Hotel Of The Week: Platbos Forest Camp, Gansbaai

If you ever read Enid Blyton’s ‘Faraway Tree’ series, you could easily imagine Platbos to be the Enchanted Wood. There might not be goblins wandering around or pixies climbing in the trees, but there is just something decidedly magical about Africa’s southernmost forest.

Platbos is open to day visitors, but the real draw here is the accommodation. A small tented camp offers a budget-conscious option, while a wooden cabin and the darling Honey Bee tented suite offer affordable rustic luxury among the trees.

Honey Bee Suite (Courtesy of Platbos)

Honey Bee Suite (Courtesy of Platbos)

For a truly splendid experience though – and one that still won’t break the bank – opt for Platbos’s top accommodation, the Bush Buck Suite. Part log cabin, part tent, Bush Buck offers the ultimate in glamping – the perfect combination of home comforts and rustic adventure. You really can’t get any closer to the trees without climbing them.

On arrival you’ll find your accommodation open to the elements – one side of the suite is canvas and rolls up in its entirety giving you the feeling that you’re truly a part of the forest, not an observer. The roof is Perspex, breaking down another barrier between you and the indigenous trees above you.

The suite features a comfy double bed, kitchen with seating area and a fireplace, but this is not just a forest cabin – there are real elements of camping about the place as well. Cooking outside over flames is a must and a midnight trip to the toilet will entail grabbing a torch and donning some footwear to head into the night. There’s no call for squatting in a bush though – the suite has its own bathroom a few metres away with flushing toilet, hot shower and just about the most magnificent view you could want while attending to your daily ablutions.

In fact, very little is overlooked when it comes to special touches: a solar lamp provides a beacon to guide you when you’re loo-bound after dark, the kitchen comes equipped with everything from plates to a French press. You won’t find a mint on your pillow when you arrive at Platbos, but you will find something so much better – an indigenous sapling to take home and nurture. Assuming you’re South Africa-bound that is – if home is further afield, swap the tree for a scented vial of African Tree Essence. And of course, a few lungfuls of the freshest air you can breathe from the comfort of a cosy double bed.

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