It’s stifling hot inside the dome and sweat runs freely down our faces, but we hardly notice. We listen enraptured as our guide tells us the story of butterflies: how they each have a special tree that they lay their eggs on, how the little caterpillars develop and then pupate in a chrysalis, and then finally how the beautiful winged insects emerge, some with only a week-long life cycle to look forward to.
Summer in the middle of a drought is not the best time to view butterflies, our guide tells us. They only have a few species on show, and we tip-toe as slowly as possible through the lush but limp vegetation, following the flap of delicate wings from flower to banana to flower.
We had happened upon the Isiphaphalazi Butterfly Dome on our way to St Lucia. Although we were the only tourists there, our guide was more than happy to take us through the dome on our own, expertly pointing out both indigenous flowers and the elusive butterflies. His subject knowledge astounded us. Although we were disappointed by the amount and variety of butterflies to see, we were convinced that our guide cared about their conservation and was just as worried about the drought as everyone else in the region seemed to be.
If you’re in the area, I would definitely recommend stopping at the butterfly dome to get a closer look at these beautiful insects. There is also an earthworm farm and a nursery for the horticulturally inclined, and the money you spend here goes toward conservation efforts and uplifting the local community. It’s a fun little outing for the whole family.
Have you visited a butterfly dome before? Can you tell us about any quirky and interesting places like this that you’ve been to?
For more posts in the Babymoon 2015 series, click here.