Platbos Forest

The Forest Camp

The Forest Camp

Forest Bathing beneath the Starlit Sky

Eco-friendly and “off-grid”, this camp provides private, tented accommodation for 2 guests. Like all our units at the Reserve, this venue is exclusive in that guests enjoy having this unique and beautiful site all to themselves. Rest in the arms of a spectacular and ancient Celtis africana tree and reconnect to the gentle rhythms of the Forest. At night soak away any troubles in the wood-fired hot tub as you gaze upon the magnificence of the Milky Way above.

The Forest Camp ~ What to Expect

Our rustic and comfortable accommodation aims to provide guests with a sense of being at one with the forest environment. This camp sleeps 2 guests in a tented bedroom. The camp is orientated around a magnificent and ancient Celtis africana – by our estimate this tree is close to one thousand years old. A private pathway from the camp gives guests access to the Reserve’s forest trail.

The tented bedroom has two single beds with all bedding and linen provided. There is an open-air, free-standing, semi-enclosed kitchen with gas for cooking. The ablutions – basin and shower – are also semi-enclosed and designed to make your stay at Platbos a true forest experience.

Your wood-fired hot tub is situated within a natural clearing at the camp – perfect for star-gazing! We use untreated, fynbos river water in the tub so expect “coca-cola” coloured water as it has come straight from the mountains beyond the forest. The composting toilet is located just outside the camp on the fire break. Hot water is supplied via the old fashioned ‘donkey boiler system’. These facilities are for the exclusive use of our Forest Camp guests. Please see Forest Camp Facilities below for further information.

forest camp two beds inside tent

For guests booking during weekdays, please be aware that Platbos is a nature reserve that requires active management and protection. During certain months of the year the Platbos Conservation Trust needs to carry out routine fire-break maintenance as well as alien clearing on our neighbour’s property. As far as possible, we try to minimize the noise disturbances for our guests but sadly, the reality is that without this ongoing, costly care, the forest would no longer be here to be enjoyed.

Prospective guests also need to please be aware that occasionally, atmospheric and particular wind conditions combine to amplify noise levels coming from the valley below where there is a wedding venue. In addition, once or twice a year, one of our neighbours plays loud music. Fortunately, these are infrequent disturbances, but guests are hereby alerted to this possibility ahead of time.

We do not have a reception office – we have structured things so that guests can go straight to their respective units. In order to facilitate this and ensure that you have a truly magical, hassle-free stay in the forest, we send important information, a map and directions which need to be read and/or printed out ahead of your stay.

Please explore our website to learn more about some of the forest’s fauna and flora as well as our conservation work at the Reserve.

forest camp kitchen area

Forest Camp Facilities:

One tented bedroom room with 2 single beds. All linen, towels and bedding provided.

Indoor / Outdoor Kitchen:

  • Fully equipped kitchen with pots, pans, cutlery and crockery.
  • Gas for cooking (note: no oven, microwave or fridge as the Forest Camp is off-grid).
  • We provide a Cooler Box (stored at the “Freezer Hut”) but you may like to bring along your own as well. Re-freeze your ice bricks and ice trays in the communal freezer.
  • Outdoor campfire with grid.

Open Air Shower:

  • Hot water fuelled by the old-fashioned Donkey Boiler. Wood is supplied for this; however, guests are responsible for making their own fires.
  • Washstand and basin.

Wood Fired Hot Tub:

  • Guests make and monitor the fire to ensure correct water temperature and safe operation
  • The area is not fenced off therefor it is NOT child-friendly
  • Water used is untreated fynbos river water: as it contains fynbos tannins it is naturally coca-cola- coloured and may have unavoidable, small amounts of sediment.
  • In the interest of water-saving, we only supply one fresh tub of water for the duration of your stay
  • We supply 2 bags of wood for the hot tub: extra wood must be purchased from the Freezer Hut.

Composting, Waterless Toilet:

  • This is a modified ‘solar dome’ system and incorporates sawdust as the “flush”.

Also to Note:

  • A mountain river is our source of water. As this water has not been tested or treated, please bring along your own drinking water.
  • A solar lantern and candles are provided but you may like to bring extra lighting and flashlights.
  • Wood is provided for the ‘donkey boiler’ (one bag for each night of your stay). Rooikrans or Myrtle Braai wood, a by-product from our alien clearing, is available at R50.00 per bag. Please collect this from the “Freezer Hut” in the fire break and leave your money in the honesty box. No outside wood is allowed to be brought onto the Reserve as this may introduce the dreaded “Shot Hole Borer Beetle” which will have dire consequences for the forest trees.
  • Please bring along your own fire-lighters for your camp fire. We do however supply fire-lighters for your Donkey Fire.
  • The greatest threat to Platbos Forest is fire: our donkey systems are contained and safe to use. However never leave a campfire burning unattended, and please do not make overly large fires.
  • Please do not use “Doom-type” pesticide sprays, etc, but DO bring along insect repellent during the summer months for mosquitoes.
  • Please respect the tranquillity of the forest and keep noise levels down. Loud and excited voices carry far into the forest and disturb the peace for other guests as well as for the forest’s wildlife. Strictly no music is allowed.
  • Cell phone receptivity varies in the forest and Vodacom receives better reception.
  • Platbos is a wilderness area and a legally protected habitat: no collection, removal or relocation of any plant, fungi, animal or fallen wood is allowed and is punishable by law.
  • BABOONS: Platbos is occasionally visited by a troop of baboons when the trees are bearing seed. We are fortunate in that they are still wild and unaccustomed to human food. They are non-aggressive and will run away if they see you. To ensure that the baboons remain this way, there are signs up at the accommodation to remind you to please always pack food away after meals. We also have baboon monitors who occasionally set off “thunder flashes” to chase the baboons away from human habitation.
  • Platbos is also home to wild beesthat make their nests in the old tree trunks. There are signs up to alert you of a ‘bee tree’ if it is anywhere nearby the forest trail. Simply walk quickly past the sign.
  • Platbos – being a wildlife sanctuary – is unfortunately not pet-friendly and therefore NO dogs or pets are allowed.

Rates & Conditions:

Rate per night: See our Online Booking Calendar.

Please note: A 50% deposit is required to reserve your booking.

Single night stays: By arrangement only; an additional R300.00 surcharge is applicable. Not optional over weekends / Public Holidays

In Season (16 Dec – 5 Jan): Minimum of a 3-night stay is required.

Arrival Time: Any time after 2pm | Departure Time: 10am (unless otherwise arranged).

* Please note that we do not have a “Reception / Check In Office”. Due to travel time, most of our guests arrive after dark. Please print your directions as well as all pertinent information that you will receive once you have finalized your booking: you will require this to find your way to your accommodation. In addition, it contains the necessary codes for the combination locks on our gate and for the Freezer Hut. If you arrive after dark, please come prepared with a torch / headlamp so that you can orientate yourself around the camp.

Guests staying at the Forest Camp may walk our Forest Trail free of charge (normal fee: R50.00 per person). Please collect a FOREST TRAIL MAP from the “Info Hut” in order to navigate the paths without getting lost. Please note that the TRAIL is ONLY OPEN BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8AM AND 5PM DAILY.

Please note

No outside fire wood is permitted at the Reserve! We have put strict restrictions in place to protect the forest from the Shot Hole Borer Beetle which is currently killing trees and forests in other parts of the country. Wood is for sale at Platbos for your braai needs. Thank you for helping us to protect this precious forest!

This popup will automatically disappear after you have viewed it 3 times.