The 84 Mrs Universe contestants who arrived in Durban have been taking in the sights and sounds of the city as they settle into an intensive schedule that combines work with play.

Ashley Streeme (Mrs USA), Anastasia Gorshkova (Mrs France) and Natalia Shapovalova (Mrs Monaco) shared some bonding time at Durban’s uShaka Marine World over the weekend.

On Friday evening, the contestants got the chance to get to know each other over dinner at Casa Bella in Umhlanga.

They were out and about on Saturday, taking full advantage of the warm weather to visit uShaka Marine World.

A VIP cocktail evening on Saturday night gave spectators a tantalising taste of the glitz and glam that is set to take Durban by storm for the Mrs Universe World Finals on 2 September 2017.

Megana Danino (Mrs Gibraltar), Shaveta Athwal (Mrs India), Natalia Steshennko (Mrs Moscow) and Natalya Gaydish (Mrs Poland)

Sunday saw the contestants get down to serious business as Judging Round 1 kicked off at the World Forum Conference that focused on the event’s theme, Empowering Women. Creating Change.

On Monday, the contestants will visit three schools in the greater Durban area – Bhekisisa High School in Ntuzuma and two schools in Umlazi, namely Menzi High School and Vukuzakhe High School – to educate young girls about their rights and emphasise the importance of education in empowering women.

The Mrs Universe Finals will be held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 2 September 2017. Tickets are available at Computicket from R150.

Photos of Mrs Universe finalists in Durban:

Mrs Universe finalists enjoyed a visit to uShaka Marine World over the weekend:

Abhimanika Yadav (Mrs Asia Pacific,) and Kamiliya Konopyanova (Mrs Kazakhstan, ) having fun at uShaka Marine World in Durban:

Janelle Woods McNish (Mrs North America) with Ashley Streeme (Mrs USA):

Aida Chotkaraeva (Mrs Kyrgyzstan) and Mrs South Africa, Trisha Poona:

Gwen Madiba (Mrs Gabon), Prashant Rajgarhia (Mrs Asia) and Solange Tuyishime (Mrs Canada) at the VIP Cocktail Evening at Riverside Hotel over the weekend.:

Yuliana Korochentseva (Mrs Ukraine) and Taiba Sheheryar (Mrs Pakistan) at the VIP Cocktail Evening:

All Images: Abhi Indrarajan