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“lively hostel with a great activities desk” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Jollyboys International Backpackers

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Jollyboys International Backpackers
34 Kanyanta Road | PO Box 61088, Livingstone, Zambia   |  
Hotel amenities
WashingtonDC
Top Contributor
450 reviews 450 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 126 cities Reviews in 126 cities
310 helpful votes 310 helpful votes
“lively hostel with a great activities desk”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

I stayed in Jollyboys for two nights and felt that it was an adequate hostel with a fantastic price. I was in Lusaka for two months, and when I looked up hotel options for Livingstone, I was rather astounded by the price for actual hotels. Jollyboys was an easy $10 a night. It’s about a half-mile walk from the bus stop from Lusaka (it cannot be called a bus ‘station’…), and it’s about 40,000 kwacha for a cab to Victoria Falls.

I would say that Jollyboys is on the more “rowdy” end of the scale, as far as hostels go. There were people talking all night in the common areas, but I can’t say that that affected my sleep once I was in the room. It was always buzzing with activity. The accommodations are barebones, and don’t come with lockers in the rooms. I was in an 8-person mixed dorm, but there was an air conditioner for the room, so it wasn’t unbearably hot!

Through Jollyboys I got information and was able to book a daytrip to Chobe National Park in Botswana. The activities desk at Jollyboys was always staffed, and the prices were not a ripoff whatsoever. They have all kinds of activities, ranging from a few hours to whole 3-day trips. I wish I had stayed longer to take advantage of some of the other opportunities.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Jollyboys. I saw people of all ages there, but most were early 20s Europeans.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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308 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Kortrijk
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

we we're here for 5 nights, as a couple.
We got a lot of trouble to reach Livingstone, so we arrived at 4:30 AM.
we were very happy that even at that time there was someone to give our keys
and to show us around.
The first four nights we had a double room, and this one was very nice,
big beautiful shower, nice paintings...
The last night we changed room because we did a safari in between.
This room was not very good. The shower was old with an old curtain,
and the ventilator above our bed could fall down every second, and the
door between the bathroom and sleeping room couldnt be closed.
But that was only for one night.

The food was excellent (for us, students ofcourse),
and the service was very good. It was like the employees were becoming friends!

There was a primitive travel agency where we could book safaris, trips, cruises...
that was a very good thing about jollyboys! we booked all our little trips that way.

For every trip you get picked up at the jollyboys hotel, so that was very easy!

And at least, the bar closes at 23 pm so that was good for us, because after one day of game drives or rafting, youre very tired! I had a very good sleep for a backpackers!

Room Tip: the "king fisher" room was the best room of both rooms we had.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dakar, Senegal
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

We stayed at the Camp, which I was told was much quieter than the other spot a bit closer to city center. Great little camp- we rented a two bed room with our own bathroom for about $50 a night. Well worth it- even though our bathroom door didn't shut! You can buy cheap wi-fi access in the common area, and they cook great breakfast that don't cost a lot (try the vegetarian feast!). While I"m not keen on sleeping under mosquito nets- this was a small trade-off as Jollyboys gives you free pickup from the airport, free transport to the falls (you taxi back), they organize multiple tourism activities and the bar takes other currencies and can give you change in kwacha. All in all a very pleasant stay that was nice and chill.

Room Tip: The "Buffalo" room has a bathroom door that doesn't close- a bit annoying!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Pretoria
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

For starters: there are two Jollyboys in Livingstone: the backpackers behind the museum, and Jollyboys Camp, close to the golf court.

We first stayed a week in Jollyboys backpackers, behind the museum.
This place has everything you need: bar & restaurant, pool, laundry service, wifi, friendly staff & off street parking.

But, if you're in for some more relaxed & quieter place, I would advise Jollyboys Camp. It's a bit out of the centre (10-15min walk), but it has the same things to offer.

Certainly if you're camping, I would recommend Jollyboys Camp.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

I loved this place, loved the pool, loved the bar, loved the staff, loved livingstone, loved zambia. Nuff said. Go see for yourself.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Jose, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

Nell ABJ pretty much said everything I would have said. There are likely prettier spots along the river, but Jollyboys can't be beat for central town location. If you stay out on the river you will likely need to pay for a taxi for every excursion.The staff at Jollyboys was also super helpful in planning day as well as multiday trips out of Livingstone, including Chobe and on the Okavanga Delta.

Room Tip: rooms with a shared bath are a good deal
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zagreb, Croatia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

Jollyboys campsite in Livingstone is not the International Backpackers Hostel, but their "other" hostel behind the Royal Livingstone Golf Course. I was traveling with a group of friends and was told that this was the "quieter and more relaxed" version of Jollyboys Backpackers. Indeed it was, just what we were looking for. There is a camping site, but we stayed in 4-beed rooms with private bathrooms. It was nice and clean, the staff was friendly, and the surroundings very pleasant. Every bed had their own mosquito-net. In communal areas there was a TV and a pool table, and a small restaurant with good quality food. If you want to barbecue, get drunk and party with people all around the world, maybe this is not the hostel for you. But for a bit more relaxed stay in a very pleasant hostel, this is the place. The internet was Africa-slow and the city center is a 10 min walk away from the hostel. The staff can organize a taxi or a number of other activities.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jollyboys International Backpackers

Address: 34 Kanyanta Road | PO Box 61088, Livingstone, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Southern Province > Livingstone
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 43 Specialty Lodging in Livingstone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zambia's original backpacker! Jollyboys is the quintessential backpackers lodge and has been catering to budget travellers since 1995. Our staff are well versed in up-to-the-minute travel information and regulations throughout Southern Africa. The Jollyboys restaurant provides meals of exceptional value or try your hand at cooking in the self catering kitchen. FREE wifi available in our common areas and we offer FREE daily shuttles to the Victoria Falls and FREE pick ups from the Livingstone Airport. Whether you are a long term traveler, on a short weekend break, on honeymoon or traveling with a group volunteering, Jollyboys has something to offer everyone! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jollyboys International Backpackers Hotel Livingstone

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