Are you prepared to be spooked and shocked, taunted and terrified?
If indeed that is your wish, don’t stress: the Johannesburg Zoo will give you the opportunity to experience all of this in one evening.
The zoo will stage its popular annual Halloween Extravaganza on November 1. For four hours that evening, the zoo will be transformed into a playground of frights and delights, vampires, goblins, zombies and magical flittering fairies.
As you enter the zoo for this evening of frightful fun, Halloween marshals, dressed in terrifying garbs, will usher you into a magical world of trickery, spooks and loads of fun for all.
Start the evening’s scares and thrills at the Bandstand area, a fun zone for people of all ages courtesy of MTV Nickelodeon.
Meet your favourite characters – including Dora, Boots and Diego – and get to watch an exciting show before moving on to the next Halloween zone. The next stop allows visitors to choose between the “scary” part and the “fairy” tale.
Taking the scary route, along the path to the Haunted Forest, past the Ape House, visitors will first enter the Vampire Cave, a dark and mysterious cavern that will definitely get goose bumps and chills going.
Be prepared to encounter creepy-crawlies, ravenous vampires and everything that comes out at night. But this amazing experience is only for those older than nine.
For those who would prefer to take the friendly fairy route, visit Fairyland and be transported into a magical wonderland of flickering lights, fairies and flowers. This will delight all members of the family irrespective of age.
Get up close and personal with a dancing hippo and giraffe, have a selfie taken in the midst of the mushroom forest or enjoy the lawns, which will be colourfully transformed into a true fairyland wonder.
The next stop along the Halloween trail takes you to the Witches Cemetery, opposite Meerkat Lawn, for a peek into a creepy cauldron. At the cemetery, visitors can expect to be tricked and shocked, spooked and treated by an array of zombies, witches and necromancers.
Moving along the Halloween haunt, take a turn past the old carnivore enclosure and enter the Ghost House – a dark and terrifying maze guaranteed to both frighten and delight you.
The house will also allow visitors the chance to view stunning animal demonstrations while being spooked by flickering lights and pop-up characters in scary costumes.
Next, along the haunted path, is the Slithering House at the reptile enclosure, where you will meet the entire cold-blooded family and experience their slinking, cool touch.
Visitors will then move along to the Tree of Light Lawn, a short walk away from the reptile enclosure.
Entering the Tree of Light Lawn will take you through a gauntlet of scary, spooky and strange creatures. Costumed characters will touch, interact and startle those who walk past.
Last on the Halloween trail is the strange Alien World on the Centenary Lawn, a strange extra-terrestrial experience for people of all ages. Alien World is where scary and weird meet. Come and listen to the Grim Reapers tell scary spook stories next to a roaring bonfire and experience the frights and fun of several alien costumes.
Bring along your candies and loot buckets for loads of fun and trick-or-treating opportunities.
To add to the evening’s fun and entertainment, judges will be scouring the crowds to find the best-dressed adults and children with some amazing prizes up for grabs.
The Zoo’s Café Fino will be open and serving delectable eats and treats or alternatively pack a monster picnic basket and enjoy the sights and sounds of the zoo at night. CNA will also be on hand selling all things spooky.
Entrance fee is R65 for adults and R40 for children and pensioners. The extravaganza starts at 5pm.