Cape Town really has so much to offer that sometimes deciding what to do can be a bit difficult. We have so many beautiful beaches, outstanding scenic drives, intriguing art galleries, unique coffee shops, nature reserves and other offerings, but on this day we wanted to do something a bit different.
We decided to go to Butterfly world, which is located in Paarl, just outside of Cape Town. Butterfly World is an animal, bird and reptile sanctuary, boasting tropical gardens and exotic animals. All of the animals in Butterfly World are donated by owners who can no longer take care of them, except for the butterflies, which the establishment breeds themselves.
The drive to Butterfly World was nothing short of beautiful. We drove past gorgeous wine estates, rolling mountains and hills and old Cape Dutch farm houses.
Upon arrival, we were feeling a bit hungry. Before you enter the sanctuary, they have a gift shop where you can also buy a few snacks. We decided to get a few sticks of biltong, which were DELICIOUS.
We entered the sanctuary, munching on our biltong. The first area was filled with skeletons of lions, dinosaurs, birds, roadkill and other interesting species. It was quite cool to see what the inside of the different animals look like.
Once we had finished marveling at the different skeletons, we entered into the tropical garden. We were hit with a wave of warm, thick air and the sound of running water and the calls of exotic birds filled our ears. Butterflies fluttered around us, while fish swam in ponds and toads glared at us through glass tanks.
We then entered into the bird sections. It was absolutely beautiful to see the colourful birds zooming past us and chatting happily to one another. One of the birds took a liking to PJ and sat on his shoulder while we walked around, giving him little kisses from time to time and asking for his head to be rubbed.
Besides for birds, there was the most amazing Iguana that was lounging around in a tree above us. As we stood below him, his eyes lazily glared down on us, while his tail slowly whipped around. The colours on his scales were out of this world!
After we had spent some time viewing all the different birds and animals, we went into the reptile section of the sanctuary. We were met by snakes, lizards, hedgehogs (which are not reptiles, duh) and a monkey (also not a reptile!).
It was so awesome to get up close and personal with all the varieties of animals that you otherwise will never see. The best part of it all was that our visit to Butterfly World was contributing to the sanctuary's conservation efforts and allowing these animals to have a safe haven because they wouldn't be able to survive in the wild.
Butterfly World makes for a great day's trip from Cape Town, and is also a wonderful idea to take the kids on a school outing. It's great for kids to learn about wildlife and the role they play on our planet. The school outings are guided by qualified teachers who cover the life cycle of butterflies and bring exotic animals into the classroom for groups to see up close, experience and touch.
"We do not do lessons on environmental issues that children can do nothing about, instead we show them the beauty, variety and splendour of a creation worth preserving."
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