visit Wahooz on the promenade! 

Wahooz’s opening hours:

  • Mondays and Fridays: 8:00 – 17:00 
  • Saturdays and Sundays: 8:00 -18:00 

The Cargo Hold Restaurant

uShaka Marine World

For an upmarket food experience, eat at the Cargo Hold Restaurant. You can find the Cargo Hold Restaurant in the stern of the Phantom Ship. While enjoying your meal, you will have excellent ocean and shark tank views.

The Cargo Hold Restaurant’s trading hours are:

  • Monday & Tuesday: 17:00 – 21:00 (kitchen closes at 20:00)
  • Wednesday – Saturday: 12:00 – 21:00 (kitchen closes at 20:00)
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 16:00 (kitchen closes at 15:00)


Other Restaurants

You can find South African favourite chain restaurants near the park. These include John Dory’s, Nando’s, KFC, Sausage Saloon, Milky Lane, Ocean Basket, Spur, Steers, Wimpy, Chip n Dip. Other options include Durban Curry Cafe, Gourmet Inc and Schwarma Palace.

Sabs | South Africa Travel Blog

By Sunelle

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.