Butterfly World: The Incidental Daddy

This week, the Incidental Daddy is for the children and creature lovers among us, as I recommend a drive out to Paarl’s Klapmuts area and a visit to the unbelievable Butterfly World: The largest free flying park for butterflies in Southern Africa.

Since its development in 1996, great care has been taken to develop a stunning tropical paradise in a 1 000m² greenhouse, enhanced by water features and exotic plants. Here the butterflies fly freely around you and colourful butterfly-friendly birds complete the picture. It’s a lovely experience to walk among them – just take note of where you step, as some tend to hang out on the ground.

Butterfly World imports 500 to 800 butterfly pupae per week, all year round, from countries that have breeding farms, such as Cost Rica, the Philippines, Malaysia and China. Their “nursery” offers a very informative section on the types of butterflies homed, the differences between moths and butterflies, the reasons for their colours and more … Fascinating.

One of the many beautiful butterflies. All photographs by Dawn Jorgensen One of the many beautiful butterflies. All photographs by Dawn Jorgensen

From the main enclosure there are many areas to venture into, one of my favourites being the large iguana cage. Did you know that a green tree iguana can grow up to 2m in length? Intimidating for some, but I absolutely love them. Don’t tell a soul but I broke the rules and touched one! Actually they are placid vegetarians that like to hang out in the sun; I see common ground here ... 

Iguana you beauty! I love him Iguana you beauty! I love him

Also to be seen here is a pair of blue duikers, the small forest dwelling antelope that grows to only about 35cm tall.

This tiny blue duiker seen among the foliage This tiny blue duiker seen among the foliage

Butterfly World is constantly evolving and they have recently added the Martin Filmer Spider Room, which houses displays of indigenous and exotic spiders and scorpions. There is also an area where parrots, cockatiels and lovebirds roam; many of these are rescued birds that arrive in a bad shape but soon relax into their idyllic new environment.

There are loads more reptiles and guinea pigs and even marmosets to add to the fun. And throughout, the theme is conservation and education. 

Guinea pig napping: Snug as a bug, so to speak Guinea pig napping: Snug as a bug, so to speak

There is also a lovely outdoor garden with a meerkat enclosure, free-ranging ducks and chickens, a restaurant and curio shop. No need to rush, though: You are encouraged to hang around as long as you want to as you learn more about the beautiful creatures preserved in this sanctuary.

The hand of one of the geckos, photographed through glass. Its actual size is about 1cm – amazing The hand of one of the geckos, photographed through glass. Its actual size is about 1cm – amazing

Butterfly Worls is open from 09h00 to 17h00 every day of the year, except for Christmas Day. It costs R43 per adult, R25 per child over three and there is a family package option of R111 per family of two adults and two children.

Go go go, you’ll love it! 

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