Platbos is Africa's Southernmost Forest
a botanically unique, endangered forest ecosystem
Platbos Forest is one of the few surviving indigenous forests in South Africa. A Lowland Afrotemperate forest remnant, it is filled with ancient trees, some of which are over a 1000 years old.
The forest, found on the slopes of the Baviaanspoort Hills, is located on the Grootbos Road between the fishing village of Gansbaai and the seaside town of Hermanus in the Western Cape Province. Southern Right whales gather each year in Spring to birth their young in the blue waters of Walker Bay, a few kilometers away from the forest.
Plant a Tree: Grow a Forest
Platbos, a relic forest with trees of over 1000 years of age, is vulnerable to runaway fires. Indigenous forests are rare and endangered ecosystems covering less than 0.05% of the Western Cape. The Platbos Reforestation Project was conceived in the wake of the devastating fires of 2006.
Come and discover this unique forest biome for your self. The forest trail is enjoyed by tree and bird enthusiasts, and the gentle terrain and sheltering canopy make it a suitable destination for young and old alike. Bring along a picnic or contemplate the peace of Platbos at the forest’s beautiful labyrinth.
If, like many of the visitors to Platbos, you are inspired by the gentle yet vibrant energy of the forest, you might like to purchase a set of the African Tree Essences.
Made from the tree flowers, clear spring water and the African sun, they hold the unique vibrational blueprint of the 13 major tree species of the forest.
When you make a donation to plant a tree at Platbos, you are helping to conserve and extend the biodiversity of the forest. For when you plant a tree at Platbos, you are sponsoring a square metre of forest canopy and the myriad of life forms that this supports – from mosses, lichens, birds and bees, to bushbuck and honey badgers. Whether it’s planting a tree in honour of someone special, or sponsoring tree planting to minimize your ecological footprint, your participation in the Platbos Reforestation Project is what enables us to realize our goal in conserving and rehabilitating this unique forest.
As of June 2022, 93204 forest trees from the Platbos Nursery have been sponsored for planting in our Reforestation Sites.
Accommodation at Platbos
The Forest is Water-wise
Platbos Forest Reserve is off-grid and our accommodation units are serviced with river and dam water. Although our area is not yet receiving stringent water restrictions like those in Cape Town, we encourage our guests to always use natural resources mindfully. Four of our five accommodation units use environmentally-friendly composting toilet systems, and all the water that is used in the accommodation units is recycled back into the forest which is why we supply biodegradable, non-harmful washing up liquid for our guests.
COVID Safety Protocols
Our Forest Accommodation is perfectly set up for self-isolating. Our secluded accommodation units afford our guests no direct contact with either our staff or other guests. We utilize cleaning and safety protocols recommended by the World Health Organisation, the Department of Health and the Department of Tourism to keep our staff and guests safe. All surfaces in the private ablutions and kitchen areas are sprayed down after departure with NeoLife’s CARE which is a non-toxic disinfectant. The active ingredient in CARE is on the list from the World Health Organization known to kill coronavirus strains and is biodegradable. Each unit is left to air for at least 24 hours before new guests arrive.
Map and Directions
Caught on camera at Platbos
Walk the Forest Trails
An indigenous forest trail for bird and tree enthusiasts [ read more ]
Map and Directions
Platbos Forest is an “off-the-grid” enterprise. The majority of nursery, office and household activities are powered by renewable energy sources. All waste is recycled and composted where possible and the tree nursery runs according to organic growing principles.
Platbos Conservation Trust:
Nonprofit Organization Registration Number: 086-576-NPO