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


Giving the gift of growth

Inspired by the forest
- necessitated by the realities of global warming -

Since May 2008, more than 92 490 trees have been sponsored for planting at Platbos Forest. We invite you to become part of our Reforestation Project, plant a tree for tomorrow and give the gift of growth!

Reforestation of the Forest Edge

Like natural forests the world over, parts of Platbos were cleared-felled in days gone by to make way for cultivation. Today, many of these fields stand fallow and they are now being colonized by invasive alien vegetation. These dense stands of alien vegetation on neighbouring land pose a grave fire risk to the forest.

The fire threat at Platbos Forest

Dense alien vegetationLess than 0.56% of South Africa is covered by indigenous forest; in the Western Cape this figure is even lower with only 0.05% of the Province being forested. Platbos is a unique and ancient indigenous forest that requires our active management in order to insure its long term survival. In answer to this need, we have launched the Trees For Tomorrow reforestation programme.

Young bushbuck: Platbos is likely the southwestern limit of this shy forest dwellerTo date, we have planted over 92 490 trees; there is space for thousands more to be planted. The young tree saplings are supplied by our Platbos Forest Tree Nursery and only trees that are endemic to the forest are planted- they are adapted to drought and serve as an important food source for the bird and animal species that live here.

By actively planting trees in these once forested areas,
we aim to achieve a number of objectives:

  • Restore the forest back to its former intergrity.
  • Push back the boundary of the alien vegetation and create firebreaks so that the heart of the forest and the ancient trees found within it are better protected from run-away fires.
  • Halt the advance of the encroaching alien thickets (the alien seed is unable to germinate beneath the forest canopy.)
  • Conserve the biodiversity of this unique forest environment and increase its surface area for future generations and the many creatures that depend on it for their survival.
  • Extend and amplify the forest's carbon sink capacity through tree planting and by so doing contribute towards world-wide efforts to counteract the effects of global warming and climate change.
  • Increase employment opportunities for members of our disadvantaged local communities.
  • Offer concerned individuals and corporations the opportunity to give something back to the Earth in a real and meaningful way.

Click for a larger imageClick on the image on the left to enlarge to view the area currently being reforested.

GPS co-ordinates for the reforestation area:


The Trees for Tomorrow Programme:

  • This is a sustainable, carbon-neutral tree planting programme.
  • Trees are grown on site and transported by wheel-barrow to their reforestation site.
  • Reforested areas receive follow-up watering and maintenance for as long as they require it.
  • Reforestation practices follow, wherever practical and possible, natural forest regeneration processes.
  • All replanting occurs in fire shadow areas where forest naturally occurred.
  • Unlike street or garden trees that are at the mercy of their present and future home owners' whims and fancies, newly planted trees at Platbos are automatically protected under the auspices of DWAF (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry). All things being equal, they will live to 100 + years of age.

- Be inspired by Richard St Barbe Baker -

During his lifetime, Richard St. Barbe Baker, the "Man of the Trees" (1889 - 1982) was responsible for planting billions of trees around the world. "The planting of trees and reforestation is one of the most vital tasks of the world today. Their function is legion and their life is interwoven with that of man and animal, earth and air, food and water...Men and trees, water and trees, man and water are inseparable. This is the trinity of life."

Fresh Spring leaves

By the time a tree has reached 100 years of age
it will have:

  • Processed the carbon dioxide in 18 million cubic metres of air and fixed it as 2,500 kg of pure carbon.
  • Made 6,600 kg of molecular oxygen available.
  • Drawn 2,500 tons of water up from its roots and out through its crown and evaporated it into the atmosphere.
  • Supplied one person with enough oxygen for 20 years.

When we consider that trees also:

  • create top soil,
  • provide us with timber, raw materials, fodder, food, medicines and spices, shade and shelter,
  • and create harmonious environments in which to live,

then we can start to understand the words of St Barbe Baker - humanity's future is indeed inextricably linked with the destiny of the planet's forests.

When you book a walk at Platbos, be sure to
visit the Reforestation Site.

We invite you to contribute to our tree planting initiative at Platbos, Africa's Southernmost forest. Let us follow the lead of Wangari Maathai: "When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope": Wangari Maathai launched the "Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign." and has inspired the planting of over 30 million trees in Kenya.

Our thanks to GreenPop, our primary Reforestation Partner, for supporting our Reforestation Project through the purchase of 62928 trees since 2011! GreenPop's support of our vision and Reforestation Project through the annual purchase of thousands of our Platbos nursery trees - has not only hugely accelerated our reforestation project, but in addition has helped to fund the alien clearing and fire-break creation that are critically important for protecting and conserving this ancient yet fragile forest ecosystem. Thank you from all at Platbos!

Download our e-brochureDownload our Platbos e-booklet that explains our work and the importance of Platbos

Platbos Conservation Trust
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Tree planting at Platbos

Platbos Forest Trail

for bird and tree enthusiasts.
Discover the magic of this ancient forest as you wander its gentle, meandering pathways.

Sutera flowers on the forest edge

Healthy old growth tree