About 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.

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.

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.

Need to Know

WherePlatbos Indigenous Forest, Between Stanford and Gansbaai, Cape Overberg / Whale Coast, Western Cape, South Africa

WhenOpen to overnight guests. See Platbos Forest Cabins below.

OvernightStay in Stanford Accommodation, Western Cape


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Stay at Platbos Indigenous Forest

Gansbaai Self Catering

Platbos Forest Cabins

Sleeps 15 people in 5 units

Platbos Forest offers self catering accommodation in an indigenous forest found on the Baviaanspoort Hills in Gansbaai ...

Excellent [11 verified reviews]

  • tonight from
  • R
  • 1300
  • per room per night
    based on 2 persons
View accommodation

instant booking possible

  • Rooms are not airconditioned
  • Free WiFi is not offered
  • No airport transfers
  • Free parking is available
  • Pets are not allowed
  • Platbos Forest Cabins does not have a swimming pool
  • Family friendly, children of all ages are welcome

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