On 1st December 2019, Joburg Zoo—in partnership with City Power, Joburg Theatre, City Parks and MK Illumination—will be launching a brand-new design for their annual “Joburg Zoo Festival of Lights”.
This year, visitors to the zoo will be able to enjoy a selection of enchanting, illuminated life-size animal characters. By following a designated lit route, well out of the way of living animals to avoid disturbing the zoo’s inhabitants, visitors will be walk under trees filled with lights and through illuminated arches to see light sculptures that include horses, giraffes, stags, bees, lambs, lions, rhinos, dolphins, lizards and much, much more.
“This is a spectacular project and we’re thrilled to be part of it,” said Lee Rasmussen, Managing Director of MK Illumination South Africa. “The zoo will be filled with some very special light sculptures of animals, including some brand new motifs created just for the South African market like the beaded bee, lizard and butterfly, and we hope that Jo’burgers will love the end result as much as we do.”
What about the REAL animals?
Many fans of the zoo will be concerned about the live animals, many of whom will be fast asleep when the festival begins at 7pm each night.
“This was of concern to the zoo and all the partners as well, especially as there are over 100,000 light points along the designated trail. Although we wanted to create a special festive experience for visitors, it was vital that the animals themselves didn’t suffer because of the festival, so we collaborated closely with Animal Welfare. They visited the zoo a number of times and carefully audited the installation. With their input and advice, we made some changes to the final design and moved a number of the lights to ensure that there wouldn’t be any negative effects to the well-being of the animals,” said Rasmussen.
Behind the scenes
The installation of the light sculptures and other light features took 10 days and a dedicated team of 8 people.
The end result is one that all parties are proud of, and the pre-opening event in November attracted a great deal of local publicity, and has been featured in the Caxton Press and on SABC News.
As always, the “Joburg Zoo Festival of Lights” will have lots to offer visitors including live entertainment, a night markets and many opportunities to eat, drink and enjoy the holidays with family and friends.
For more information
The Festival of Lights will run from 1st December 2019 to 5th January 2020, and will be open daily from 7h00 to 22h00.