Zanzibar Butterfly Centre
Get to know the endemic species of Zanzibar’s butterflies with a visit to the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC) in the heart of the island close to the Jozani Forest. The interactive and visual environment offers a pleasant experience for adults and children alike.
You can be part of the feeding ritual and, if you wish, let the butterflies fly close to your hand. The Centre focuses on three areas: educational visits, conservation and butterfly farming. The butterfly farming is done in cooperation with around 40 farmers from the nearby village of Pete. The farming allows the farmers to diversify their income and is especially suitable for women as they can easily integrate the activities around household and childcare duties.
Formerly, many of them have been clearing the forest for charcoal and agriculture causing habitat destruction and species extinction. Nowadays, they see the importance and incentive of conserving such habitats as the butterflies bred and rear only in intact forests.
Although the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre does not claim to be the general solution for the abolition of wood logging and charcoal production it does conserve many butterfly species as well as the wild population in and around Pete.
During the guided tours of about 30 to 40 minutes, the visitor learns everything about the life stages of a butterfly, sees many exhibits flying around and learns to understand the importance of the conservation of the tropical forest.
The admission fees directly support the training of the farmers, micro-loans for setting up their business as well as investing in alternative wood logging such as the fast-growing tree of casuarina. The Centre also funded several water tanks, wells and cooperates with several not-for-profit organizations in the region.