Mukuni Village lies just seven kilometres from the Victoria Falls World Heritage site in Zambia and is a popular tour for travellers visiting the area. The Butterfly Tree was founded in 2006, after Jane Kaye-Bailey visited Zambia on a business incentive trip, since then a substantial amount of tourists have visited our projects and have become travel philanthropists, forming a lasting relationship with the people of Mukuni Village. Anyone can be a travel philanthropist – it simply means giving something back to poor communities in the areas you are visiting.
There are so many exotic destinations in developing countries. Just a few miles from a luxury resort you can find some of the poorest people in the world. Just a few hours added to an itinerary, to experience a cultural way of life and learn more about the local communities in the your chosen country, can be a life changing experience.
We work with tour operators and local hoteliers including Safpar, Avani Victoria Falls, the Royal Livingstone, Waterfront and the David Livingstone Safari Lodge, and to show visitors a true African way of life, enabling them to see how these tribal people live from day to day, without imposing on their traditional way of life. Travellers from the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and many other places have enjoyed the experience. For many tourists this is a favourite part of their itinerary, often making a donation on their return or offering to sponsor an orphan. Feedback, received from many travellers, say that ‘a visit to Mukuni was the highlight of their entire trip to Southern Africa‘.
The Butterfly Tree is working with the tourist industry to reduce world poverty. We encourage travellers to donate to our malaria prevention and water and sanitation projects. Several of our projects have been boosted thanks to the generosity of tourists who have been moved by the poverty, cheered by the friendliness of these gentle people and impressed by what the charity has achieved. They have also seen for themselves how the communities have benefited from sustainable development and responded to our involvement.
Over 1,000 children have been supported through The Butterfly Tree orphan sponsorship programme, a considerable amount of these by visitors to Mukuni. Other travel philanthopers donated funds for boreholes, sent donations towards the construction of classrooms, teachers’ and community houses as well as sending volumes of books, stationery and clothing.
The area is popular for business incentive trips due to its location, close to the Victoria Falls. Companies are able to incorporate responsible tourism within the package by including a visit to The Butterfly Tree’s projects at Mukuni Village. In 2019 Blooms the Pharmacy during their conference donated funds for teh charity to build a maternity ward and mother’s shelter at Simonga and have continued with their support. Motive Real Estate’s has visited Mukuni and donates a community house every time he sells a house through his company. Cunninghams, after a business incentive trip, provided funds for a daily feeding programme for over 400 orphaned and vulnerable children from 2007 – 2014. In 2011 we received visits from Brady Italia and Canon Australia, both gave on going support to The Butterfly Tree.
From 2015 – 2020 we received tremendous support from Attraction Tickets Direct. The company has made many trips to Zambia and has since set their own NGO to support sport.
In 2017 The Butterfly Tree hosted 17 donor/volunteers in Zambia from Canada, Australia, USA, UAE and the UK. All of them have generously donated to our malaria prevention, health and education projects.
In 2019 The Butterfly Tree hosted three lawyers from Belgium who donated three boreholes and funds for food security.
Try it – it can be a heartfelt and rewarding experience and in some cases forming a lasting bond with these humble people.
To find out more about business incentive, group or individual visits to The Butterfly Tree projects contact us.
Jane Kaye-Bailey has been a guest speaker at the following travel events on Philanthropic Travel:
- Global Luxury Forum – April 2007 – Luxury Philanthropic Travel
- World Travel Market – November 2007 – Luxury Travel with a Conscience
- European Travel Distribution Summit – May 2008 / 2009 – How to promote philanthropic travel within the tourist industry
- Saga – May 2012 – presentations to Saga Travel & Tourism
- District 6 Inner Wheel Clubs Overseas Rally – May 2014
- Winners of the ‘Volunteering Abroad Specialist of the Year for the United Kingdom’ in 2020 – World Travel and Hospitality Awards.
- Best Responsible Tourism website: 2012 short listed for the Travel Mole UK Web Awards.