Platbos indigenous forest | Africa´s Southernmost forest | Baviaanspoort Hills, Grootbos Road between Gansbaai and Hermanus

Old Olive Cabin

~ A Forest Hideaway ~
stop and read

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!


Old Olive Cabin at Platbos

Our cute Olive Cabin and its facilities are located on the forest edge nearby an ancient Wild Olive tree that we estimate to be close to 800 years of age. Like all our accommodation, this cabin is eco-friendly, and "off-grid" but it has solar power for lights and a small bar fridge. The cabin sleeps two guests.

Platbos Forest Reserve is a private nature reserve - and although only a two hour drive from Cape Town - offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself into the heart of this wild yet gentle indigenous forest. It is indeed a privilege to overnight in the forest: Platbos is one of the largest remaining fragments of lowland Afromontane forest found between Grootvadersbosch and Table Mountain - less than 0.05% of the Western Cape is home to old growth forest.

The Olive Cabin forms part of the Platbos Forest Reserve and as such has been designed to cause as little disturbance to the forest environment as possible. Honeybees and rain spiders coexist in the Reserve alongside woodpeckers, owls and bushbuck for example. Having said that, none of our guests have been injured by the wildlife, and the present-day owners of the Reserve have lived in the forest since 2005 without any mishaps. However, should the idea of being so close to nature worry you, Platbos may not be the right place for you. If on the other hand, a retreat into a pristine forest that offers pure clean air, star-studded skies and the company of age-old trees fills you with enthusiasm, please do make a booking: As evidenced by our 2019 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Adviser you will not be disappointed!

The Old Olive Cabin ~ What to Expect

The cabin, suited for either a couple or two friends sharing, has a bedroom with a double bed, and a sleeper couch in the sitting room-cum-kitchenette. All linen and towels are provided. An indoor fireplace makes the Olive Cabin a cozy option for winter stays. The kitchenette is fully equipped and has gas for cooking and a minibar fridge with a small freezer compartment. The ablutions - basin and shower - are semi-enclosed: designed to make your stay at Platbos a true forest experience. The composting toilet and the ablutions are free-standing and are located a short distance from the cabin. Hot water is supplied via the old fashioned 'donkey boiler system'. The cabin is accessed via a forest pathway that is roughly 100 metres in length. A wheelbarrow is provided to ferry your luggage from the parking to the cabin. All the facilities are for the exclusive use of our Olive Cabin guests. Please see Old Olive Facilities below for further information.

This cabin is situated away from our other accommodation units - roughly a ten-minute walk - and while it is screened from the Reforestation Tree Nursery, the water pump that irrigates the tree seedlings in the summer months is audible from the cabin - it runs daily for roughly one hour in the afternoons.

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 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

Olive Cabin Facilities: (sleeps a maximum of 2)

Bedroom with double bed
All linen, towels and bedding provided
Open plan kitchen/sitting room with a sleeper couch that folds out into a double bed
Fully equipped kitchen with minibar fridge, pots, pans, cutlery and crockery
Double gas plate for cooking (no oven or microwave - the forest is "off-grid").
Indoor and outdoor fireplace, braai grid provided

Open Air Shower:
Looking out onto a stately white stinkwood tree, this hot water shower is a magical experience all its own!
Hot water fuelled by the old-fashioned Donkey Boiler. Wood is supplied for this; however, guests are responsible for making their own fires.

Composting, Waterless Toilet
This is a modified 'solar dome' system and incorporates saw dust as the "flush". It is free-standing and situated a short walk from the cabin.

Also to Note:

• The Cabin has solar powered lights. We provide candles for the outdoor shower and a lantern, but you may like to pack an extra head torch.
• 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 and we provide a stock of this outside the cabin for your convenience. Please put payment for this in the honesty box in the Info Hut. 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.
• 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. The tin roof of the cabin reduces receptivity - best to make your calls outside the cabin. There is a plug for charging cell phones but no other electrical appliances (hair dryer, electric shaver etc) may be plugged in at the cabin.
• 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 are allowed.


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 R200.00 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 cabin's facilities.

Guests staying at the Olive Cabin may walk our Forest Trail free of charge (normal fee: R50.00 per person).

Platbos grows in an exceptionally beautiful valley - once you have explored the forest, discover the Uilkraal Vallei:

Activities beyond the Uilkraal Vallei
(but still in our neck of the woods):

  • Boat-based whale watching with Dyer Island Cruises -
  • Commune with the Southern Right whales from the rocky shoreline of De Kelders
  • Visit the Klipgat caves - home to our collective ancestors over 100,000 years ago
  • Enjoy a beach outing at the family-friendly Stanford's Cove, De Kelders
  • Play putt-putt and have a ride down the super tube at Uilenkraalsmond Resort
  • Visit the Strandveld Museum in Franskraal.
  • Take a drive to Baardskeerdersbos, Wolvengat and Elim, with its historic church and mill.
  • . Enjoy beautiful mountain Fynbos at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve

For all accommodation enquiries please call:
during office hours,
Monday to Friday or email

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.
Platbos is ideally situated for those on business trips in the Overberg, as well as for families looking to buy property in this beautiful region.


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 compost- ing 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.

Ancient wild olive tree
White stinkwood flowers