In 2016, Uta Ibrahimi brought to another level her passion for conquering mountain tops and experiencing nature in all its colours. This is how Butterfly Outdoor Adventure was born, with a mission to provide everyone with the most beautiful experiences of outdoor tourism, being active with both body and mind.
One of the most special tourism products that this company offers is that of camping for children and families. This product is named ‘Kosovo Mountains Calling the Small Butterflies’ and combines a series of activities: hiking, yoga, meditation, and non-formal education, thus impacting directly the physical and mental wellbeing of children through sports and spending time outdoors.
“Children are the future of the planet, and it is crucial that we cultivate their love of nature from an early age. Having in mind the current situation with the environment, activities for children that incorporate awareness raising about protecting nature and environmental education are essential to their wellbeing,” says Era Sallauka of Butterfly Outdoor Adventure company.
She tell how the idea for daily hiking/camping was born at the beginning of 2020 and later, during the first lockdown due to the pandemic, all the way to realizing the first activity in July 2020. The activity was well-received and continued through autumn of the same year. A special aspect of this product is that is truly reflects the needs and wishes of children, who gave their opinions through an online questionnaire and based on their responses, the company developed this product that meets the needs of children, their parents, or caretakers.
The main purpose of this tourism product is to help children build healthy habits and to teach them about the importance of physical activities. Besides this, children learn more about the nature’s beauties and endemic species of the flora and fauna in Kosovo.
Another goal is to promote the natural and historical heritage of Kosovo, by empowering children to conquer higher peaks, and teaching them about survival in nature, orientation, techniques for alpinism, surrounding flora and fauna and raising their awareness about environmental protection. “We strongly support the idea that spending time in nature is something all deserve to enjoy and benefit from,” says Era Sallauka.
The daily hiking and camping for children product mainly targets children aged over 5 years old but there have been cases when smaller children were made part of the activities, if parents have carrying bags. Parents or caretakers take part in these activities together with the children, because during nature walks, they have an opportunity to spend more time together and bond more.
What do the small butterflies do when the mountain calls them?
The activity starts in the early hours of the morning. The group gathers and information is shared about the mountain they will visit and where they will hike, and the day’s agenda is presented. Activities may be for one or two days. The two-day activities including sleeping in tents. On their way, children learn about plants and animals of the area they are hiking. During the two-day hikes, children play games in nature, they do yoga, stargazing, they collect wild forest fruits etc. on their way back, the group takes with them the trash they find in mountain paths, so they give their contrition to protecting the environment while building healthy habits in children.
Children are always happy with these special activities. One of their favourite things are the friendships they build during the hikes, along with collecting wild fruit, yoga, and lessons about the flora and fauna.
“Butterfly Outdoor Adventure” is the first company in Kosovo and the region to offer such a product that engages children of all ages, including children from marginalized groups, in nature activities, such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, snow walking etc,” says Era Sallauka about this special tourism product.
The summer of 2021 will be filled with pleasant activities in nature by Butterfly Outdoor Adventure, including new locations, so all mountains of Kosovo are covered.