The Platteklip Wash House

My friend Adam booked out the Platteklip Wash house for his 32nd birthday celebration.

The Platteklip Wash house is part of the Table Mountain National Park and rests on the slopes of our beautiful & world famous Table Mountain.  The name dates back to the mid to late 19th century when washer women used to work here.  But recently it underwent a cool renovation and now you can book it out for a minimum of 2 people up to a maximum of 24 – you’d usually pay per person OR you can book it out as a venue for a special event and then pay one single fee.  Adam paid R5500 to get this amazing spot for his bday party.

The really cool thing is that it’s right at the top of Oranjezicht, just off Sidmouth Avenue in Van Riebeeck Park which means it’s only about 8 or so minutes from town, but once you’re there it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere.

Now let me show you around.  This is the open plan lounge & dining room area:

This is where you sleep:

These are the cool buck head lights in the lounge all lit up:

Loooooved these

And this is the bonfire & braai area outside:

It is totally self catering, but things like bedding, towels, kitchen equipment & firewood are all provided for you.  So it’s pretty well kitted out.

Adam decided to feed us with copious amounts of sugary things to give his party a bit of a nostalgic kids party feel.  Check out the spread:

I snuck things into my pockets & handbag when I went home as well! hehe

Only problem is that I have a bit of a (OK OK a big) sugar sensitivity, so I was tripping off my head on sugar and my brain was buzzing at supersonic speed…

How to spot Karisa on a sugar high: 1. Crazy eyes 2. Crazy claw hands to klap you with 3. Talks about random shit that makes absolutely zero sense. BEWARE.

The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur.  I felt like that squirrel, Hammy, from over the Hedge:

Do you spot the uncanny resemblance to my pic above?

One thing I do remember though was that the Platteklip Wash house is an awesome spot.  If you’re the hiking type – there’s also lots of hiking trails nearby.  If you’re staying over in Cape Town but you want more of a “nature feel”, this will be perfect for you.  Or if you are a Capetonian, just do what Adam did and book it out for a fat jol with your mates.

** The person Adam booked through was Sabrina Adams ( – Tel: 021 462 7861

Fynbos Retreat: Our weekend hideaway

So we’re on to day 2 of the Gansbaai adventure weekend.  But let me first tell you about our home base…

We stayed at the tranquil and super cosy Fynbos Retreat, a little gem hidden in the hills of the Grootbos Nature Reserve between Gansbaai & Stanford.   Not only is this the perfect spot to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the city, but you can also feed your adventurous spirit by going on a hike, a mountain bike ride or a refreshing swim in the dam.

There are 2 fully equipped houses where one can stay.  Arum Lily House has an old Cape Dutch feel and can sleep 12 people:

Arum Lily House

Beautiful outside dining area at Arum Lily House

Then the Fountain Bush Cottage has a more modern look and can sleep 6 people:

Fountain Bush Cottage

Fountain Bush has some beautiful bonsai trees on the front deck area

The other thing you might want to know about this particular cottage is that it has an outdoor shower.  Which is very cool, but just keep an eye out for hikers & mountain bikers.  We gave one guy quite a surprise and he almost hell off his bike.  I don’t think that was the kind of “bird watching” he had in mind when he read the brochure. :)

After breakfast on Sat we got to explore the Stinkhoutsbos forest which is literally a 2min walk from the Arum Lily House.

Here we got to see beautiful old Stinkwood & Milkwood trees.  Our guides, Billy & Colleen, who also manages Fynbos Retreat and pretty much looked after us for the weekend, made sure to give us lots of info on the flora & fauna from the area.  It’s really nice to meet people who are truly passionate about that kind of stuff.  Being a city girl I’m definitely only “street smart”, not “bush smart”.  So in a game of Survivor for example, I’d be good with the mind games, but would probably not last past day 2 cause I would end up eating some poisonous berry or lying on some soft leaves that ends up giving me a full body rash or something. ;)

Billy & Colleen looking happy as can be in this perfect bush setting…

I really liked the fact that at Fynbos Retreat you could just chill because it’s so peaceful there.  But if you happened to get tired of that, there’s also lots and lots for you to do.  Perfect.

Billy mentioned that a lot of people stay over at Fynbos Retreat for one night as part of a 3 day hike that they organise.  You can check out the Walker Bay Trails website for more info or follow Billy on twitter (@walkerbaytours).

Or to simply make a booking at Fynbos Retreat, contact them on:

  • 028 384 8048