AFRICA`S SOUTHERNMOST FOREST
Check in: 14:00; Check out: 10:00
From R850 per unit per nightCheck Availability & Book Online
Platbos is an ancient indigenous forest situated at the foot of Africa on the slopes of the Baviaanspoort Hills between the fishing village of Gansbaai and South Africa ?s whale spotting capital, Hermanus, in the Western Cape.
To enter Platbos is to enter a world of enchantment. The old trees, draped whimsically in oldman ?s beard, grow together; intertwined and embracing each other. On a still day one can hear the distant roar of the ocean as it echoes off the sand dunes of Walker Bay and resounds down the Baviaanspoort Hill.
Platbos is a mystery forest. Growing upon an ancient sand dune with neither a river nor spring to sustain it, the forest survives the hot, dry summer months by drawing moisture from the morning mists that bathe its thirsty canopy. For botanists, the presence of Platbos Forest in this landscape, where only the drought-resistant and fire-tolerant fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom flourish, remains unfathomable.
Despite these uncompromising conditions, aged trees – some estimated to be over 1000 years old – continue to survive. What a privilege to be able to stay in this incredible forest where you can restore your soul and reconnect with the Earth s rhythms.
ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION GANSBAAI
Platbos has created 4 incredible venues where guests can truly immerse themselves in the peace and tranquility of this unique, beautiful and ancient forest.
As Platbos is a wilderness area, visitors are requested treat all aspects of it with the utmost respect following the ethos of ?take only pictures and leave only footprints ?.
These camps are eco-friendly and off-the-grid but still offer creature comforts. Old fashioned Donkey Boilers provide hot water; solar lanterns and candles provided light, there are gas stoves for cooking and a communal freezer at the Info Hut where you can refreeze your ice blocks for your cooler box. With the exception of the Bush Buck Suite, all the venues have waterless composting toilets which are a step up from the traditional long drop.
The Forest Camp provides guests with private, tented accommodation and the privilege of having this unique and beautiful forest venue all to themselves. The camp accommodates 4 guests with in its two tented units with twin beds in each with linen and towels provided. The large tipi tent lends itself as a recreational area; it has a double bed (no bedding) and room for an extra 3-4 camping mattresses if extra guests prefer not to erect their own tents. An open air shower, basin and composting toilet add to the forest experience. There is also a well-equipped indoor / outdoor kitchen with gas stove and outdoor fireplace.
The Old Olive Cabin is situated near to an ancient Wild Olive tree (over 800 years old) and offers a wonderful opportunity to retreat to tranquility and enchantment in the Platbos Forest. This off-grid cabin can sleep 4 people as it has a bedroom with double bed and a sleeper couch (bedding provided) in the open plan kitchen / lounge area. The kitchen is well equipped with pots, pans, cutlery and crockery and double gas plate for cooking. There is both an indoor and outdoor fireplace and a braai grid is provided. The open air shower looks out onto a stately white stinkwood tree and is an experience all on its own. This is an ideal getaway for couples or small family of four.
The Honey Bee Suite offers private, tented accommodation beneath the canopy of the enchanting Platbos Forest. The bedroom has a double bed with mosquito net, linen and towels; and its walls are canvas blinds that can be rolled up to become immersed in this unique and beautiful forest venue. The Honey Bee Suite caters for 2 people and has a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with open air shower and an outdoor fireplace with braai grid.
The Bush Buck Suite offers private forest accommodation for 2 guests to enjoy glamping at its finest. The open plan bedroom / sitting room / kitchen has a double bed with linen and towels provided, indoor fire place and a well equipped kitchen as well as a braai grid for the outdoor fireplace. The front walls of the suite are canvas blinds that can be rolled up as desired. The bathroom has an open air shower, wash stand and basin and a flush toilet.
For an extra fee, additional guests are welcome to stay at each venue; simply bring extra tents.Check Availability & Book Online
Visitors can enjoy the Forest Hiking Trail, a gentle two and a half hour walk discovering this unique, relic forest. You can rest on the benches situated along the trail and absorb the scents of tree blossoms, earth, mosses and leaves. A “Forest Information Sheet” provides visitors a wealth of knowledge about the forest ecosystem and labeled trees along the way also help you to know them. Keep an eye out for bushbuck grazing in the cool depths and enjoy spotting a plethora of birds between the ancient trees.
GPS: 34 34’03.81″S 19 27’38.78″E
On the R43 road from Stanford to Gansbaai, look out for the Grootbos turnoff on your left hand side, approximately 12km after passing Stanford. Turn left here (or carry on straight to follow alternate route) and travel for exactly 6km along this tar, and then gravel, road (do not turn into the actual Grootbos Estate). After 6km you will see a turnoff over a cattle grid on your right hand side, signed ?Platbos Forest ?. Turn right onto this road.
PLATBOS: GREEN ACTS FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Recycling, Green cleaning, Responsible body products, Sustainable energy acumen, Water Wise practices, Eco Architecture, Conservation, Land rehabilitation.
The owners of Platbos share a dream to live gently upon the Earth s surface and to lead harmonious and sustainable lives on the planet. They are dedicated to the conservation and extension of this unique forest and all the animal and bird life that it supports.
Waste is sorted and sent for recycling in Gansbaai and organic kitchen waste is used to feed the tree nursery ?s worm farm and their compost and ?tea ? is then used in the nursery. Three of the accommodation units have composting toilets, once fully decomposed the compost from these toilets is used for the trees in the Platbos Forest Nursery.
The facilities at Platbos are cleaned with GNLD which is both environmentally and people friendly, and the tree nursery only uses organic fertilizers and environmentally friendly pesticides in order to avoid any adverse impacts on the forest’s ecosystem.
The guest soaps provided are specially made for Platbos by Essential Amathole and are completely natural, handmade and perfumed with organic fynbos essential oils.
Water for the accommodation comes from a river on a neighbouring farm and the nursery is watered with dam water. Being free of pollutants and chemicals, the grey water is recycled back into the forest via soak aways, to the benefit of nearby trees who enjoy the extra water source. Three of our four accommodation units have composting toilets which is a great water-saver.
All the accommodation venues at Platbos are off-the-grid. Water is heated with Donkey Boilers that are fueled with alien trees removed from the forest edge, food can be cooked on gas, and the solar lanterns and candles provided illuminate the forest at night.
The Platbos accommodation units are built from alien trees (pines and gums) felled by Krige Tree Services in and around Cape Town, who send all usable timber for planking. The units were built without cement foundations and are non-permanent, compact structures that have minimal impact on the forest ecosystem.
The Platbos Conservation Trust was created to protect and extend the forests habitat and diversity. Post the 2016 Greenpop Reforest Fest, over 40,000 trees will have been planted in their reforestation site since 2008. All newly planted trees at Platbos are automatically protected under the auspices of DWAF (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) in hopes that they will live well over 100 years.
Platbos welcomes school visits and permits schools from underprivileged communities to visit free of charge so that the children can benefit from engaging and learning about this special environment.
The Trees for Tomorrow Reforestation Project is a sustainable, carbon-neutral tree planting programme which was conceived in the wake of the devastating fires of 2006. Platbos aims to achieve a number of objectives by actively planting trees in the once forested areas. When you make a donation to plant a tree at Platbos, you are helping to conserve and extend the biodiversity of this ancient indigenous forest. MoreCheck Availability & Book Online