When nature connived to reveal Durban’s charm

For a few minutes, I appreciated God’s gift for the early wake, mesmerisingly so as the trees submitted to the breeze to shake their leaves in harmony

An instructor plays with one of the dolphins at uShaka Marine Park, one of the sights to behold in Durban. Photo by EDGAR R. BATTE. 

BY EDGAR R. BATTE

IN SUMMARY

  • ADVENTURE. From the adrenaline junkies to the peaceful and meditative explorers, uShaka Marine World in Durban South Africa is one place to be as, EDGAR R. BATTE writes.

There must have been connivance between the sun and the ocean to give me a great morning. The sunrays seeped through the purple velvet curtains slightly after dusk and onto my eyes to wake me up.
From a distance, the rippling waves off the beach line were audible, from the natural course of the breeze. They were a worthwhile sight, thanks to their dark chocolate colour owing to a backdrop of the palm trees that line the ‘Golden Mile’.
For a few minutes, I appreciated God’s gift for the early wake, mesmerisingly so as the trees submitted to the breeze to shake their leaves in harmony.
Fellow early birds were enjoying this portion of nature’s glory, some jogging and many, mostly couples, walking and kicking white sands on the beach front.
From my viewpoint, I could see two couples seated on the sand, worshipping the sun as it kissed their foreheads. At this young hour of the day, the optical offering only prepared me for the excitement that lay in the subsequent hours.
Somewhere along the mile, South African Tourism its hosts, international media, to the uShaka Marine World, located on uShaka Beach. In there, the dolphins expressed joy to visitors with some sporty exhibition.
It is amazing how intelligent and good listeners the aquatic mammals are. They can respond to their names. In excitement, they would produce a sound, more like laughter at every stroke achieved.
They would jump and give off a big water splash, attracting applause from the audience that comprised adults and children. Sometimes the splash is so big that you will get ‘baptised’ in the wet and wild area.
Dolphins can amazingly glide in water, play with a ball and sommersault, all in response to their instructors. Watching dolphins is memorable. The toothed whales are highly intelligent marine mammals. They mostly live in shallow seas of the continental shelves. They feed on mostly fish and squid. They are mainly gray in colour with darker backs than the rest of their bodies. The marine park is popular with families.
Malls, restaurants and music
And so much is in one place. There is a mall with shops. The restaurants overlook the Indian Ocean waters and their menus are as diverse as the nationalities they attract. There are lots of continental treats to cater to international visitors. I like taking culinary adventures and this was astounding as I got to taste rice prepared the Portuguese way, Indian way, English way, all with commonalities of spices, but varying taste. Somewhere in the alley, a musician strummed the guitar and with a sultry voice attempted singing into passers-by’s hearts. He was singing songs off his first album whose CDs were on sale.

Sights
uShaka Marine World is dotted with colourful sculptures of aquatic animals such as snakes, tortoise and more. Many visitors pose for photos against the statues. And as you stroll, do not get offended by a travel agent trying to sell tour packages or another endearingly smiling as they interest you in a restaurant offer. I enjoyed the meals at Moyo Restaurant for the day and made a date with a friend for an evening treat. As the sun went down, coffee tasted better on the pier as we watched ships come into the harbour.

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