Brown-Veined White Butterflies Take Over South African Skies


You might have noticed a kaleidoscope of white butterflies across South Africa recently, but where are they coming from, and where are they going to?

Brown-Veined White Butterfly
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

Today our son came home and said he saw lots of white butterflies at his school, which is such a magnificent sight, especially to our little ones.

This is just the start of the sky being brightened by the fluttering of these white little creatures as the Brown-Veined White Butterflies also called Pioneer White or African Caper White make their way from the arid regions of the Karoo and Southwest Kalahari (Northern Cape Region).

Every year around this time, December or January, this phenomenon can be seen.

There is not much research done as to their exact destination (I think everyone is so amazed at the sight, they forget to ask them where they are going) but what we do know is that they are increasing their population along the way.

From the Northern Cape, they fly in a North-Easterly direction through parts of the Free State and the North West province. They fly especially through Gauteng as well as in parts of Mpumalanga and parts of Limpopo.

Along the way they stop to lay their eggs on many different plants and flowers including the famous Shepherd's Tree (Boscia Albitrunca) which is among their favourite. 

Some have seen them in parts of Swaziland, Mozambique, and Madagascar. Unfortunately many of them fall in to the sea while travelling over the ocean along the east coast of Africa.

The common misconception however is that they are migrating to another region for a particular season, when in fact they are actually emigrating as they are only going one way and are not coming back.

There is no need for them to come back as they have already laid their eggs for the next generation of Brown-Veined White Butterflies.

Have you managed to snap a shot of these butterflies? Send them through to or tag us @ilovezacom on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

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Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of

He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

Find him at: Instagram: @ziyaad_86 / @ilovezacom Twitter: @ziyaad86 / @ilovezacom Facebook:  LinkedIn: Ziyaad Plaatjes / YouTube:  SoundCloud: E-mail: is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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 #iloveza❤️🇿🇦 #AfterFajrGrind Accolades:

2021 Winner of Brand South Africa's Nation Pride Play Your Part Award

2018 Winner of Tech Savvy Boss Award at the Roshgold Young Business Achiever Award

Nabihah Plaatjes Accolades:

2023 CEO of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA)

2018 Contributing Author to SAFFRON: A Collection of Personal Narratives

2017 Recipient of Owami Women & Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Award

Ziyaad Plaatjes Accolades:

2021 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans: Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media 

2020 Contributing Author to There's a Story in Everyone

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