Platbos Forest

The Forest Trail

An indigenous forest trail for bird and tree enthusiasts. Explore the magic of this ancient, relic forest as you wander the gentle, meandering pathways.

Discover for yourself this unique, Lowland Afromontane Forest with specimen trees estimated to be well over 1000 years of age. The forest grows on a gentle slope and requires only moderate fitness. Depending on your pace, it takes between one to two and a half hours to complete the entire forest trail. Set out in a series of loops, one can walk the whole trail or just part of it.

For those who have sponsored trees at Platbos, or who are interested in our Reforestation Project, a new “Reforestation Trail” has been added to the existing trail. This takes you through some of the areas that we have cleared of alien trees and replanted with Platbos tree species grown on at the Forest Nursery. This section adds on approximately 30 minutes to the trail. 

The Forest Trail is open from Mondays to Sundays (and on Public Holidays) 8am – 5pm.

Pre-booking is not required. The “Self-Service” Info Hut is always open but not staffed. Located opposite the Forest Trail parking area, here you will find maps for the trail, the Day Visitor Permit Book and the “Honesty Box” for you to place your walking fee: R50.00/Adult & R20.00/Child.

Video – Francois Swart

We appreciate this system that runs on trust. Platbos is a privately owned Provincial Nature Reserve.

Your walking fee goes towards funding the maintenance of the forest trail and the access road.

Platbos is a wildlife sanctuary so unfortunately it is not pet-friendly and therefore NO dogs or pets are allowed.

Sit on the benches situated along the forest trail and absorb the scents of tree blossoms, earth, mosses and leaves. A “Forest Information Sheet” supplies knowledge about the forest ecosystem. Trees are labelled at the start of the trail to help you to get to know them. Look out for bushbuck grazing in the cool depths and enjoy the sight and sound of birds flitting between the ancient trees.

If you are in the mood for quiet contemplation and meditation, walk the forest’s beautiful labyrinth made from mother-of-pearl sea shells.

Platbos Forest is the perfect oasis from harsh coastal winds and summer sun. This is not an arduous hike – gentle gradients make it an easy trail for young and old alike to enjoy.

Visitor Comments:

“We enjoyed our very interesting walk through your magical forest. We also enjoyed the labyrinth. We wish you much success in preserving this lovely spot.” – Susanne and Elf, Switzerland


“A refreshing difference; hauntingly beautiful” -Tracy, Bill and David, Canada


“Kom weer! Platbos is ‘n sielsbos!” – Esme, South Africa

“A spiritual experience, one which we have taken with us. Thank you.” – Wallace family, Dubai


“Dankie dat julle die bos bewaar – dis GOED dat dit nog hier is!” – Du Toit family, South Africa


“Amazing! We saw a bosbok – what a privilege. Other than that, thank you for offering this heaven of forest for the city dwellers to enjoy” -Andre and Annette Delport, SA


“What a blessing for nature in South Africa. Well done in creating opportunity for us to enjoy. Awesome and Divine. Beautiful/Motle haholo/Pragtig/Sehon” – Johan and Carien Delport, SA


“An amazing experience to walk in this unique forest, the old trees are real personalities.” – Lars Hugo and Kristin Bakri, Sweden


“Thank you for sharing this absolute gem with us.” – Haug family, Cape Town, SA


“What a wonderful forest. It brought back memories of favourite childhood stories. ‘The Enchanted Wood’ by Enid Blyton – read it to your children! Thank you!” – Julia Dobson and Pier Rica, U.K.


“A truly magical experience and so interesting. Thank you for the opportunity to visit this wonderful forest. You are doing a wonderful job towards sustaining this planet.” – Chris and Jackie Wesley, England


“This is a very inspired place. The forest is fascinating and the human habitation shows courage and creativity.” – Susan and Paul Fleischman, USA


“Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful land. We appreciate the direction you are taking in educating us and developing programs to enhance our reconnecting with nature and the forest.” – Linda and Richard Steyn, Canada


“Most well laid out walking route, wonderfully enjoyable with all deference to ecology. More identification boards would be most welcome – we need educating” – Wednesday Walking Group, Hermanus, SA