Far more to KZN than lounging on the beach
Shark dives one way to add toothy adventure to Durban trip
It’s that time of the year when people are reciting that favoured verse, 'Heh bare ziph’ ikhwama s’yahamba manje siyeDurban' (Where are the bags, we are leaving, we're going to Durban). KwaZulu-Natal has always had the reputation of being SA’s playground.
There are many things to do in the province even though a lot of visitors always end up at the beach.
Here are some activities for adventurous tourists to try out:
You can take a look at the ‘lions of the sea’. Yes, we’re talking about sharks. For most people the only time they think about sharks is when danger is involved. But there is beauty in the creatures.
Enjoying underwater adventures requires certain things. You can start off by taking scuba diving lessons with Aqua Wild Africa. They offer beginner to advanced diving courses, open water diving adventures, shark diving, wreck diving, rescue diving, and sardine run diving getaways.
If you’re ever in the small town of Umkomaas on the south coast, you can go scuba diving in the impressive Aliwal Shoal.
You’ll be able to see the interesting marine life and especially a large number of different shark species, Aliwal Shoal is famous for ragged tooth sharks. There are many businesses that facilitate dives on the shoal, with Blue Ocean Dive Resort offering accommodation and dive packages. Another company to take a look at is Blue Wilderness Shark Adventures. They offer a cage-less snorkel with sharks, also on the Aliwal Shoal, starting from children who are seven years and up.
Another place you can go to, to see sharks is Shelly Beach, also on the south coast. There you will be able to see Zambezi sharks, ragged tooth sharks and many more. Just like the Aliwal Shoal, there is a reef system called Protea Banks that also boasts a large number of shark species. Hammerhead sharks are a common sight at Protea Banks. They can be spotted from September until January. Companies such as Aqua Planet and Dive Centre facilitate drives and charters in the area.
Sowetan’s picture editor, Darryl Hammond, recently went shark cage diving at Rocky Bay, on the south coast. He had this to say about his adventure:
“If you want something different to do while in KZN, try swimming with sharks – and I don’t mean in an aquarium but in the open ocean!
These apex predators are totally misunderstood. They eat fish, not humans. Sure, they are wild animals with lots of teeth, but we are not on their menu. So, if you are looking for a thrilling, educational and enlightening experience to share with your family, head down to the KZN south coast and have an experience you will remember forever.”
Other water-based activities you can enjoy in KwaZulu-Natal include a visit to its most prominent theme park, Ushaka Marine World, which is fun for the whole family.
You can also visit Wilson's Wharf to book a romantic cruise of the harbour, indulge in some ice-cream from the ice-cream shop, have lunch at the seafood restaurant, have oysters at the Oyster Bar and visit the mini mall.
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