The Bare Necessities:
To celebrate my husband’s birthday, I treated him to a forest getaway. Even though he is an avid camper, we decided to go glamping for this occasion instead. We opted for the east coast, as we had not explored a lot of that area before and Platbos forest seemed like the perfect choice for a tranquil getaway. This rustic accommodation is set in an ancient forest, perfect for experiencing nature at its best.
I knew this was going to be a memorable stay when we approached the entrance to the forest and we were greeted by a Cape Bushbuck, crossing the gravel road, making its way to the other side of the forest. It glanced at us and slowly went on its way. Considering that they are shy and mostly nocturnal, it was quite special to see one so relaxed, not running of at the sight of a human.
So much more than a tent:
We choose to stay in tented accommodation, located in the ancient forest. There are other accommodation types to choose from at the forest, such as camping and Eco cabins. The Honey Bee Suite is eco-friendly accommodation and completely off the grid. It includes open air, outdoor facilities like the kitchen and shower area.
All amenities are provided, so you just have to bring yourself and leave the city behind. The kitchen was well stocked with enough necessities required to make your stay enjoyable. A solar light is provided, which can be charged during the day as it can get quite hot in this area in summer. We took our own solar lights with us, as we knew we were going off grid. There are ample braai (barbeque) facilities, complete with fire wood. The rustic seating is perfect for campfire stories.
Forest Friend or Foe? Not for the faint hearted:
Shower water for the outdoor shower is heated by an old-fashioned water heater, aka a donkey. I was making a fire to heat the water on our second day and, as I reached in for another piece of wood out of the bag, a spider jumped out of the bag. I am not sure who jumped further, myself, or the spider, but it was not too perturbed by us and continued its stake out on the bag of wood.
It’s in the detail:
What adds to the enchantment of the forest, is that bees and birds come have a drink of water from the water points while you are going about your day.
Saying in the Honey Bee accommodation, meant we had exclusive use of an outdoor hot tub. The temperature drops quite a bit in the evenings, which creates the perfect setting for immersing yourself in the hot tub and enjoying the surroundings. Sitting in the dark, in the middle of the quiet forest at night, was quite magical.
The bed is covered with a mosquito net to keep insects out. The suite has a clear roof made of roof sheeting, so in the mornings you are awoken by birds singing and sunlight shining into the tent from above. Staying in a forest is the only time I enjoy waking up just after 5am on a weekend! (Dependant on sunrise at the time of your stay)
Forest Fauna and Flora:
Other than buck and insects, this forest is a bird lover’s paradise. We found a bird nesting very close to the outdoor kitchen and various species popping in for a drink of water.
This gecko came to seek shelter in our tent. I love these fellas, they are so adorable.
What else you can do in the forest:
You can take short walks in the small forest. There are information maps in the information cabin as you arrive, but it is easy to get around with sign posts and you cannot really get lost. There are some bees about, mostly along with walking trails. They can be heard buzzing away but they never bothered us.
There is a very small labyrinth in the forest, which is more suited for children.
Different types of tree species are found in the forest including an impressive 1000 + year old Milkwood tree. The owners are doing a fantastic job in expanding and preserving the forest and I was happy that our stay there contributed to this cause.
Have a picnic in the forest. No picnic is complete without some bubbles of course.
or just Relax and take in the beauty!
How to get there:
Platbos forest is located close to Gansbaai, about 2 and a half hours from Cape Town. (There are no signposts on the road but GPS will pick it up) If you are brave, shark cage diving is offered close by.
Would I go back?:
Absolutely! If you are a nature lover, would like a tranquil getaway away and are not afraid of spiders, this is the place to go. We felt rejuvenated after spending a long weekend in the forest. The owners leave guests staying in the Honey Bee Suite an unexpected gift, which you find on arrival. This plant and piece of the forest is an optional gift that you can choose to take home as a reminder of your stay.
Now to start planning my next trip.