Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Natal Sharks Board

For something fun and educational, take the kids to the Natal Sharks Board, just 9 miles (15km) north of Durban in Umhlanga, to learn about the marine life that lives off the shores of Durban's 'golden mile'. The only organisation of its kind in the world, the Sharks Board maintains the shark safety gear that protects the coastline as well as doing research into sharks and running a public education programme. There are almost daily presentations and shark dissections at the complex and kids will love visiting the display hall to view the variety of lifelike replicas of sharks, fish and rays, including that of a 1966-pound (892kg) great white shark. The dissections can be disturbing for sensitive kids but they are fascinating and very educational, and some odd things have been discovered in the bellies of sharks. There are even boat trips running seven days a week, early in the morning, to view the shark nets being serviced and to see and learn about the dolphins, seabirds and fish life that abound off Durban's coast. Boat trips must be booked in advance. The Sharks Board is near Gateway Mall and the Umhlanga Rocks city centre, but isn't within walking distance of public transportation.

Address: 1a Herrwood Drive, Umhlanga

Website: www.shark.co.za

Telephone: 031 566 0499

Opening times: Dissections Tuesday to Thursday at 9am and 2pm. Closed public holidays.

Admission: Presentation and dissection: R45 (adults); R25 (children). Boat trip: R300. Bookings for boat trip essential: 082 403 9206.