The Trail of Lights at Botanic Gardens promises to be an enchanting family outing this festive season

The Trail of Lights offers annual favourites and new displays this year. Picture: Thuli Dlamini.

The Trail of Lights offers annual favourites and new displays this year. Picture: Thuli Dlamini.

Published Dec 7, 2023


Durban’s Trail of Lights is back to bring enchantment and joy to visitors of all ages.

Event organiser Alene Naidoo explained that, now in its seventh year, the theme for this year’s event will be “Garden Glow”.

“The talented technical team behind the event are promising a radiant spectacle that showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Durban Botanic Gardens”.

“There’ll be the annual favourites, but we have loads of new displays that promise to surprise and delight our regulars,” she added.

The ancient gardens, which are set to celebrate its 175th birthday next year, is worth exploring as it will be turned into an enchanted light wonderland.

It is the oldest botanical gardens in Africa, known for its vivid flora and luxuriant greenery.

“Wandering along the trail or taking a detour will reveal surprises around every turn, including numerous pockets of stunning light installations that highlight the beauty of the surrounding natural environment,” Naidoo said.

“The Trail of Lights is a family-focused outing with something that will appeal to everybody - from the really young to the young at heart.”

Meanwhile, this year’s is also set to includes a variety of entertainment as well as live music each evening.

There will also be festive characters, live “selfie spots” across the gardens, as well as Santa picture opportunities, festive shopping, face painting and games at the charity-hosted Santa’s Workshop.

Foodies are also in for a treat as a wide selection of food and beverages will be available.

Wheelchairs will also be available to hire on a first come first served basis.

And on December 10, 13 and 14, visitors will be allowed to bring their pets along. Ticket sales from these evenings will go towards the “Feeding the Furballs” charity.

Where: Durban Botanic Gardens.

When: December 8 to January 3 from 6pm to 10pm. It will be closed on December 11, 12, 25 and 31.

Cost: R70 - R90 per person via Webtickets, at select Pick n Pay outlets or R120 at the door.

Tickets for the “Paws and Claus” nights are R50 per pet, when booked with a full-paying adult ticket.

The Lost Princess

Dancers from Ruth Jakeman Studio of Dance. Picture: Supplied

Join in on the excitement at the amateur dance show, “The Lost Princess”, at the Tropical Nite Theatre at Wild Coast Sun Resort.

Presented by Ruth Jakeman Studio of Dance, the production tells the magical story of Rapunzel and Eugene’s journey through the forest, where they meet friends and have many adventures.

The performance features tap, classical ballet, jazz, hip hop and contemporary dance, with special guest artists performing belly and line dancing.

Where: Tropical Nite Theatre, Wild Coast Sun.

When: Saturday, December 9 at 2pm and 7pm.

Cost: Tickets available from R150 via Quicket.

Steve Newman and Nish Pillay Live

Steve Newman. Picture: Supplied

Prepare yourself for a remarkable evening featuring top-notch music.

The event will feature musicians Steve Newman and Nish Pillay, who are currently on a national tour.

The two are set to serenade fans at the Rhumbelow Theatre Northlands on Friday, December 8, at 7.30pm and Rhumbelow Theatre Umbilo on Monday, December 11, at 7pm.

Newman is a virtuoso guitarist and co-founded the famous band Tananas, who have captivated audiences worldwide.

Regarded as a musical icon when it comes to playing the acoustic guitar in an African style, Newman has left an indelible mark on the music scene.

Joining Newman on stage is the incredibly talented Nish Pillay, a nomadic percussionist who brings a fusion of genres to life through his mesmerising tabla performances.

Pillay’s love for playing multiple genres of music shines through in his performances.

Pillay has collaborated with South African legends like Ard Matthews (Just Jinjer) and Arno Carstens (Springbok Nude Girls), to name a few.

Guests are welcome to join in on this rare opportunity to witness two exceptional artists come together for an evening filled with soul-stirring melodies and captivating rhythms.

Tickets cost R180 via Computicket.

Music and comedy showcase

Comedian Jeremiah Gounden, is back in Durban to perform, after touring with his one man special “That’s Life”.

Catch him live at The Duck Pond Music and Comedy Festival on December 9.

The line-up is full of exciting South Africa talent including singer and songwriter, Winston Smile and Durban born artist Dillon Styles who will be singing much loved covers by some of your favourite artists.

Gather the family for an exciting family day out with music, comedy, as well as fun and exciting activities for the kids.

Guests are permitted to carry a cooler box but food will be sold at the event.

Where: The Duck Pond, Ballito.

When: December 9.

Cost: R150 per person via Ticketpro.

Music show

Guitarist Nibs van der Spuy and violinist Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby. Picture: Supplied

Guitarist Nibs van der Spuy and violinist Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby from the legendary band Landscape Prayers, will be at the KZN Society of the Arts (KZNSA) for two performances this December.

After not playing together in over 20 years, they returned to the stage in 2023 for some sell-out shows around country.

They are now happy to be ending off the year at the KZNSA, where some of their first shows were played over a quarter of a century ago.

The audience will be treated to their unique brand of eclectic music, from Celtic, folk, Irish jigs, African and classic Landscape Prayer songs.

Where: KZN Society of the Arts.

When: Friday, December 15, and Saturday, December 16. Doors open at 5pm and the show starts at 6pm.

Cost: R150 via Quicket.