Oh My Word, the kids just LOVED their first visit to Bayworld!
One of the leading tourist attractions in Nelson Mandela Bay, Bayworld is unique in Southern Africa, embracing a natural and cultural history Museum combined with a Snake Park and Oceanarium. It is located in the heart of the Port Elizabeth beachfront and serves up a feast of edutainment to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
The main activities of the Complex are research and education aimed at stimulating a greater awareness of the need for conservation of South Africa’s natural and cultural heritage. Research and education programmes focus on marine life, reptiles, maritime and local history.
The seals were delightful and so so playful. When we arrived at their pool, they started swimming up to us to get a closer look and loved making the kids giggle when they sat on the edge watching us.
We were privileged enough to to have a short seal demonstration and talk. The kids loved watching the seals do little tricks and little Sammy was having nothing to do with any of it. All she wanted to do was play and mess with the trainers, LOL. She is my favourite seal by far! Unfortunately due to a critical staff shortage, they couldn’t do a full presentation. They do have a volunteer program for those interested.
They have an endangered African Penguin community. The African penguin is endemic to Namibia and South Africa, breeding in southern Namibia, Western Cape & Eastern Cape, on 25 islands and 4 mainland sites. The Algoa Bay population comprises almost half of the global population, which stands at some 80 thousand individuals. In 2010 the species was reclassified as ENDANGERED.
We also saw a huge sea turtle, but it was shy and didn’t give us time to get a good look.
The kids loved the Oceanarium. They have a collection of creatures that the we all loved watching. Its so calming and relaxing.
This lego shipwreck was my personal favourite, non animal, exhibition at the Oceanarium.
Maritime History Hall exhibits tell a story of shipping of by-gone years, early explorers of the African coast and the lure of trade with the East. Artifacts from shipwrecks found near Port Elizabeth, a model of the Dias padrao and various ship models are featured. The landing basket at the entrance to the hall was used to load and off-load passengers onto the decks of tugs. You can try lifting a small portion of a canon similar to those from the Portuguese galleon, Sacramento, which was wrecked near Schoenmakerskop more than 300 years ago. I spent most of our time at Bayworld here. I loved it! The kids… Not so much.
Temporary Display- Africa’s Lost World – A striking exhibition at the Museum featuring dinosaurs from Africa is sure to delight young and old. A number of the dinosaurs have been fitted with mechanisms allowing sound and movement. Of the dinosaurs featured are: a sauropod, the Algoasaurus, which lived in the area today known as the Algoa Basin; a stegosaur, Paranthodon africanus, a creature with the smallest brain-to-body size ratio of any animal; and a large predatory dinosaur from the Sahara Desert area, larger than the American Tyrannosaurus rex. Koko and Pixie loved this particular exhibition. Fifi was noncommital when I asked her if she like it.
Papa and Fifi really enjoyed the Snake Park. They have many snakes and all sorts of lizards. Papa even held an American Corn Snake and we chatted for quite a bit with Mariette, the head handler, while we were there. The kids got to touch and hold tortoises and we learnt quite a bit about them. It was fascinating. I haved a snake phobia, so I stayed away from the snake, but the girls and Papa were quite enamoured with it. You can tell from the pics that Koko wasn’t going to get much closer to it, either.
2 HUGE Burmese Pythons.
After spending the entire morning at Bayworld, we stopped in at King’s beach for lunch and discovered it was deserted and we couldn’t find anywhere to eat, so we walked around a bit and let the kidlets play on the playground.
We took a drife to Humewood and popped into Company Social Brasserie
for lunch and then headed to the beach. I found this beautiful shell and this starfish on the way. The beach was full of these sea snails. There were thousands of them!
I had forgotten to pack shorts for myself back home, so we had to find some in Port Elizabeth. None of the usual stores had any in stock, since its winter her, so I ended up going to PnP Clothing and getting some cotton hippy pants. I love them! I couldn’t pass up the chance to play in the ocean with the kidlets. Hippy pants and all! That water was ICE cold and I eventually couldn’t feel my feet!
Papa took over breaker duty, but he forgot to take his phone and wallet out of his pockets, so for a while he was standing in the water holding his pockets up. Silly man.
The kids loved the beach. We spent a good 5 hours there and by the time we got home the kids were completely exhausted and ready for bed. I was very surprised at how at home Koko was in the water. He was never my water baby, but he sure does LOVE the ocean.
Pixie found her footprint and dug it up!
Keep an eye out for a few pictures of our shell searching trip to Jeffreysbay tomorrow.