I was looking for a fun place to take the kids on a recent trip to the Netherlands. Google was failing me, until I found it: a butterfly “safari” (aka Vlindersafari) just a smidgen over an hour from our house in Gemert, Netherlands.
This turned out to be the perfect stop before lunch on our way to our adventures in Gouda.
Vlindersafari = Butterfly Safari
Vlindersafari in Dutch literally translates to “butterfly safari” in English, and it’s aptly named, because you’ll see hundreds of butterflies flying and landing everywhere.
My favorite was the one that looked kinda “boring” on the outside (just brown to camouflaged with wood), but then when it’d open its wings it was this gorgeous shade of blue.
What to Expect
The place itself is smaller than I imagined, and its enclosed (obviously, so the butterflies won’t escape).
So, if you go during a heatwave (like we did), or when it’s raining outside, be prepared for it to be extra humid inside.
Take note: there’s one fan in the building which I was immediately drawn to to cool off a bit.
Despite its smaller size, we managed to spend a good hour/hour and a half inside wandering around.
We bought our tickets online, showed up at our reserved time, and headed in for our adventure.
When we checked in, they gave the kids a butterfly hunt to explore inside, so off they went with their clipboards, searching for caterpillars and chrysalis…and let me tell you, looking for some of these was like looking for a needle in a haystack, and I was shocked every time the kids saw some (which was often).
Then they return their filled-out sheets at the end they’ll get a butterfly (sur)prize!
Understanding What You’re Seeing
They do speak English at Vlindersafari, as most do in Holland, but when we were there the guides were fully engrossed in explaining things to a group in Dutch.
We waited around for a little while for a chance to learn in English, but it was just too hot, and the kids got distracted by all the butterflies fluttering around, so we just enjoyed seeing the flying inseccts.
FYI: these are awesome videos to watch before you go with tons of info about butterflies. The girls loved watching it, so they had a pretty good idea about the life cycle of a butterfly, and then got to see it in real life at Vlindersafari.
So Many Butterflies
There were truly butterflies of all shapes, vibrant colors and sizes everywhere. it was so fun to spot them.
Once you’ve wound your way around the butterfly garden, you can buy some souvenirs and/or relax for a bit at their terrace.
They have some snacks and drinks available, some coloring sheets for kids, and even a small playground outside.
Getting to Vlindersafari from…
The Vlindersafari is near the eastern dutch boarder, making it a super easy day trip for many.
Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base/JFC Brunssum: about 1 hour away
Spangdahlem Air Base: a little less than 3 hours away
Amsterdam: about an hour and a half away.
Where to eat AND where to stay:
Making a trip out of this fun butterfly safari? You’ve gotta eat at de Brabantse Kluis. It’s perfect for families, and only like 10 minutes tops from Vlindersafari. Oh, and you can stay there, too!
If you check out Vlindersafari, I’d love to hear about your experience!