Water World 2016

SAIAB is the proud host of Water World at Scifest Africa, the official main festival venue which hosts all water-related activities of the festival programme including lectures, workshops and exhibitions.

Wander through watery wonders at Water World - 2-8 March: Opening hours: 2-4, 7,8 March 09h00-16h00; 5-6 March 10h00-17h00

Download the Water World 2016 Programme


Water World first appeared on the Scifest scene as an official venue in 2013.

Professor Mike Bruton, who is a long-standing contributor and well-known face at Scifest and who has spent a life-time studying fish and things that live in water, is also an expert science communicator. After the first Water World in 2013, he had this to say,

"Congratulations on this excellent initiative, which works very well. I am sometimes concerned that science festivals (and science centres) underplay the biological and environmental sciences but, with the addition of Water World, there is no danger that SciFest will do this. After all, the sea covers about 2/3 of the world but, more importantly, being the most three-dimensional environment, it provides more than 90% of the habitable volume on our planet.”

Here is a taste of some of the exciting exhibitions and activities on offer at Water World in 2016:

  • What is the truth about the ocean's oldest apex predator? The KZN Sharks Board interactive exhibition explores fast facts and murky myths about sharks. You can also learn more about a career in marine science.

Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) (Pic: Terry Goss)

  • Put on your board shorts or bikinis and you will be rewarded with a day in the company of South Africa’s premier, A-rated estuarine scientist, Professor Alan Whitfield, Chief Scientist at SAIAB, who will again take entrepid festinos on a day-trip to the coast. Prof Whitfield will explain how the intricate and complex ecosystems of our estuaries sustain and nurture fishes and other aquatic creatures, while at the same time they have to cope with the increasing demands of human development. (Bookings are essential through the Scifest Ticket office). 

Prof Alan Whitfield, Scifest 2014
Rhodes University has a tremendous presence at Water World:
The Department of Zoology and Entomology asks "Is it only a matter of time before we lose the war on invasion?" Meet living examples of aquatic invaders and learn how YOU can be an environmental steward.
The Institute for Water Research will help you to identify live aquatic invertebrates and learn how rivers change with the seaasons.
The Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science experimental fish farm is also part of the Water World Tour. 

Sibuya Game Reserve and the Sustainable Seas Trust team up to show you the links between the animals and plants of our estuaries and coasts and are also offering a half-day excusion to the coast (Bookings are essential through the Scifest ticket office).

The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) monitors ecosystems to predict and react to environmental change. Come and see what the SAEON Elwandle (Coastal) Node is doing in the Algoa Bay Sentinel Site.

SAIAB presents:

The Acoustic Tracking Array Platform (ATAP) a marine science project which monitors the movements of marine animals along the South African coastline;

The African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) Marine Science Platform which provides a science platform and specialised equipment to enable marine scientits in South Africa to do groundbreaking research which would otherwise be unavailable or too costly.

The ACEP Phuhlisa Programme which is making major contributions to the transformation of the marine science community - come and meet some of the postgraduates on this programme and hear about their adventures. 

What is Water??  What makes water so important? Come and learn more about the properties of water and do some experiments.

And...Come and meet the SASSI singing fish...The demand for fish throughout the world has become so great that we are overfishing them to a frightening extent. What would we do in a world without fish? If the fish can't speak for themselves, learn what YOU can do to help them.

Vanessa Rouhani is the Water World event organiser. Asked where people can find Water World she explains,

  • Water World is situated on Somerset Street – look out for the Water World banners. 
  • All workshops, excursions and tours can be booked through the Scifest Africa ticket office at the Monument.
  • A special Water World shuttle runs regularly through the day every day from the Monument to Water World – just meet at the Water World kiosk at the Monument.
  • The Water World exhibition is open throughout Scifest and families are especially welcome on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Feedback for 2013, 2014 & 2015 was very positive, and we are looking forward to a bumper Water World 2016!”

Download the Water World 2016 programme

Contact details:

Tel: 046 6035800  
email: Water World