Charities to Benefit at The Durban Botanic Gardens’ ‘Festive Trail of Lights’


Don’t miss Shannon Bowden, aka Father Christmas, and Rayne, Roxy and Skye from Husky Rescue KZN at the Durban Botanic Gardens’ Festive Trail of Lights – Photo by Jethro Snyders

Embracing the season of giving, The Durban Botanic Garden’s inaugural Festive Trail of Lights, will give visitors the chance to explore this magically festive environment after dark, whilst supporting a range of KZN charities at the same time. Promising a dazzling night out for the whole family, highlights of the week-long event include: a food garden serving a range of artisanal food, a chance to meet Santa and other magical Christmas characters in Santa’s Grotto, The Tree of Light, the ‘Talking Tree’ and the North Pole Mailbox where ‘letters to Santa’ can be posted.  The Trail of Lights will run every evening from the 17 to 24 December between 18h30 and 21h30.

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) based charities involved in the event will host an array of kiddie-friendly activities such as cupcake-making, face-painting, pony rides, sand art, ceramic painting and more.

Charities operating at the Festive Trail of Lights are:
–           The South Coast Hospice offers palliative care to patients living with life threatening illnesses such as cancer, TB, HIV & AIDS and motor neuron disease. Through a team of trained nurses, doctors, caregivers and counsellors, they work with patients and their families to ensure a pain free, comfortable and dignified journey.

–           Due to their popularity, there is currently a crisis with Siberian Huskies being overbred by backyard breeders. Husky Rescue KZN rescues and rehomes stray and unwanted huskies. The organisation treats, sterilizes, microchips, rehabilitates and fosters these wonderful dogs until they go to a good home. Running costs are high and the dogs can be in their care for several months before finding an appropriate home.

–           CROW is South Africa’s longest serving wildlife rehabilitation centre dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of all injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife throughout KZN. From mongoose, genets and servals to birds, reptiles and primates, CROW believes in action and education with regards to wildlife conservation. With a team of dedicated rehabilitation specialists CROW aims to help wild animals in need with the public’s assistance.

–           Bunville Rabbit Rescue (aka Bunville: The Bunny Barn) rescues, rehomes and rehabilitates abandoned and abused domestic rabbits. They offer free assistance to all rabbit owners providing information and education on how to adequately care for their pets. Bunville Rabbit Rescue gives these bold little souls a second chance at happiness.

–           The Magic Bean Foundation’s focus is to mentor communities and empower them with skills that encourage sustainable living. From crocheting beautiful beach bags from plastic shopping packets to creating other sustainable handmade products, all proceeds are given to the people who painstakingly make these items or are used to raise funds for the organisation.

–           Likhon iThemba provides assistance to vulnerable children and their families in KZN. Their main project, HOLAH (House of Love and Hope), looks after abandoned, neglected and orphaned babies until they are adopted or reunited with their biological families. Bowl of Plenty (BOP) is an outreach project providing non-perishable foods to informal and formal creches and families in need around the province. A recently opened Charity Hop Shop in Glenwood receives pre-loved clothes and other items that are sold with the money raised contributing to project costs.

–           Run by a handful of passionate volunteers, Feeding the Furballs’ main activities involve rescuing and feeding animals, managing feral colonies and sterilization. They are a pro-life organisation who’s mission is to reduce the suffering of animals in KZN and create a culture of awareness about animal abuse through social media, public engagement and networking.

–           Monkey Helpline is a volunteer group made up of dedicated rescuers and rescue assistants, veterinarians, educators, monitors, fund-raisers, administrative assistants and supporters, that carry out rescues and ensure that the injured or orphaned monkeys get veterinary care.

 “The charities hope, through their efforts, to raise much needed funds for their causes and we encourage everyone to gather friends and family and come down to the gardens to support them.”       Kerry Philips, Durban Botanic Gardens Trust Manager

Tickets are R40,00 per person for online sales and R50 at the door on event nights. Book your tickets at children under two go free. There are limited tickets available per night so pre-book to avoid disappointment. For more information visit or contact

EVENT INFORMATION: “As twilight falls, let the magic begin…”

–  May I use my tickets on any night of Durban Botanic Gardens Trail of Lights?
No, please attend on the date you purchased the tickets for.

–  Why is there a limit on the number of people who can attend each night? 
We’ve placed a limit on attendance each evening to provide a better experience for guests by preventing extremely large crowds on any given night.

–  Is there parking?
Yes, parking is available at the Umpafa grounds at the Visitors centre entrance. Parking surcharge applies.

–  Please note that parking is limited and fills quickly. If you park in the surrounding neighbourhood on a side street, please be respectful of our neighbours and park legally as Durban Botanic Gardens is not responsible for parking tickets.

–  What forms of payment will be accepted?
Cash and credit cards are accepted for ticket sales. Cash only for certain stalls.

–  Can I purchase food at Trail of Lights?
Yes, there will be a pop up food court set up with local food vendors on site. We have a variety of stalls available. Unfortunately, no picnic baskets, food or alcohol will be permitted onto the premises during the event.

–  What kind of clothes should I wear?
Durban Botanic Gardens Trail of Light is an outdoor event. Though the path is concrete, we suggest wearing shoes with good traction. Please come prepared for the weather conditions.

–  How long does it take to walk around the path?
It takes 20 to 30 minutes to walk the trail excluding all the activities on offer.

–  Are pets allowed at the Durban Botanic Garden Trail of Lights?
Pets are not permitted at this event. Service dogs/animals are allowed.

–  Will Photography be allowed?
Durban Botanic Gardens welcomes photographers who capture and film their experience on cameras and smart phones for personal use and sharing via social media #trailoflights #givingback

–  Event address:
Durban Botanic Gardens
9a John Zikhali [Sydenham] Road, Durban
GPS:  29°50′48″S 31°00′24″E

–  Event Enquiries
If you have a ticket related query after you have made your purchase or any other queries, please contact the booking agency on

Carla Gailey

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