Our eco-friendly, "off-grid" Forest Camp provides private, tented accommodation for a maximum of 4 guests. Like all our accommodation, this venue is exclusive in that guests enjoy having this unique and beautiful site all to themselves. So, whether you are a couple, a small group of friends, or a family of four, the Forest Camp and its facilities are for your exclusive use.
Platbos Forest Reserve is a private nature reserve - and although only a two-hour drive from Cape Town - offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself into the heart of this wild yet gentle indigenous forest. It is indeed a privilege to overnight in the forest: Platbos is one of the largest remaining fragments of lowland Afromontane forest found between Grootvadersbosch and Table Mountain - less than 0.05% of the Western Cape is home to old growth forest.
The Forest Camp forms part of the Platbos Forest Reserve and as such has been designed to cause as little disturbance to the forest environment as possible. Honeybees and rain spiders coexist in the Reserve alongside woodpeckers, owls and bushbuck for example. Having said that, none of our guests have been injured by the wildlife, and the present-day owners of the Reserve have lived in the forest since 2005 without any mishaps. However, should the idea of being so close to nature worry you, Platbos may not be the right place for you. If on the other hand, a retreat into a pristine forest that offers pure clean air, star-studded skies and the company of age-old trees fills you with enthusiasm, please do make a booking: As evidenced by our 2019 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Adviser you will not be disappointed!
The Forest Camp ~ What to Expect
Our rustic and comfortable accommodation aims to provide guests with a sense of being at one with the forest environment. This camp sleeps 4 guests in two tented room which are set approximately 45 metres apart (this layout may not be suitable for families with very young children.) This camp is orientated around a magnificent and ancient white stinkwood tree - by our estimate this tree is close to one thousand years old. A private pathway from the camp gives guests access to the main forest trail.
Each tented room has two single beds with all bedding and linen provided. There is an open-air, free-standing, semi-enclosed kitchen with gas for cooking. The ablutions - basin and shower - are also semi-enclosed and designed to make your stay at Platbos a true forest experience. The composting toilet is located just outside the camp on the fire break. Hot water is supplied via the old fashioned 'donkey boiler system'. These facilities are for the exclusive use of our Forest Camp guests. Please see Forest Camp Facilities below for further information.
The Forest Camp is situated not far from our Honey Bee and Bush Buck Suites. Screened from one another as they are by the dense forest, it is easy to imagine that you have the forest all to yourself. Large groups, permitted in the past, unfortunately caused a noise disturbance for our other guests and for this reason, we no longer offer the option of bringing along extra tents for large groups. For family and friends wanting to gather together the solution is to book the Forest Camp in addition to the Honey Bee and Bush Buck Suites which are all in close walking distance from one another.
For guests booking during weekdays, please be aware that Platbos is a nature reserve that requires active management and protection. During certain months of the year the Platbos Conservation Trust needs to carry out routine fire-break maintenance as well as alien clearing on our neighbour's property. As far as possible, we try to minimize the noise disturbances for our guests but sadly, the reality is that without this ongoing, costly care, the forest would no longer be here to be enjoyed.
Prospective guests also need to please be aware that occasionally, atmospheric and particular wind conditions combine to amplify noise levels coming from the valley below where there is a wedding venue. Fortunately, this is an infrequent disturbance, but guests are hereby alerted to this possibility ahead of time.
We do not have a reception office - we have structured things so that guests can go straight to their respective units. In order to facilitate this and ensure that you have a truly magical, hassle-free stay in the forest, we send important information, a map and directions which need to be read and / or printed out ahead of your stay.
Forest Camp Facilities:
Two tented rooms, situated 45 metres apart, with 2 single beds in each room.
All linen, towels and bedding provided.
Indoor / Outdoor Kitchen:
• Fully equipped kitchen with pots, pans, cutlery and crockery.
• Gas for cooking (note: no oven, microwave or fridge as the Forest Camp is off-grid).
• We provide a Cooler Box (stored at the "Freezer Hut") but you may like to bring along your own as well. Re-freeze your ice bricks and ice trays in the communal freezer.
• Outdoor campfire with grid.
Open Air Shower:
• Hot water fuelled by the old-fashioned Donkey Boiler. Wood is supplied for this; however, guests are responsible for making their own fires.
• Washstand and basin.
Composting, Waterless Toilet
• This is a modified 'solar dome' system and incorporates saw dust as the "flush".
Also to Note:
• Solar lanterns and candles are provided but you may like to bring extra lighting and flashlights.
• Wood is provided for the 'donkey boiler' (one bag for each night of your stay). Rooikrans Braai wood, a by-product from our alien clearing, is available at R50.00 per bag. Please collect this from the "Freezer Hut" in the fire break and leave your money in the honesty box. No outside wood is allowed to be brought onto the Reserve as this may introduce the dreaded "Shot Hole Borer Beetle" which will have dire consequences for the forest trees.
• Please bring along your own fire-lighters for your camp fire. We do however supply fire-lighters for your Donkey Fire.
• The greatest threat to Platbos Forest is fire: our donkey systems are contained and safe to use. However never leave a campfire burning unattended, and please do not make overly large fires.
• While the water at the camp is fine for boiling and using in food preparation, you might like to bring along your own drinking water.
• Please do not use "Doom-type" pesticide sprays, etc, but DO bring along insect repellent during the summer months for mosquitoes.
• Please respect the tranquillity of the forest and keep noise levels down. Loud and excited voices carry far into the forest and disturb the peace for other guests as well as for the forest's wildlife. Strictly no music is allowed.
• Cell phone receptivity varies in the forest and Vodacom receives better reception.
• Platbos is a wilderness area and a legally protected habitat: no collection, removal or relocation of any plant, animal or fallen wood is allowed.
• Platbos - being a wildlife sanctuary - is unfortunately not pet-friendly and therefore NO dogs are allowed.
RATES & CONDITIONS:
Rate per night: See our Online Booking Calendar.
Please note: A 50% deposit is required to reserve your booking.
Single night stays: By arrangement only; an additional R200.00 surcharge is applicable. Not optional over weekends / Public Holidays
In Season (16 Dec - 5 Jan): Minimum of a 3-night stay is required.
Arrival Time: Any time after 2pm | Departure Time: 10am (unless otherwise arranged).
• Please note that we do not have a "Reception / Check In Office". Due to travel time, most of our guests arrive after dark. Please print your directions as well as all pertinent information that you will receive once you have finalized your booking: you will require this to find your way to your accommodation. In addition, it contains the necessary codes for the combination locks on our gate and for the Freezer Hut. If you arrive after dark, please come prepared with a torch / headlamp so that you can orientate yourself around the camp.
Guests staying at the Forest Camp may walk our Forest Trail free of charge (normal fee: R50.00 per person).
Platbos grows in an exceptionally beautiful valley - once you have explored the forest, discover the Uilkraal Vallei:
Activities beyond the Uilkraal Vallei
(but still in our neck of the woods):
- Boat-based whale watching with Dyer Island Cruises - www.whalewatchsa.com
- Commune with the Southern Right whales from the rocky shoreline of De Kelders
- Visit the Klipgat caves - home to our collective ancestors over 100,000 years ago
- Enjoy a beach outing at the family-friendly Stanford's Cove, De Kelders
- Play putt-putt and have a ride down the super tube at Uilenkraalsmond Resort
- Visit the Strandveld Museum in Franskraal.
- Take a drive to Baardskeerdersbos, Wolvengat and Elim, with its historic church and mill.
- . Enjoy beautiful mountain Fynbos at Phillipskop Mountain Reserve