City oasis for nature lovers

2017-01-18 06:02
PHOTO: supplied A Tree Nymph butterfly at Butterflies for Africa.

PHOTO: supplied A Tree Nymph butterfly at Butterflies for Africa.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

IN the middle of an industrial area lies a tropical butterfly centre that provides an oasis for nature lovers and an idyllic escape from the bustle of business. This is Butterflies for Africa - a butterfly farm at 37 Willowton Road, housing butterflies from around the world.

Founded in 2001, owner Brett Cooper explained how Butterflies for Africa originated.

“My father ran Natal Compounds in the industrial area and owned the land. There was a garden there with plants that attracted over 100 species of butterflies, which smell their food up to three kilometres away.”

This spurred the idea for the family business which is the second butterfly farm to have opened in Africa.

This tourist attraction, offering guided walks through the butterfly house, allows visitors to view butterflies, birds, fish, Cotton-top Tamarin monkeys and now also hedgehogs.

“Hedgehogs were introduced last year after one of the employees rescued two that were attacked by dogs. We then got three more and there are close to 20 hedgehogs now,” Cooper said.

Butterflies for Africa was approached to house Cotton-top Tamarin monkeys, an endangered species that live naturally only in Colombia, as the farm provides an ideal climate closest to that of the monkeys’ natural habitat.

Visitors are able to tour the monkey enclosure at 11.30am and 1.30pm with a tour guide.

“We do not allow visitors or staff to touch the monkeys - they will approach visitors if they want to,” Cooper said.

Schools may enjoy educational and awe-inspiring outings to Butterflies for Africa.

“The guide, Madodomzi Mbeni, recently took a group of preschool children through the live butterfly enclosure, the museum and display area after they had watched a short audio-visual show,” said Jeni Cramer, who works at Butterflies for Africa.

“They enjoyed learning about the all the interesting animals, birds, insects and fish. The age group of children was from 18 months to preschool age and even the youngest had a special experience with the beautiful butterflies.”

Butterflies for Africa serves as a valuable educational tool and means of conservation, while also allowing visitors a place to unwind.

It boasts a butterfly-themed store packed with gift ideas and souvenirs, a garden, event catering and venue hire for functions, the Painted Lady Coffee Bar and the Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery.

The gallery covers two floors of the Butterflies for Africa complex and exhibits and sells a range of artwork.

“We also buy work by well-established South African artists. Contact us if you have a painting you’d like to sell,” said Cramer.

Currently on exhibit is a selection of paintings by Louise Ghersie that Cramer describes as “emotive paintings of sometimes just everyday objects, or just a special moment in time”.

“Her acrylic on canvas captures the colours and textures of her imagination and her range of work includes both portraits and her own ideas,” added Cramer. The work can also be viewed online at

Butterflies for Africa is open to the public and school and tour groups.

Visit or call 033 387 1356 for inquiries.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


12 Cool cat facts

Here are some surprising things you may not know about your fascinating feline



Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Watch: Proof animals have souls
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.