Platbos indigenous forest | Africa´s Southernmost forest | Baviaanspoort Hills, Grootbos Road between Gansbaai and Hermanus

Forest Life

Flora in Platbos Forest

The longer we work and live in the forest, the more we discover about it. Here then, are the beginings of our ongoing learning.

A Unique Tree Composition

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 forest tree species of Sideroxylon inerme "milkwood" and Chionanthus foveolata "pock ironwood". As a result, Platbos does not fit comfortably into any of the existing forest categories. It has been compared to the Tongaland-Pondoland forests of Kwazulu Natal, and it has also been described as a "sand forest". In his study of 1961, botanist Dr Taylor referred to it as a "Celtis-Olinia-Apodytes Tall Forest" because of the relative dominance of these forest trees, and certainly it is these trees which give Platbos is special character.

It is perhaps enough to say that, whatever its botanical category, this southermost forest of Africa is unique, and as such, a haven for not only the animals that dwell in it, but also for the weary souls that come to soak up its gentle peace.


Bladder Nut - Diospyros whyteana
Bladder Nut
Diospyros whyteana
Sea guarrie flowers
Sea Guarri
Euclea racemosa
Wild Olive trunk
Wild Olive
Olea europaea
subsp africana
Hard pear - Olinia ventosa
Hard Pear
Olinia ventosa

White Milkwood
Sideroxylon inerme
Wild peach flowers - Kiggelaria africana
Wild Peach
Kiggelaria africana
Pock ironwood - Chionanthus foveolata
Pock Ironwood
Chionanthus foveolata

White Pear
Apodytes dimidiata
White stinkwood
White Stinkwood
Celtis africana
Rock Alder
Rock Alder
Canthium mundianum


Carissa bispinosa "num-num"
Cassine tetragona "climbing saffronwood"
Cassine papillosa "common saffronwood"
Eriocephalus Africana "wild rosemary"
Leonotis leonurus "wild dagga"
Maytenus heterophylla "spike thorn"
Myrsine africana "Cape myrtle"
Pelargonium capitatum "rose geranium"
Polygala myrtifolia "septemberbos"
Rhus glauca "blue kuni-bush"
Rhus lucida "taaibos"
Salvia africana-lutea "dune sage"


Chasmanthe aethiopica "suurkanol"
Lachenalia bulbifera "rooi viooltjie"
Oxalis pes-caprae "wood sorrel"
Zantedeschia aethiopica "arum lily" / "varkblom"


Cissampelos capensis "davidjieswortel"
Protasparagus aethiopicus "wild asparagus"

In the forest Platbos forest from the air

Platbos Forest Trail

for bird and tree enthusiasts.
Discover the magic of this ancient forest as you wander its gentle, meandering pathways.

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