Platbos Forest

About us

The Platbos Conservation Trust

 Platbos Conservation Trust is a Nonprofit Organization (Registration Number: 086-576-NPO).

Platbos Conservation Trust logo

The Vision of the Trust is the provision of strategic support for biodiversity conservation programmes and projects.

The emphasis shall be on expanding Platbos Forest, supporting both formal and informal biodiversity conservation, especially conservation based on community development projects and to act as a catalyst for the protection of threatened tree-species and to foster increased conservation awareness amongst the people of South Africa.

The Reforestation Project is managed under the auspices of the Trust, in addition to the creation and maintenance of the extensive firebreaks that surround the Reserve.

Platbos Forest Reserve occurs within the Cape Floral Kingdom which consists of the drought tolerant fynbos – a community of plants which requires cycles of fire to regenerate.  Indigenous forest forms part of the 0.05% of the Western Cape Province that falls within the non-burning community of plants. As such, it is critical to control the movement of fire over the landscape.  This protects both the ancient trees in the closed-canopy Old Growth forest and the reforestation trees within the areas under rehabilitation. This is an important part of the work of the Trust.

The Custodians of Platbos

Profile picture Melissa Saayman Krige

Melissa Saayman synthesizes her intuitive understanding of the ecology of the forest with her horticultural training and personal observations of the forest and the creatures that reside there. Perceiving and interacting with the intelligences of Nature birthed the Platbos African Tree Essences which are loved and used in many parts of the world. Melissa manages the Reserve’s camera traps and the Accommodation falls under her management: 5% of guest fees go directly to the Platbos Conservation Trust.

Profile picture Francois Krige

Francois Krige started his work with trees in the 1980’s in the forests of Germany, and then worked as an arborist in England. Since 1991 he has owned and run Krige Tree Services in Cape Town, looking after indigenous trees at Kirstenbosh Gardens and the exotics at Arderne Gardens amongst others. It is at Platbos where his life with trees became truly wonderful. Learning about forest ecology, protecting the forest from fire, and learning how to restore degraded forest through alien clearing and tree planting is his passion. The Platbos Nursery is his home, amongst over 80 000 saplings.