A veritable garden of Eden in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Butterfly World is a 10,750 square foot greenhouse alive with much more than butterflies. Though the attraction’s namesake is indeed there and abundant – 300 cocooned babies are imported from China, Costa Rica, the Philippines and Malaysia each week – a menagerie of donated, abandoned or rescued exotic animals steal the show.
Screen doors and glass partitions separate izards, iguanas and snakes from the butterflies, while colorful birds – seed and fruit eaters only – flutter between the plants. Some, the marmoset monkeys and cockatoos, former pets, are quite friendly and will land on visitor’s shoulders if encouraged. Other creatures that
inhabit the space include a Mexican Red Knee Tarantula, a pair of aptly-named crazy haired guinea pigs that look like living mop heads, four meerkats and green tree iguanas. Outside, Butterfly World’s shy Blue Duiker antelope roam the property.
On sunny days the butterflies are most active fluttering around the greenhouse’s fountains and sitting benches, but on cloudy days you’ll find them resting at fruit stands or amid the leafy canopy awaiting photo ops. A visit here usually lasts under an hour, but there are no time limits – you’re welcome to spend the whole day. The onsite Jungle Leaf Café sells lunch and snacks.
Butterfly World is located off Route 44 in Route 44in the Cape Winelands and is easily combined with regional wine tours. It’s open daily 9 a.m. til 5 p.m., with the last entry at 4 p.m. Admission is R 72 adults, R 41 children. Discounts are available for students and seniors (pensioners) and family group tickets (2 adults, 2 children) are R 185.