Mother’s Day Concert at the Joburg Zoo

In case it has slipped your mind, this Sunday, 12 May, is Mother’s Day. Got nothing planned yet? How about listening to some of South Africa’s top musicians, all while taking in the beautiful surroundings at the Joburg Zoo, at this year’s 30th Mother’s Day Concert.

Over the years, the Mother’s Day Concert at the Zoo has become a hot item on Johannesburg’s events calendar and is attended by over 10 000 visitors.

Against the beautiful backdrop of the zoo, in a serene setting, families from all over Johannesburg can enjoy South Africa’s top and international acclaimed leading musicians live on stage – the sensational Mafikizolo, the incredible GoodLuck music band and the captivating singer-songwriter, Msaki. Dynamic Afro pop duo, Mafikizolo is an award-winning music group that’s behind favourite hits, like Khona and classics, Udakwa Njalo and Ndihamba Nawe. Electronic wizards, GoodLuck will entertain crowds with all-time favourites, including Back in the Day and Thinking About You. Msaki is sure to mesmerize visitors with her soulful sounds and smooth voice.

The concert starts at 11am until 3pm, but visitors are encouraged to come early to partake in all the activities at the Zoo. Kiddies are going to be in for a treat as they will enjoy hours of fun with activities like sand art, face painting, giant snakes & ladders, jumping castles, crafts and photo opportunities for moms and kids. The Zoo offers some of the most fascinating animal programmes for the whole family. On the day, young and old can participate in the guided tours of Africa’s Big 5, watch the feeding of the Zoo chimpanzees and discover more about the colourful species of the Amazon. Children can visit the Farmyard where they can see and touch friendly farm animals such as Nguni cattle and Bapedi sheep.

Baby animals are celebrating their first Mother’s Day

Come meet six animal babies who are celebrating their first Mother’s Day. They are four tiger cubs – Jacqui, Joey, Courage and Sheena; giraffe calf, Sabawu and one puma cub.

The tiger quadruplet cubs, who were born on 1 December 2018, have melted the hearts of their keepers. The playful and energetic cubs are fast learners who keep their mom busy throughout the day. They all have different personalities. Amongst them, there is one that is terrified of everything and the mother tries to reassure him at all times, and the second one, who is very naughty, always tries out new things and takes the lead, while the last two are just followers. The Zoo now boasts 7 tigers, 4 cubs, 2 females and the mighty male. Visitors can see the cubs at memorial boulevard, opposite the rhinos.

Sabawu, the giraffe calf was born on 21 January 2019 to parents, Lady and Madolo. The arrival of the giraffes to the world is not the gentlest. After a gestation period, ranging from 425 to 465 days, that is approximately 15 months, calves are born falling to the ground from an almost two-meter height from the mother who remains standing up during the birth. However, they do not suffer any hurt, and in a matter of at most 20 minutes, they can walk.

The Puma cub was born on 19 August 2018 to mom Zara and dad Loki. The clever, playful newbie is very close to his mother, who never leaves his side. He can be seen curiously exploring the enclosure under the watchful eye of Zara.

Adopt an Animal for Mom

Dads and kids can adopt Mom’s favourite animal for R300. Chances are that this gift will go down as one of the most memorable and best Mother’s Day gifts ever. This certificate will be personally signed by mom’s favourite artist of the day. In addition, moms also get a Zoo Journal and pen, a photograph and information of her adopted animal, as well as one free entrance and paid parking voucher.

“We are very excited to celebrate 30 years of Mother’s Day celebrations. The Joburg Zoo is 115 years old and has over 320 species. We have a proud heritage of providing programmes and edutainment for Johannesburg families. We invite everyone, young and young at heart to continue to support our efforts and commitment to animal welfare and the important role of conservation projects for indigenous and worldwide endangered animals,” says Louise Gordon, EM: Business Development at the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo.

The Joburg Zoo is inviting everyone to be part of history at this special Mother’s Day Concert. Concert goers may bring along a picnic basket and non-alcoholic beverages, or purchase from the vendors who have been carefully selected to make this a momentous occasion.

Tickets are available online on and are sold for R120 per person for adults and R70 per person for children and pensioners. There is also a discount for a purchase of 4 tickets with 1 ticket for free.


