Q?What can visitors expect to learn during one of the centre’s tours?

The visitors will learn more about our project and conservation issues in Zanzibar. Also, they can see and touch all stages of the butterfly life cycle (egg-caterpillar-pupae-butterfly) and learn more about the process. They can then spend as much time as they want in the butterfly enclosure and see many species close by.

Q?What kinds of butterflies can visitors expect to see at the centre?

We currently have over 30 species. These are however seasonal, so at one time it is possible to see about 15 to 20 species. Butterflies vary in sizes and colours.

Q?What is the UN Seed Initiative Award?

ZBC received the UN SEED Award in 2012. We are very proud to receive the award, as our work is recognised.

The SEED Initiative is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy. Founded by UNEP, UNDP and IUCN at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, SEED supports innovative small-scale and locally driven entrepreneurships around the globe which integrate social and environmental benefits into their business model. (Source: UN Seed website).

Q?How are the farmers involved in the process?

We teach the farmers how to build a breeding enclosure, they also receive all relevant training regarding food plants and butterfly ecology. They catch the initial females in the wild, later they keep some of the pupae in the cage. The farmers then collect the eggs that the female butterflies lay on the plants inside the enclosure, they raise the caterpillars and sell them to ZBC at the pupae stage.

We currently work with 37 farmers.

Q?Who started the centre and what was its main aim?

ZBC was started by Benjamin Hayes, Scottish ecologist, Abass Mzee, Zanzibari forester, and Alfred Massawe, Tanzanian conservationist. The centre was set up to provide alternative livelihoods and reduce charcoal production in the area surrounding the Jozani National park. The founders were concerned by the issue of deforestation in Zanzibar, charcoal is the cheapest available fuel in the islands, and wanted to create a solution that also worked towards poverty alleviation. While providing alternative income based on tourism activities, the centre also educates tourists about environmental issues in the area and improves awareness of the need for conservation among Zanzibaris living in the area.

Q?What is the admission fee?

International Visitors:

Adults – 8,000 TSH (or $5)
Children above 5 years – 4,000 TSH (or $3)

Tanzanian Residents:

Adults – 4,000 TSH
Children – 2,000 TSH
Students – 2,000 TSH

Tanzania/Zanzibar Nationals:

Adults – 1,500 TSH
Children – 500 TSH
Students – 500 TSH

Q?Why should I visit ZBC?

Visiting the centre, and especially entering our butterfly garden, has been described by many as a magical experience.

ZBC has one of the largest exhibits in Africa. Also, it benefits the local community and helps with the conservation of Jozani NP. Stopping at ZBC allows to see a less touristic side of Zanzibar and get a glimpse of local village life.

Soon our café will be operational. The trip is easily combined with a visit to Jozani National Park.

About Us

Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC) is a popular Zanzibar tourist attraction featuring a live display of Tanzanian butterflies. Revenue generated by tourist admissions provides funds for local projects in the form of alternative livelihoods, conservation and poverty alleviation. ZBC works closely in association with Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, Jozani Environmental Conservation Association (JECA) and Pete Development Association (PDA).
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