A dolphin shows off its tail-walking ability

For many guests, a visit to the dolphin stadium is the highlight of the uShaka Marine World experience. Here our family of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) amaze guests with their individual characters, intelligence, speed and agility.

Beyond providing entertainment, the dolphin presentation gives guests a glimpse into natural dolphin behaviour and an opportunity to learn more about these amazing animals at close quarters, an opportunity that is seldom possible for most people, even those privileged enough to go to sea.

Dolphins are mammals that suckle their live-born young. The dolphin's streamlined body is propelled by up and down beats of its powerful tail flukes, enabling it to reach speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour. In addition to acute hearing, keen eyesight and a well-developed sense of taste and touch, dolphins have an extraordinary sense known as echolocation. This specialised sonar system enables dolphins to detect their food and avoid predators.

The care and well-being of each dolphin is of prime importance. Meticulous daily records are kept detailing feeding, general condition and behaviour. The dolphins at Sea World consume approximately 6% of their body weight in fish daily. Each day, hake, sardines and squid are carefully defrosted and weighed out for each dolphin in their own food preparation kitchen. A well-equipped laboratory and medical centre enables us to provide each animal with optimal health care.

Dolphins often appear to be smiling

At Sea World the dolphins live in family or single-sex groups, similar to the social structure found in the wild. Not only do the dolphins thrive at Sea World, many have successfully given birth and reared their young in a specially built maternity pool. The arrival of a new calf is always a source of great excitement at Sea World for staff and animals alike, and animal behaviourists eagerly volunteer many hours of overtime to observe and care for each new arrival.

Daily dolphin presentations give guests a wonderful opportunity to see why these animals have captivated the imagination of people for thousands of years.

Meet our dolphins...