Butterfly Dome

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The Eshowe Butterfly Dome is located adjacent to Fort Nongqyai Museum Village. It is a community based butterfly exhibit in which local species of butterflies from the community land forest are displayed by members of the Nkanini local community. Basically, it is a large walk-in greenhouse in a form of a geodesic dome of 20m wide and 10m high where bred-in-captivity adult butterflies emerge from pupa stage and they fly freely inside the enclosure among abundant indigenous vegetation. The public enter the exhibit to enjoy the sight of live butterflies flying around them. The butterfly exhibit features only indigenous host plants and nectar plants for the butterflies, simulating a replica of the butterfly’s natural environment. Visitors receive a brief about the butterflies of the dome. The aim of the project is first to create an income for the local Nkanini community. Second, as an environmental education. The educational value of butterfly dome can only be fully attained if the butterfly species present in the butterfly exhibit are of the same species occurring locally, thus offering a living preview of what tourists and visitors can expect to see in the nearby forest. Third and finally, biodiversity conservation: the knowledge gathered about the ecosystem in the community land by the locals will help to preserve the fauna and flora of the local forest. This in long term will support biodiversity conservation by the same local community living nearby the forest. We hope that this will encourages as well the local people to expand the indigenous forest by planting those species playing a critical role in sustaining the indigenous butterfly population.