Platbos Indigenous Forest

Platbos is an ancient, indigenous forest that lies on the slopes of the Baviaanspoort Hills just outside Stanford

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Platbos Indigenous Forest

Just off the coast of Gansbaai you will find Africa's southernmost forest. Platbos is an ancient, indigenous forest that lies on the slopes of the Baviaanspoort Hills on the Grootbos Road just outside Stanford, the largest remaining fragment of the orginal Swartkransberg Forests - lowland forests of the fynbos biome.

Where? Between Stanford and Gansbaai, Western Cape

When? By appointment only

How? See the Web page

How much? Price on request

Overnight? See Stanford accommodation, Western Cape

Platbos, as its name suggests, is the name for a flat forest or bush, which perfectly describes the approach to the forest along the road, where it appears to be simply bush. That it is actually a forest is something of a surprise, and to find that it is a forest made up predominantly of wild olive, white pear and white stinkwood trees is nothing short of incredible.

What makes Platbos Indigenous Forest unique is that one wouldn't expect to find it where it is. Most forests retreat into moister mountain ravines and riverbanks. Platbos Forest, by comparison, is found in deep, sandy, alkaline soil on north-facing terrain where the rainfall is generally not deemed sufficient to support a forest. Despite this, the trees flourish, so much so that some of them are over 1000 years old.

Its species too are unique it doesn't easily fit into any existing forest category. Whilst there are attributes of the Afromontane forest, you won't find yellowoods, black stinkwoods, rooiels and other thirstier trees. Instead all the coastal thicket species are visible, and it has been compared to Tongaland-Pondoland forests of KwaZulu-Natal.

Visit Platbos Forest by appointment to enjoy the gentle walks that take an hour or two to complete. In the heart of the forest you'll find a 1000 year old milkwood, and a labyrinth made of mother-of-pearl sea shells, often in disarray as the baboons like to re-arrange the design. Platbos also has a tree planting programme to which you can contribute.

Accommodation in Platbos Indigenous Forest

Platbos Forest Cabins

Where? Gansbaai
This exclusive forest camp means that guests can enjoy the forest area all to themselves. As the accommodation is off the grid there are no electrical appliances. Gas for cooking and crockery for six persons per unit is available. A communal...

More info and contact details: Platbos Forest Self Catering Cabins

Popular Activities near Platbos Indigenous Forest

Grootbos Nature Reserve

Where? Gansbaai
Grootbos is situated near Walker Bay, where endemic fynbos and dense forests adorn the hills around this area, which attracts spans of visitors who come to the bay to see the whales every year. The Grootbos Nature Reserve occupies 1750 hectares...

More info and contact details: Grootbos Nature Reserve

Did you know?

In the heart of the Platbos Forest you'll find a 1000 year old milkwood, and a labyrinth made of mother-of-pearl sea shells.

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