12 Things you didn’t know about Crocworld Conservation Centre

Since 1985, Crocworld Conservation Centre has established itself as a landmark on the Mid-KZN South Coast, with visitors coming from all over to meet this tourist attraction’s iconic and charismatic residents. But even die-hard supporters will be interested to learn some of the fun facts about Scottburgh’s conservation centre.

“We have been welcoming visitors through our doors for almost 40 years, positioning ourselves as a must-see destination when stopping by the Mid-KZN South Coast,” said Crocworld Conservation Centre Manager, James Wittstock. “Education is central to our daily operations here so we thought it a good idea to educate the public a bit more about Crocworld through some fun facts!”

1. The centre is open every day except one
Conservation doesn’t take a break and neither does the team at Crocworld! The centre is open to the public 364 days a year with only Christmas Day reserved as a day of rest. Every other day of the year, the centre caters to local and international visitors, school groups, and tour groups, and hosts events in the name of conservation.

2. The centre is home to a global icon
A number of crocodiles call the centre home, but none are quite as renowned as Henry. At the ripe old age of 122, Henry is considered to be the oldest known Nile crocodile in captivity and has been a resident of Crocworld since its inception in 1985. The team celebrates his birthday on 16 December with cupcakes for the guests, and a meaty treat for the celebrity croc.

3. Henry isn’t the only local celebrity
While not quite 123 years of age, Colgate’s 90-something years on the planet make him another must-see resident at Crocworld Conservation Centre. He’s not only the second-oldest croc at the centre, he’s also the second-biggest croc, weighing in at around 650kgs.

4. The Crocworld team helps with snake removals
Crocworld is not only home to several fascinating local and exotic snake species, the team is also on hand to assist residents on the Mid-KZN South Coast with snake removals as well. The region is home to a wide variety of interesting – and ecologically vital – snake species, however, they sometimes end up in residential areas, particularly with temperatures rising. Fortunately, the Crocworld team can relocate them to more suitable environments.

5. Crocworld has a softer side too
Reptiles, with their scales, claws, teeth, and fangs, are a major drawcard to the centre, but there are some much softer and cuddlier residents to be found here as well. The Crocworld Animal Farm is home to a range of farmyard critters, including goats, guinea pigs, pigs, and sheep all looking for some attention.

6. Crocworld has impressive birdlife
The indigenous vegetation that surrounds Crocworld is not only impressive, it provides the necessary habitat for indigenous birdlife found here, giving visitors a chance to view these feathered friends in their natural habitat. The centre is home to more than 200 bird species in the wild and within the centre itself, with the Palm Nut Vulture and African White Pelican some of the rarer sightings. There are also some choice characters such as Elliot the Emu, Norris the Marabou Stork, Elizabeth and Philip the Mute Swans, and Sekhuru the African Fish Eagle.

7. Crocworld is a popular tourist destination
Visiting Crocworld Conservation Centre is such an enjoyable experience, that many choose to do it repeatedly! Since first opening its doors in 1985, the centre has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors and continues to attract thousands locally and from abroad.

8. Crocworld is a great party venue
The many on-site activities at Crocworld alongside its beautiful setting and great climate make this an ideal kids’ party venue. The team makes this a hassle-free event for the parents, and a truly memorable experience for the partygoers!

9. Crocworld runs breeding programmes
An important part of the conservation element is the on-site breeding programmes run by Crocworld which are instrumental in furthering the genetic diversity of threatened species. Some of the more recent breeding programmes include the once-endangered American Alligator, the Jackal Buzzard, Marabou Storks, and Cape Vultures.

10. Crocworld is a member of Species360
Species360 is a global conservation entity that facilitates information collection from 1 200 aquariums, zoos, and universities, as well as research and governmental facilities worldwide across 99 countries on six continents. Members like Crocworld curate the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), the world’s most comprehensive database of knowledge on more than 22 000 species, for the global fight against extinction.

11. Crocworld offers diverse dining options
A gem located within the heart of Crocworld Conservation Centre is the Fish Eagle Café which boasts great food and drinks in one of the most scenic settings. The exquisite sea view from the café’s wraparound deck gives visitors the chance to watch playful dolphins as well as migrating whales while enjoying a great meal. Fish Eagle Café also runs some great specials such as the October Special – choose from 7 great paninis served with chips or a salad and free Liqui Fruit and phone holder for just R85!

12. Visitors can enjoy Crocworld Membership
Crocworld affords visitors the chance to enjoy unrestricted access to the centre – while supporting its conservation efforts – through an annual Crocworld Membership. All Crocworld Memberships are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, so stop by and buy one whenever!

· 1 x Adult Membership: R375
· 1 x Children Membership: R250
· 1 x Pensioner Membership: R250
· 1 x Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children aged 4 to 12 years): R900
*Children under 4 years enter free of charge.

For more on Crocworld’s Membership and events, visit www.crocworld.co.za, ‘Crocworld Conservation Centre’ on Facebook or call 039 976 1103. Contact Fish Eagle Café, call 083 658 7073 or email mvanzyl@cbl.co.za.

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