Mid Kent -Day 2 – sea life centre (and a monkey on the roof!!)
After spending an amazing day at uShaka water park the next morning was spent with everyone buzzing with excitement to what the day would lead to. The whole group generally get on really well so we all spent the morning eating breakfast outside by the swimming pool. Whilst eating breakfast we were all astounded to see a wild Vervet monkey join us for breakfast. It’s so liberating to see a wild monkey we were all in awe. After prepping our bags we set out into the mini bus and headed back to Ushaka marine park but this time to the sea life centre.
Driving through the city towards UShaka we’ve all seen first hand just how rough south africa can be. Never in a million years would i walk the street alone I’d probably feel more safe walking through strood on my own at night. If you know how dodgy Strood can be you’d get a slight idea on what all the back alleys and run down areas here are like. The more we travel through Durban it makes me appreciate what i’ve got back home in England. This experience will be one I will carry with me for life.
Once we arrived at the marine park we were led to the education centre. It was here we endured a very long presentation on the marine life and photosynthesis rates throughout the world and the science behind plankton. Once finished we had cups of tea and rusks. Over here in south africa they have thick squares of hard rusk. It’s not like the rusks we have back home and here it is like a delicacy. When we all first tried one we were like wow these are going to break our teeth. But the more we eat the easier it gets to eat and it turns out they are actually really nice!
We were then split into two groups with two guides and had our own personal tour of the sea life centre. Once finished we headed out to this massive arena where we watched a fantastic dolphin show! It is amazing to see how intelligent dolphins are. A girl in our group called Saffron was chosen to go down to the water and to her surprise was then splashed by all the dolphins. It was pretty humorous to watch as it really was not expected.
Half hour later the dolphin show had finished. We then went behind the scenes of sea life and learnt about just how much work gets put into maintaining the enclosures. The amount of equipment it takes to filter and clean the water is just astounding. We learnt that the sea life centre we went to uses water directly from the sea which was situated right next to Ushaka. After looking around the filtration systems we then got the chance to go into the breeding area. This was the room where sea life bred different marine species and kept all the nurseries. So many cute baby sea horses! After that we then went into quarantine. Quarantine was where they kept all the new species of fish and aquatics species to either cure diseases or ensure they have no problems with them whatsoever if they were new to the centre.
After a great day at the sea life centre we then headed back to the education centre for a talk on the dangerous animals which are found in south africa and the three different toxins these animals have. We then went into the dangerous animals exhibit they have at UShaka and got close and personal with different snakes, monitors, iguanas etc. It was pretty cool getting up close and personal with various different reptiles and we even got the chance to feed the bull frogs.
After the dangerous animals we then had an hour to go off in groups, do a little more shopping and to get some food. We went to Steers which is SO yummy. We all indulged in massive burgers and thick cut fries our bodies could not handle then headed back to the mini bus to go home. Once we got home Anton and Elle let us all go to the beach which was directly in front of our house. Some amazing views of the city in far distance and the sea here is so rough ! The waves are extreme here and frankly looking at the English waves back home they are pathetic ! Everyone decided to stand in the crash zone of the waves and everyone got soaked. Being a total pansy when it comes to water I decided to just sit on the beach with my friends. Have a giggle and just chill out. The sand here is so odd. I don’t know what to class it as but still the beaches here are just amazing. After spending an hour at the beach we all got home, got in our pjs and all just had a great laugh playing cards or just girly chats (and the boys). For dinner we had a classic burger and chips.
Overall the experience here is one I’ll never be able to replicate. I’m learning so much already and I’ll never forget anything here. This is truly all once in a lifetime and we are all so thankful to Elle for organizing such an amazing trip to South Africa.
Written by Naomi Motson ND2B <3