St Lucia s Isiphaphalazi Butterfly House MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Welcome to St Lucia’s Isiphaphalazi Butterfly House

Hey there! How do you feel about exploring the stunning world of butterflies while also making a positive impact on the local community?

The next time you find yourself around iSimangaliso’s Lake St Lucia or Cape Vidal up north in beautiful KwaZulu-Natal, make sure to set aside some time to visit the Isiphaphalazi Butterfly House. You can easily locate it just a few kilometers west of St Lucia, right on the main road from Mtubatuba. Keep an eye out for the signs pointing towards the Manukelana organic nursery and Butterfly House at Khula Village, and get ready to step into a whole new realm of wonder.

Back in 1998, four passionate individuals with a deep love for nature and Rastafarian spirit embarked on an organic nursery journey. Their names were Mdudi Mhlongo, Bhekinkozi Phungula, Musa Zhikali, and Ernest Mlambo. As they nurtured their plants, they encountered a problem. Something was feasting on their precious greens, causing concern. But their worries soon turned into fascination when a butterfly expert paid them a visit. The culprit, the expert revealed, was none other than caterpillars on the cusp of transforming into beautiful butterflies. This revelation sparked an idea in their minds – why not create a sanctuary for these remarkable creatures? Unfortunately, lacking the necessary funds, their vision faced obstacles in its early days.

Then, in 2007, a ray of hope emerged in the form of financial support from the African Conservation Trust. With renewed strength, they persevered to bring their dream to life. Today, nestled within their humble-looking establishment, you’ll discover a buzzing earthworm farm, a permaculture unit, a flourishing nursery, and, of course, the magnificent butterfly house itself.

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Hey, welcome! Let me tell you about this awesome guy named Prince Tshaka. He’s got a beautiful smile and he’s super friendly. When we went to visit him, he gave us a tour of his place and it was incredible.

Prince and his team have been working with 37 schools in the area to teach them about the importance of not cutting down shrubs and trees that butterflies use as homes. They also helped the schools create vegetable gardens so they can grow their own food for the community.

Prince showed us how the worm tunnels work, and he even had a nursery for the plants that butterflies love. Then, he took us to his organic vegetable garden, which was really impressive. After that, we headed to his little lecture hall, which was a wooden hut. Inside, he had posters explaining the life cycle of butterflies and he showed us some cool pictures too.

But here’s the best part – Prince took us to his butterfly house! We got to see real butterflies up close, and let me tell you, it was amazing. The colors and patterns on their wings were so beautiful. It was like being in a magical world.

I love it when I meet someone who knows so much about a subject that it leaves me in awe. Just the other day, I met this guy who was an absolute butterfly expert. He rattled off these cool-sounding Latin names for all the different plants that butterflies lay their eggs on. It was one of those moments when you feel like you’re in the presence of a true genius.

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This guy was so passionate about butterflies, it was contagious. He went on and on about how every butterfly is super picky and only lays its eggs on a specific type of plant. It’s crazy to think that these beautiful creatures have such specific tastes!

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend checking out this awesome project he’s working on. Not only is it benefiting the local community, but it’s also doing wonders for butterfly habitats. You’ll learn so many cool things that you can actually apply in your own garden. And if you have kids, they’ll absolutely love seeing all the butterflies and caterpillars.

The best part? It’s super affordable. The tour only costs R35 per adult and R15 for kids under 16. So why not give it a go? Trust me, you won’t regret it.

If you’re interested, you can even ask about the butterfly trail in the nearby Dukuduku forest. They welcome groups and schools, and it’s a great way to develop a newfound appreciation for these incredibly beautiful creatures.

Looking for a unique experience? Check out St Lucia’s Isiphaphalazi Butterfly House. It’s a must-visit spot!

For more information about this butterfly house project, as well as others at Tembe and Eshowe in KZN, you can contact Prince at 073-495-9163 or at the office number 035-550-4445. Alternatively, you can visit www.butterflyroutes.org.

For more information about this butterfly house project, as well as others at Tembe and Eshowe in KZN, you can contact Prince at 073-495-9163 or at the office number 035-550-4445. Alternatively, you can visit www.butterflyroutes.org.

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