Helping Platbos Forest grow
July 2015 - This unique and indigenous forest is home to trees that are over 1 000 years old.
Platbos Forest is Africa's southernmost indigenous forest, located between Gansbaai and Hermanus in the Western Cape.
The forest's existence has puzzled botanists because other relic forests across the world have survived the gradual increase in temperature over the last thousand years by slowly retreating into wetter areas such as mountain ravines and riverbeds.
In stark contrast, Platbos Forest grows in deep, sandy alkaline soil in an area where there is relatively low rainfall and no river feeding into the forest - a conundrum that makes this forest extremely rare and endangered.
Platbos Forest is also a powerful symbol of hope because despite previous logging activities, devastating fires, drought and the threat from invasive alien vegetation, Platbos Forest persists.
Growing Platbos Forest
Indigenous forests were once in abundance across South Africa, but today, less than 0.56% of the country is covered, largely due to the effects of deforestation. In the Western Cape, this figure is even lower at only 0.05% of the province.
To ensure Platbos Forest's long-term survival, in 2008, the Platbos Forest Reserve launched the Trees For Tomorrow reforestation programme. Since then more than 21 800 trees have been planted in the forest, and there is still space for thousands more.
How you can help
To help this amazing organisation save the forest, customers can now opt to donate R15 to Platbos Forest when booking a car through First Car Rental's online booking portal. All donations go directly to help in the protection and growth of the Platbos Forest.