On the occasion the weather isn’t playing ball it can be rather frustrating to think of things to do that are not out in the elements, we are usually so spoilt for choice outside. However, there are a few options, if your in the right area, one is Butterfly world.
It is more aimed at children and young adults, though it is just as exciting for adults too if you have any interest in wildlife. Butterfly world is the largest of its type in South Africa, opening its doors in 1996. I can’t remember the first time I visited, but it was many years ago (over 10+), I do remember a small stream with plenty of ducks, a coffee shop with yummy scones and the large entrance doors to a great tunnel with butterflies, birds, blue duikers and iguanas.
How times change, and Butterfly World has expanded greatly. When I visited more recently in October 2018, we didn’t go at the right time and all the butterflies still in their pupae’s, but I was amazed to see how the place had grown. Becoming more of an inspiration to young children and a sanctuary for animals and unwanted exotic pets this place was still incredible without the butterflies. We saw many species of reptiles, spiders and the expanded outside area that holds tortoises, meerkats, monkeys and even an arctic fox.
The coffee shop is surrounded by skeletons, called the skeleton park. This was donated by a boy (12 years old at the time in 2016) who started collecting roadkill skeletons since the age of 3 years old. The range is rather sad, to think they have all been killed by cars, though glad they had been put to good use and helping to educate people. The bones range from giraffes to mice, with over 50 species meticulously done and put together.
The entry price may seem a little steep, but they have been doing a great job as i have seen over the years, I will continue to support them and visit when I can. While reading up a bit more to write this article, I read most of their website and it included an article. I would suggest reading it as it’s a great article and I really related. Here is a sad but true extract about the day to day struggle that really makes me feel for them:
“It’s as if the decision to choose between profit and welfare is a daily one. Someone brings a badly injured male Marmoset monkey in. You know the vet bill to have him treated and spayed is going to look like a telephone number, but the little guy has no-where else to go…literally… On the same day a well known charity requests a time slot in the edu-centre, but they are unable to pay even the discounted group rate. They will take the place of about 70 other paying youngsters. Staff uniform is urgently needed and Eskom is eagerly knocking on the door…after all it is them that keep the reptiles warm. Pete the parrot’s owners had no idea that cockatoos are that noisy, so he has to go…to the Zoo. In the visitor’s book someone suggests that you rent a snow-making machine for the Artic Fox, and someone else feels that the entrance fee is a little steep.”
I am looking forward to seeing it in another 10 years and thinking how it has changed, with a few added visits in-between I am sure too.