Stay year-round at our new Bothy

The purple emperor has enchanted butterfly lovers for centuries. Knepp’s emerging sallow scrub has provided these stunning butterflies with an important new habitat and we now have the largest colony in the UK.

The emperors roost in the canopy of oaks where the males perform elegant displays for the females and show surprising aggression, chasing away anything else that flies – including birds. Learn about discoveries – new to science – made by ecologists observing these butterflies at Knepp. The walking safari will take you to sites off the public footpaths where purple emperors may be feeding on sap runs, darting through sallow scrub or descending to take minerals from paths and animal droppings.

Walking will be at a gentle pace for about 2 ½ hours, with frequent stops for emperor spotting. You’ll need a moderate level of fitness and be able to cope with walking on uneven ground. During the safari we’ll stop for a refreshing drink and locally made brownies.

You will be led by one of our five specialist purple emperor guides: Matthew Oates, Neil Hulme, Laurie Jackson, Tegan Newman or Tom Forward

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Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund or alternative date for your safari booking. We also cannot guarantee the great British weather, or that you will see your target species. Nature is unpredictable! However we’re confident you’ll enjoy your experience with us, come rain or shine, and there’s always plenty of wildlife to see. Our safaris are suitable only for children of 12 and over.