Wildlife in Durban
Come experience the scenic splendour and amazing wildlife of South Africa's Nature Reserves. The establishment of Durban's Zoological Gardens, Mitchell Park Zoo and Robert Jameson Park took place in the early 1900s. This followed a worldwide trend of housing animal collections in public parks or botanic gardens. A credible zoological garden was expected to house large animals and, over the years, Durban boasted lions, a leopard, a panther, elephants, a brown bear and a polar bear.
Animals were acquired through donations, exchange or purchase and also included baboons, ostriches, a sea elephant, a lynx and yellow albatross, eland, a Cape buffalo, blesbuck, wildebeest and three lemurs. The polar bear was reportedly fond of eating mangoes, with its fur turning yellow as a result.
In the Riverside district, on the north bank of the Umgeni River, Umgeni River Bird Park features more than 200 species of birds, and some are the only representatives of their kind in Africa. On a network of paths running through lush landscaping and waterfalls, visitors can observe a variety of indigenous species as well as birds from Southeast Asia and Australia, including lories, cockatoos, and aras. One of the highlights of the park is the bird show...
Ushaka Marine World, one of the main attractions on Durban's Golden Mile, is a water-themed wonderland packed with attractions. Sea World, set on replicas of four shipwrecks, features the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere, where visitors can get up close to marine life through underground viewing galleries. Other attractions here include a Dolphin Stadium, Seal Stadium, and Penguin Rookery. Wet 'n' Wild is an extravaganza of splash pools, slides, and super tubes, while uShaka Kids' World is a paradise for two- to twelve-year-olds. Little ones will love the playgrounds, treasure cave, and creative activities here. After a fun day enjoying all the sea-themed attractions, visitors can stroll among the outdoor shops and restaurants at Village Walk.