Werribee Open Range Zoo welcomes Rhythm of Africa back to its grounds this summer.
The summer concert series runs every Saturday night from 10 January to 28 February, bringing together a magic mix of warm summer nights, African beats and picnics on the grass.
General zoo admission fees apply for adults and kids under 16 are free.
This year’s line up features a mix of contemporary and traditional African music from local bands, including the Ghanaian rhythms of Akoma Beat and the African Royal Drummers, Congolese dance hall music from King Bell and Soukous Ba Congo and contemporary African funk with Afro Mandiko and Lamine Sonko and the African Intelligence.
Throughout the night visitors can take part in an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and make their own music with free drumming workshops.
Ghanaian drum teacher, Shabba will also lead kids through a range of African games and inventive play with everything from rolling tyre rims across the lawn to using African fabrics to create superhero capes.
The evening begins at 4.30pm, with special performances for the kids along with face-painting and hair-braiding, before the headline act kicks off at 5.30pm.
The Zoo’s popular Safari Tours through the savannah are free with the last bus departing at 6pm and the zoo’s walking trails will remain open until 8pm, allowing visitors to explore the zoo in the cool of the evening, spotting lions, wild dogs, cheetah and hippos.
If the weather’s warm don’t forget to bring the kids’ bathers and hit the trail for a cooling splash through the water play area at Werribee Open Range Zoo’s new Hippo Beach.
The Meerkat Bistro will be serving up African-inspired fare throughout the night but visitors are also welcome to bring their own blankets, hampers and beverages for a relaxed picnic.
The Zoo will even provide Hamper Watch, with staff keeping an eye on your picnic hamper while you explore the zoo.
The Meerkat Bistro will not be serving alcoholic beverages during the evening but visitors who wish to bring their own alcohol may do so.
Proceeds from the concert series help Zoos Victoria fight wildlife extinction.
Rhythm of Africa takes place at Werribee Open Range Zoo, K Road, Werribee Vic.