"Festival of Lights at the Zoo". Picture: Supplied

After years of the absence of an official ‘festive lights’ programme in the City of Joburg, the Joburg Zoo, in partnership with the Joburg Theatre and City Power, is hosting the magical 'Festival of Lights at the Zoo', from 1 December to 5 January, between 6pm to 10pm, except on Mondays. 

“Visitors will be able to experience the nocturnal sounds of the Zoo; stroll through the food and crafts market; picnic under the Joburg skies and be captivated by the large-scale animal themed-lighting and lit-up tree-lined pathways – all set to ring in the holidays,” says the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development in the City of Joburg, Councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba. 

An added bonus for families, friends and corporates looking to treat their employees as part of their year-end offering, will be dance performances including the ‘Nutcracker’ by the Joburg Junior Ballet Company and the Urban Dance and Pantsula ensembles. 

Festive rhythm will also take centre-stage with the globally renowned Sibusile Xaba, Afzal Ismail, Pops Mahommed, Siphiwe Shiburi and Emmanuel Paul bringing in their brands of jazz, acapella and rhythms and blues to the event. Patrons are invited to book early online on Ticketweb to enjoy the month-long programme with exciting varying daily performances. 

The inaugural hosting of the "Festival of Lights" at the Joburg Zoo in an outdoor friendly venue, is set to attract fun-loving families and the energetic young and the not-so-young at heart with activations included on 25 and 26 December, and on 1 January. 

Sifumba, added that the event provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate living in Joburg. “We live in one of the most, friendly, affordable and interesting cities in the world and the Festival enables us to shine a light on our unified mission to make, Joburg and South Africa great for all to enjoy”. 

Organisers have ensured that the wellbeing of the animals in the care of the Joburg Zoo, are of primary importance. An independent sound engineer will be on hand to ensure that acceptable standards for sound levels are retained throughout the festivities. 

The "Festival of Lights" programme is available on www.jhbcityparks.com or on www.joburgtheatre.co.za. Ticket prices range from R120 for adults to R60 for children and pensioners.