Platbos Forest

The Owl Camp

The Owl Camp

The Owl Camp

The "Stand Alone" Camping Stand

Set beneath a fine old white stinkwood tree, the eco-friendly, off-grid Owl Camp offers a secluded and truly unique experience for camping enthusiasts. This is our only camping stand at Platbos, and the facilities are for the exclusive use of those booking the site.

Video by : Dust and Diesel Overlanding
Camping at the Owl Camp, Platbos | Western Cape, South Africa

The Owl Camp ~ What to Expect

This is our only camping site that is available for campers to bring along their own tent or 4×4 camper van. Being a small stand, tucked in under sheltering but low-growing forest, this camp is perfect for a couple or a group of 4 companions. The site is unfortunately not suitable for caravans, or for vehicles that exceed 2.5 metres in height. The Owl Camp is set apart from our other overnighting facilities and has a secluded and remote atmosphere. The Owl Camp is totally off-grid. Please see Owl Camp Facilities below for further information.

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.

The Owl Camp Facilities:

  • Camp Site situated under forest canopy.
  • Parking space for 4×4 Camper van (which does not exceed 2.5 metres in height).
  • Old fashioned Donkey Boiler for hot water. Wood is supplied for this, however campers are responsible for making their own fires.
  • Sink for washing up and food preparation.
  • Fire Pit and braai grid (we do not supply gas rings etc).
  • Use of communal freezer found in the “Freezer Hut” on the Fire Break.
  • Open air shower.
  • Picnic Table.
  • Composting loo (with a wonderful view!).

Also to Note:

  • Wood is provided for the ‘donkey boiler’ (one bag for each night of your stay). Rooikrans 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.
  • 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.
  • The Owl Camp is off-grid – it has no electrical plug point.
  • While the water at the camp is fine for boiling and using in food preparation, you might like to bring along your own drinking water.
  • 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, animal or fallen wood is allowed.
  • 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 bees that 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: Full payment is required to reserve your booking.

Maximum number of Campers: 4

Minimum of a 2 night stay over weekends and over holiday season.

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 Owl 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!

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