The Beekse Bergen Safari Park in the Netherlands opened in 1968, the first of its kind in the country. It is now world famous, offering a chance to see a spectacular collection of wild animals in a variety of safaris; whether on foot, by car, in a bus or boat.
Moonlight in the wild African savanna is very different to that in the Netherlands, due to the wide expanse of lowland and a bright, clear, cloudless night sky. Many African animals are nocturnal and rely on this natural night light to live comfortably. The Beekse Bergen team began looking for a way to both offer the animals a natural living environment at night, and enhance the park’s after-dark lighting for visitors.
Lighting designers Studio Arjen van der Cruijsen created a comprehensive new lighting system for the park. The animal’s welfare was a top priority, and all lighting near or inside animal enclosures uses low levels and does not interfere with the animal’s vision. 120 x custom-made Philips LED luminaires were installed in existing trees in four different savannah areas, mimicing the cycle of sunset, moonlight and starlight, and sunrise on the African savanna. All the light sources are hidden, giving a natural lighting effect for animals and visitors alike.
In addition, around a hundred discreet CitySwan luminaires were installed on wooden posts, as well as additional lighting leading up to and around the entrance of the resort, making it a central hub for visitors to easily find and return to.
All custom lighting in the resort is controlled by a Pharos TPC. Thanks to the inbuilt astronimcal clock, natural sunset and moonlight tones change each night to accurately sync with the real world sunset and sunrise, ensuring visitors enjoy a beautiful and seamless lighting experience.
“With our new resort and the new lighting we can really offer visitors a multi-day ‘stay in Africa’,” says director and owner Dirk Lips of leisure company Libéma, which also includes Safaripark Beekse Bergen. “We can imitate a sunset, the clear moonlit night and again the sunrise. You can now also observe the animals during their natural nocturnal activities. You experience nature as it is. That is a real privilege.”