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Platbos Forest Reserve
Conservation Area
Habitat Reserve
Gansbaai, South Africa
-34.5651333, 19.45323333


Platbos Forest is Africa’s southernmost indigenous forest with trees estimated to be well over 1 000 years of age. Referred to as a relic, or remnant forest, Platbos dates back in time to when much of the Cape Lowlands were clothed in primal forest. With the gradual heating up of the Earth, most of these lowland forests retreated to the damp protection of the mountain kloofs. In their stead came the drought-tolerant, fire-adapted Fynbos vegetation. 

Platbos is unique. It is rare to find forest in the Western Cape of South Africa growing on deep, alkaline sandy soils on gently undulating terrain. Indigenous forests are generally rare and endangered ecosystems covering less than 0.05% of the Western Cape. Platbos is believed to be one of the largest remaining fragments of old growth forest between Knysna and Table Mountain. It is classified as lowland Afromontane Forest – quite distinct from coastal thicket that is dominated by Milkwood trees.  

Platbos Forest Reserve is 50 hectares in extent. the forest is found on the slopes of the Baviaanspoort Hills, and is located on the Grootbos Road between the fishing village of Gansbaai and the seaside town of Hermanus. The reserve offers forest walks, bird watching and accommodation.


Conservation Highlights:

  1. The forest supports a myriad of life forms - from mosses, lichens, birds and bees, to bushbuck and honey badgers. 
  2. There is at least one red data (endangered) species at the forest: the Leopard toad.
  3. Platbos is also a refuge for the Cape leopard and caracal.
  4. Forest walks
  5. African Tree Essences
  6. 'Plant a Tree' and the Platbos Reforestation Project: as of October 2020, a total of 85 630 trees have been planted.  


Images provided.