In the rain-washed, early-winter Mother City, what could be more enticing than stepping into a warm, brightly coloured wonderland of natural treasures?
Yes, it’s certainly worth the drive out to Stellenbosch to pay a visit to Butterfly World. And, as it turns out, there’s plenty more than butterflies waiting for you at this family-friendly attraction. But we’ll get to that shortly…
Step through the doors from reception into the tropical garden and what strikes you first is the cosiness of the warm, humid air. And then – butterflies. Butterflies everywhere, of all shapes and sizes and colours, floating languidly through the air or sitting pretty on a bush.
A screech or two erupts from a parrot regarding you quizzically from a nearby branch while just ahead fat orange koi swim so close to the surface of their pond you could reach out and touch them.
Kids will just love wandering along the paths spotting as many flutterbyes as they can, while informative signage makes this an educational day out too.
So, which other creatures call Butterfly World home? Plenty! Doors leading off the tropical butterfly garden take you into another section of the greenhouse, home to more tropical birds, exotic lizards, iguanas, fuzzy marmosets and even a shy duiker.
After that, there’s door after door, each one leading to yet more to explore, from tanks of beautiful fresh fish, to a hair-raising spider room, a big tortoise and meerkat enclosure, and – sure to elicit squeals of joy from the kids – a room full of fluffy guinea pigs.
Where On the R44, Klapmuts (near Stellenbosch, just before the Franschhoek turn-off)
Trading hours 9 am – 5 pm daily (including public holidays but excluding 25 December)
Cost R65 for adults, R37 for children, R167 for a family ticket (two adults and two children)
Photography Jade Taylor Cooke
Featured image Courtesy of Butterfly World – a clipper, Parthenos sylvia, from Southeast Asia