Did you know?
60 million years ago, forests of palms, yellowwoods and euphorbias covered southern Africa's lowlands.
If you’ve ever doubted that there is magic hidden around every corner of South Africa, pay a visit to Platbos Forest near Hermanus in the Western Cape. This indigenous forest, with its ancient trees, is considered a scientific oddity.
The forest should’ve become extinct millions of years ago when the area’s climate changed from subtropical to the warmer, drier climate of today. With no river course to feed it, the survival of this relic forest fascinates botanists. Aged trees – some estimated to be over 1 000 years old – have survived.
The Platbos experience is a personal one. Owners Francois and Melissa Krige interact closely with guests and have a wealth of information about this unique place, which they are most happy to share with visitors. The website and visitor centre are also extremely informative.
An enchanting 2-hour forest trail has gentle gradients, making it ideal for young and old. See how trees of different species have formed clusters to conserve water and have created 'nutrient islands' to ensure their survival.
The forest teems with life. Bird watchers can spot flycatchers, robbins and woodpeckers. At night, owls sing from treetops. Tree frogs, toads and snakes have a home here. The Kriges’ forest camera has captured porcupines and the elusive caracal (lynx).
Stay a night or 2 at the rustic but exquisite Platbos forest tented camp. Sheltered and private, you’ll have exclusive use of this corner of the forest. Don’t expect electricity at this self-catering facility. Rather, make a fire and haul out the sleeping bags for a night under humming canopies. Beds are provided.
Platbos gets the responsible tourism thumbs up. Most of the nursery, office and household activities are powered by renewable energy sources and all waste is recycled. The nursery runs according to organic growing principles.
Through the Trees for Tomorrow Reforestation Project, you can sponsor the planting of an indigenous tree. You will assist in the reclamation of at least some of the area that, in the past, was felled to make way for cultivation and agriculture.
Visit this anomaly of nature and leave with more than when you arrived.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)82 411 0448