Platbos Africa’s Southernmost Forest

Platbos is an ancient indigenous forest situated at the foot of Africa. Described by well-known botanist and author, Professor Eugene Moll, as a ‘unique South African forest jewel’, this is a forest that enchants and inspires all who come to visit.

Found on the slopes of the Baviaanspoort Hills, the forest is located on the Grootbos Road between the fishing village of Gansbaai and the seaside town of Hermanus.

One of the Overstrand’s Best Kept Secrets:

Platbos, an Afrikaans name, translates as ‘flat forest or bush’, a perfectly descriptive name. From the exterior, no inkling is given of the age-old trees found within the forest canopy. Draped in ‘old man’s beard’, the trees have gnarled, twisted trunks and branches, folded and creased like the wrinkled limbs of elephants. The pure forest air nurtures a myriad of lichens that mottle the tree bark in patterns of orange, pink and white. During the wet, winter months, the mosses and epiphytic ferns that make their home on the trees come to life in brilliant shades of green. What makes Platbos a unique forest is its tree specie composition. The dominant trees are the Afromontane species of Celtis africana ‘white stinkwood’, Olinia ventosa ‘hard pear’ and Apodytes dimidiata ‘white pear’, combined with the coastal thicket tree species of Sideroxylon inermemilkwood‘ and Chionanthus foveolata ‘pock ironwood’.

Platbos forest walks:

An indigenous forest trail for bird and tree enthusiasts.

Discover for yourself this unique, relic forest with specimen trees estimated to be well over 1000 years of age. This gentle, undemanding walk takes between one to two and a half hours to complete. 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 a wealth of knowledge about the forest ecosystem. Trees are labeled along the way 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.

This is a privately owned forest and the number of walkers at any one time is limited to minimize impact on the forest’s ecosystem. Reservations are essential to avoid disappointment.

Entrance Fee: R50.00 per adult / R20.00 for scholars. Guided tours are offered by prior arrangement.
Contact the forest on mobile: +27 82 4110448 / /

Other activities:

Trees for Tomorrow: 

Sponsor the planting of trees at Platbos Forest. Individuals and Companies are invited to sponsor tree planting as part of our reforestation project. By actively planting trees on the forest edge, it is our intention to conserve the biodiversity of this unique forest environment and increase its surface area for future generations and the many creatures that depend on it for their survival. Visit to see how you can get involved.

Platbos Forest Wholesale Tree Nursery:

Established in 2006, our wholesale tree nursery supplies quality trees to the horticultural industry.

One-on-One Tree Workshops:

Trees have special gifts of healing and wisdom to impart to us. These gifts were well known to the traditional Native Americans who, immediately upon falling ill, would retreat to a nearby forest to sit with their back against the trunk of a mature tree.  Learn how to connect with the innate intelligence and healing powers of trees beneath the canopy of this ancient forest. Contact: +27 82 4110448 or e-mail:

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, South Africa;

“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, 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, South Africa;

“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 and Pier, U.K;

“A truley 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, 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.

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