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“Green in the city” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Backpackers Hostel & Campsite

Backpackers Hostel & Campsite
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Backpackers Hostel & Campsite
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3 km from the city centre on the Natete/Wakiliga Rd, Kampala, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 49 Specialty Lodging in Kampala
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Green in the city”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2012

Had a wonderful time at this hostel. We were looking for a safe spot to stay in Kampala for a couple of days - this fit the bill perfectly. The staff were extremely helpful (and not to mention kind). Friends and I stayed in one of the outdoor bunks - mosquito nets were a little chewed up, so be sure to bring your own spray.
A bit of a younger crowd (early to mid 20's) so not sure that I would stay again - but that is only because I'd be the old gran!

All in all, great time here.

Room Tip: Opt for a private shower if you can. The fact that there isn't always hot water is not the end o...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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75 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    6
    17
    23
    21
    8
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3
12
29
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

We only stayed in Backpackers one night. The bar/dining area is fine, food was ok. Room was not nice - really bad smell, bed wasn't very comfortable and would question how clean it was. We slept on a sheet we had brought with us.

The good things you could comment on: it's convenient, it had four walls, a roof, it was safe, running water, flushing toilet. If that's all you're looking for then Backpackers will deliver. But more than that you might want to look elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

I may go as far as to say that Backpacker's is my favorite little hideaway on the planet. I do a lot of traveling alone, so it is always nice to be able to sit around and meet new people, whether it is the staff of a place or other travelers. Throughout the day, this is always possible here. It is also usually pretty quiet throughout the day to get some writing or reading done. (This may change when a large group first arrives, though.)

At night, it kind of turns into a loud party, which for some can be a turn off, especially for people going to bed early. (I have also stayed at Red Chilis, and although it is nice, the place is usually pretty dead and somewhat hard to meet anyone interested in interacting. It is the opposite of Backpackers in this way. If that's your thing, check them out.)

Every time I've been back here, it has been as clean as I would expect it to be with so many people in and out all the time. The food is good, though there is a wait most of the time. Try to order when it isn't too busy if that's an option. Reasonable prices, especially for a dorm-bed.

I love this place and will continue to be there every chance I get.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freedom, Maine, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

Convenient to Entebbe Airport, Kampala Backpackers is a great place to set as a home base. Having been working in a village with very primitive living conditions for quite some time, returning to Backpackers from time to time is a pleasant respite.

Excellent value for the money. With attentive and friendly staff, reliable showers, clean rooms and lavatories, this hostel attracts a lot of expats, tourists, graduate students, and most helpful to me, volunteers working for charities or NGOs. A great place to meet a variety of experts in their fields. The atmosphere is friendly and warm, and the campus has a safe, expansive open feel.

Backpackers is like an oasis in Kampala. Close to the center of town (3,000-4000 USh by boda boda), one wouldn't know it's so close to such a noisy, sprawling metropolitan center.

The menu offers simple variety, and the recent addition of a wood fired pizza oven has pleasantly expanded the options. A bit pricy, the pizza is nonetheless excellent, and a nice break from motoke or pasho.

I'll be returning to Uganda to further my work next year, and Backpackers will once again be my home base.

Room Tip: The dormitory sleeping is tidy, clean, and secure. But for a little more, I chose a single room. A...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

The hostel was an enjoyable break from being on Makerere Campus for 3 weeks. It is a busy place but has a great open concept. There is ample outdoor areas for lounging and camping. Food was also great, I spent about 30,000 shil minimum on food and drink pre day. Power outages were a problem, especially if you are relying on a computer-keep charged! I had a single room, which could really use a mat to cover up the massive holes in the tiles (mats are really cheap!) The other issue in that area is the echo-if you get one group of drunk 19 year olds who have no concept that other people are there sleeping-you are in for loud night. There could be a quiet policy at some point, in that area. Staff are friendly!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salzburg, Austria
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

We stayed at both Red Chilis and backpackers. We should have never moved out of Red Chilis!

As we were travelling for one year and on a low budget, we opted to stay in the dorm room. We spent 10 months backpacking through Third World countries, so are by no means fussy or have high expectations, but I can open and honestly say that this was filthiest place we have ever slept in.

The toilets never flush, and so they make you use the longdrop oners.
Hot water is erratic.
The power is out most of the day. I know TIA but only having power a few hours a day is inconvenient and never happened to us anywhere else in Africa.
There is a few computers and internet, but see above.
Food is ok, nothing special, but order early, as waits are loooooong.
Staff is a bit hit and miss, there was one guy who is always super helpful and friendly.
The boda ride into town didnt bother us too much, you can also flag down a matatatu.
The room was the worst of all. Only one small window, and that led into a hallway rather than outside, so fresh air was scarce. The mattresses were just thin foam ones, and they smelled so bad and were so disgusting that is was almost unbearable. We slept in our silk liners and washed them a couple of times as soon as we left Backpackers.
The whole room smelled musty and just yuk.

The other thing that really bothered us staying there was, and I dont now how to say this, the clientele that stayed there. Dont get me wrong, we are in our mid 20s, and we do choose hostels for a reason, but Backpackers was full of 18yo British (sorry) Gap year students, who went out partying every single night. Being social and meeting people is one thing, sitting in smoke clouds between drunk party goers and not getting any sleep is the other.

To sum it up, we would not stay here again and certainly wouldnt rrecommend it either!

Room Tip: Whatever you do, dont stay in the dorm room!
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

Basic accommodation but made up for by lovely staff, great food and atmosphere. Safari was brilliant. Fantastic value.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Backpackers Hostel & Campsite

Address: 3 km from the city centre on the Natete/Wakiliga Rd, Kampala, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 49 Specialty Lodging in Kampala
Number of rooms: 23
Also Known As:
Backpackers Hostel & Campsite Hotel Kampala
Backpackers Hostel And Campsite

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