On the day, extensive parking is available in various sites in and around the zoo namely Zoo Parkade, in Upper Park Drive, boasting extensive parking space, Zoo Lake, The Military Museum and Saxonwold Primary School. A parking fee of R16 per vehicle is payable.

Food Vendors

Food Vendors have been carefully selected to ensure Mother’s Day is extra special. The Vendors and restaurant stalls cater for all taste buds:

External Vendors / kiosks

  • Felix – Fun Foods – Chip & Dip & Donut Pops
  • Morgan Naicker – Curry Corner
  • Sarah – Chicken burgers, Prego Rolls etc.
  • Ola –  Asara – Ice cream trailer to be moved to the location and usual bikes moving around property
  • Candy Buzz –  Waffle on a stick
  • Gin On Tap – Devils Peak

Food Stalls

  • Taco Bar  – tacos/ nachos/ burritos etc. Mexican street food style
  • Shisanyama Stand – Braai meats with sides.
  • Corn Dogs Bar – Fried corn dogs with (Pork, Beef, Chicken, Cheese) with toppings and sides
  • Mini Carnival Cart –  Old fashioned carnival candy stand
  • Gatsby & Kota Spaza – Traditional Kotas and Gatsbys
  • Vetkoek Magwinya Cafe  – Vetkoek with selection of fillings
  • Slouvaki Bar – Meat (Chicken, Beef, Vegetarian) skewers and sliced meats served in pita bread with toppings

About the Zoo

The Joburg Zoo, which houses 320 animal species, is situated in the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg and covers 55 hectares of land. The Zoo was founded in 1904 when the land was donated by the firm of Herman Ekstein.

The Zoo is managed within the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo entity and is part of the Community Development structure of the City of Johannesburg. It is internationally accredited and highly respected for its husbandry practices of maintaining a high standard of animal welfare, nutrition and ethical conduct, ensuring the physical and psychological well-being of all its animals. The Zoo has recently obtained WAZA membership.

As a popular tourist attraction for edutainment, the Zoo offers visitors day and night tours, school holiday programmes, venue hire and regular events for the public. The Joburg Zoo is a Not for Profit company and in order to maintain and improve every day running services at the zoo we appreciate private and corporate sponsorship and donations. Programmes that assist in our ongoing fundraising efforts include the annual membership and Adopt an Animal initiative.

The following fun-filled zoo activities may be enjoyed, before and after the concert:

Guided Tours of the Big 5

A fascinating guided tour will see visitors visit the Zoo’s big 5 animals. The tour guide will introduce the animals by sharing facts, interesting stories and feeding them with treats. A stop at Lammie’s enclosure, the zoo’s remaining elephant, enables one to get to hear her journey first hand.

Animal Talk and Feeding Session

A keeper in the Primate section will feed and narrate personal stories about the enthusiastic zoo chimpanzees. Learn about their history and natural habitats and what they get up to during the rest of their day.

Animal Behavior Enrichment

Behavior enrichment activities have also been planned. Animals will be seen playing with artificial devices, climbing structures and trees; activities, which are meant to increase behavioral choices for the animals and encourage species appropriate behaviors and abilities so that the animals remain in good physical condition and psychological health.

The Zoo has animals from around the world. Approximately 2300 animals and 316 species are housed in 54 hectares. The collection comprises of 7 classes of animal: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and arachnids.  Nine Critical endangered, 15 endangered species and 1 extinct in the wild, are housed at the zoo.

Children can visit the Farmyard where they can see and touch friendly farm animals such as Nguni cattle and Bapedi sheep. There are also very small to giant breeds in the Farmyard. Children can also play on the zoo’s playground gyms.

Animals of the Amazon Exhibit

Discover the ancient world of mystery and colourful species of the Amazon at the Joburg Zoo’s Animals of the Amazon Exhibit! The building design is based on the historic Mayan temples of central America. The exhibit is home to animals and plants from South and Central America, giving zoo visitors a glimpse into the exotic world of South America. Up to 40 species are housed in the exhibit including the gigantic anaconda, poison dart frogs, creepy tarantulas, common marmoset, also known as moustache monkey, and a walk-through fresh water aquarium.

Learn more about the Joburg Zoo here.

Physical address: Joburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkview, Johannesburg, 2193

Telephone: (011) 646-2000

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