The purple emperor and chequered skipper await, whether you just fancy a flutter or metamorphose into a full-blown spotter

The purple emperor butterfly, a rather eccentric 1950s schoolmaster called Ian Heslop once declared, is the ultimate “big game”. A renowned collector, he boasted of catching as many emperors as he had shot elephants (four) but said that no exotic African beast gave him “so much joy as the seeing of my first emperor safely in the net”.

It is no longer acceptable to shoot elephants or catch purple emperors but Heslop was on to something – the overlooked adrenal pleasure of a butterfly safari. Chasing butterflies, to photograph or simply to enjoy, may seem like a whimsical pastime but can be surprisingly thrilling.

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Source: Guardian Environment