We had a wonderful morning outing to Platbos Forest close to Gansbaai. This is Africa's southernmost forest and a must do, particularly for those living in our area. Five of us, accompanied by Keir, Francis and Pierre of CapeNature undertook the first 'Birds in Reserves Project' (BIRP) count there as part of the MOU between CapeNature and BirdLife Overberg. The species count wasn't too spectacular, but the quality of birding and walking the paths in this truly enchanted forest was simply supurb.
Two firsts for me: we stumbled across two bird parties – the one consisting mostly of Cape Batises and the other mostly of African Paradise-Flycatchers. In both cases there were tens of these birds messing around in close proximity to us. A remarkable experience.
Keir gave us an overview of the status of the forest as a stewardship site and the conservation problems being experienced, but mostly some of the impressive remedial conservation work being undertaken. This is very impressive and a must for all members to experience. We also went past the rustic accommodation available and the general consensus was that the dawn chorus at this place must be experienced this summer. If we don't stay over for a few nights we will at least do a very early (starting at about 04h00) morning outing. We are provisionally looking at Saturday 22 November, but this will be confirmed at some later stage.
The information below was taken from the Platbos website:
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.
Nature's own flower pot
Fire break to the adjoining property
To find out more about conservation work being done at Platbos, as well as accommodation and services visit www.platbos.co.za
Entrance Fee: R50.00 per adult / R20.00 per child.
Guided tours are offered by prior arrangement.
Guided tour fees: R 350.00 for Guide plus applicable entrance fee to Forest.
Contact us for special rates for large groups.
Platbos Forest is situated in the Baviaanspoort Hills on the Grootbos Road between Stanford and Gansbaai. The forest is just 40 minutes from Hermanus, South Africa´s whale-watching capital.
Visitors are asked to please phone ahead to make a booking. Exact directions to the forest will be given at this time.
Enquiries / Workshop bookings Tel: +27 (0)82 4110448