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

The Owl Camp

~ The "Stand Alone" Camping Stand ~
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!


Platbos Owl Camp

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.

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 Owl Camp forms part of the Platbos Forest Reserve and as such has been designed to cause as little disturbance to the forest environment as possible. Honey bees 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 Owl Camp ~ What to Expect

This is our only camping site that is available for campers to bring along their own tent or 4 x 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 3 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 campers booking during week days, 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.

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. Fortunately, this is an infrequent disturbance but guests are hereby alerted to this possibility ahead of time.

We do not have a reception office - we have structured things so that you can go straight to the Owl and set up camp. 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

Owl Camp Facilities:

• Camp Site situated under forest canopy
• Parking space for 4 X 4 Camper van (which does not exceed 3 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!)


• 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 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.
• Please do not use "Doom-type" pesticide sprays, etc, but DO bring along insect repellent during the summer months for mosquitoes.
• Cell phone receptivity varies in the forest and Vodacom receives better reception.
• 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 camp to remind you to please always pack food away after meals and to secure all tent zips etc.
• 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 is a wilderness area and a legally protected habitat: no collection, removal or relocation of any plant, animal or fallen wood is allowed.
• Platbos - being a wildlife sanctuary - is unfortunately not pet-friendly and therefore NO dogs are allowed.


Please note: Full payment is required to reserve your booking.

Rate per night: See our Online Booking Calendar.

Maximum number of Campers: 4

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

Check-in: Any time after 2pm | Check-out: 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 campsite.

Guests staying at the Owl Camp 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.

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Ancient wild olive tree
White stinkwood flowers