Family guide to the Papiliorama

Although the mountains are already covered by snow, in mid-November we haven´t been yet in the mood to go skiing. Instead, we headed towards Papiliorama which is close to the town Kerzers. “Papillon” means butterfly in French, so you can probably guess what I’m writing about today. And if not, read on …

Thanks to the unique architecture the whole area looks more like a space research station from afar, but inside hides a tropical nature – interesting trees and plants that provide the nutrition (nectar) for the main attraction of the area – beautiful tropical butterflies.

Before your visit

Before visiting Papiliorama I recommend visiting their website. When I´d been looking for the admission fees, a little window popped up with an offer that I can get a free ticket for one child (worth 9CHF), if I enter my e-mail address. I had filled it in and in few seconds I received a voucher in my mailbox.  It is possible to either print it or download an electronic version on your phone and then show at the ticket office.
And moreover, if you are a TCS card owner, you can claim 15% discount on the admission fee.


Papiliorama

Before entering the pavilion of butterflies (resp. all indoor pavilions), I suggest to take off your coat and leave them on hangers near the restaurant. Inside it is very hot and especially humid. (And that’s one of the things I love about Switzerland – you can leave your personal belongings unattended and nothing happens to them!).
As I mentioned in the introduction, in the Papiliorama you can see up to 60 species of tropical butterflies. And I’m talking only about the number of species. The number of free-flying butterflies is many times larger (by more than 1,500!). Visitors can observe the complete butterfly life cycle from egg to adult.
If you’re lucky, they can even sit on your hand, as it happened to the girl in the picture below.
But this pavilion is not just about butterflies. In addition to tropical plants (picking bananas is forbidden! :)) You can also observe the animals. Interesting are mainly species of tropical fish that swim in ponds and rivulets.

 

Nocturama

In Nocturama pavilion, visitors can stroll through an American tropical forest in the artificial moonlight and observe interesting animals that are active during night time. And you can see not only different monkeys but also, for example, free-flying bats (and at 3 pm and you can watch their feeding).

Jungle Trek

When you enter the Jungle Trek pavilion, you will find yourself in the tropical dry forest of the Central American country of Belize. Perhaps the most interesting experience is the literally face to face encounter with interesting birds – have you ever looked at Toucan from half a meter distance without the glass or grate between you?

And what about watching! Have you ever experienced that roseate spoonbill (don´t even ask me how long I had to google the name of this bird) tried to peck your child’s head? It was just an experience! Wow!

 

Outdoor activities

As I wrote at the beginning, the weather was not ideal for outdoor activities, so the children had to forgo visiting the playground and I couldn´t stroke the donkeys or goats in the mini petting zoo. But I think we haven´t been to Papiliorama for the last time, so they´ll have the opportunity to pet these and other animals for sure sometime in the future.

 

Facilities

Like most sites of this type has Papiliorama its own restaurant where visitors can buy snacks and meals for a quite reasonable price, and there is also a place where you can bring your food with you to make your picnic.
When you take your coffee, the kids certainly doesn´t have to get bored and they can spend time drawing what they saw during a visit. The best work can then get to the picture gallery, where they can be admired by visitors.

In conclusion…

The website says among other things that Papiliorama is 100% accessible for wheelchair users, respectively for strollers. With this point I may disagree and I don´t recommend to take your stroller with you: paths in the pavilions are quite narrow, plus there are walkways on which you can get only by stairs. Of course you don´t have to go there, but you would deprive of interesting views.
I also don´t recommend the visit to those who don´t like really warm and humid environs (just like in the laundry room) and find breathing in such a space rather discomforting. 
But despite all this above is Papiliorama a great trip destination for your family and I heartily recommend a visit!

 

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