Esther Van Der Westhuizen Founder & Managing Director

Who We Are

Brilliant place to bring the family!!

The Animal Sanctuary is a sanctuary for a variety of exotic animals, such as spiders, snakes, monkeys, meerkats, scorpions, many species of birds and much more. All our animals have either been donated by owners, or have been confiscated by local authorities and given into our care. Visitors see over 700 amazing creatures who are now all ambassadors for their species and carry the message: Appreciate, Don’t Keep.

Our History

Zoologist, Esther van der Westhuizen and her mom, Matty Pretorius started Butterfly World in November of 1996. After purchasing an acre of marsh land, they started planting and building. (in that order) With a tropical garden set up, they imported exotic butterfly pupae from all over the world and soon visitors were streaming in to enjoy the scores of free flying butterflies. Donations of exotic pets followed and Butterfly World became the sanctuary for unwanted and confiscated exotic animals it is today. This family owned business continues to employ local people from the Klapmuts community, and is a trusted centre of education, hosting thousands of school groups every year

Our Vision & Values

Our vision is of a world where all pets are well cared for in loving homes for life.

We aim to achieve this vision by

Helping animals & working on environmental issues

  • Every year we take in and care for animals, from pets to wildlife and everything in between.
  • Ensure that wild animals are protected from human activity and unnecessary suffering.
  • Teaching our children to be a kinder generation.
  • By not purchasing products made from endangered animals or their parts, you can stop wildlife trafficking from being a profitable enterprise.