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"Celebrate 'Howloween' at the Johannesburg Zoo" Top 5 Page for this destination Johannesburg Zoo Tip by CatherineReichardt

Johannesburg Zoo, Johannesburg: 4 reviews and 11 photos

  One of the Zoo
by CatherineReichardt
  • One of the Zoo - Johannesburg
      One of the Zoo
    by CatherineReichardt
  • It doesn - Johannesburg
      It doesn
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Light sculpture of the Zoo - Johannesburg
      Light sculpture of the Zoo
    by CatherineReichardt
  • - Johannesburg

Having been brought up in Britain, Guy Fawkes Night (5th November) was always the big celebration, and having only celebrated the event since my children were born, I am a relative novice when it comes to Halloween. However, like most new converts, I am evangelical about my new-found passion, and have fallen hook, line and sinker for its charms!

By far the nicest - and safest - way to celebrate Halloween in Johannesburg is to take part in the 'Howloween' celebration at the Johannesburg Zoo. This runs from 1700 to 2000 on the Saturday closest to Halloween (30 October in 2010) and is a magical event that should enchant both children and adults alike.

The Zoo switches on its light sculptures for Howloween (it may come as a surprise to know that it's dark in Jo'burg by 1900 even in mid summer), which are beautiful and lend a fairytale atmosphere to the proceedings. Usually they lay on special events for the kids and zoo staff wander around in costume (see one of the photos of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse). Families bring picnics to enjoy on the Centenary lawn and children dress up in costume and go 'trick and treating' (something that you wouldn't consider doing after dark in most neighbourhoods of Johannesburg because of security concerns). Meanwhile their mothers and fathers kick back over a cold beverage or two amid beautiful surroundings and good company and ponder on the fact that parenthood isn't such a bad gig after all!

Entrance to the zoo is R30 per child and R50 per adult at the time of writing (2010) plus R10 for secure parking (which fills up quickly). If you're interested in taking part in Howloween, I would suggest that you consider arriving earlier in the day so that you can explore the Zoo and its excellent exhibits during daylight and then stay on for Howloween - it won't cost you any more.

Just bear in mind that Halloween is during Jo'burg's rainy season, and that most of our rain falls as thunderstorms that take place in the late afternoon or overnight. Just because it's bucketing down at 16:00 doesn't mean that it will still be raining by 17:30, so don't let this put you off, but bring some rainproof clothing just as a prophylactic measure (if you bring these, chances are it won't rain!)

Address: Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkview, Johannesburg
Directions: The main public entrance is on Upper Park Drive on the corner with Jan Smuts Avenue.
Phone: +27 (0)11 646 2000

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 19, 2011
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