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“One of my favorite places in South Africa” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lebo's Soweto Backpackers

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Lebo's Soweto Backpackers
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3.0 of 5 Hostel   |   10823A Pooe Street | Orlando West, Johannesburg 1804, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“One of my favorite places in South Africa”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

I really liked Lebo's and Soweto. Lebo's was clean, full of helpful staff and interesting fellow travellers. I usually do not stay in hostels because I hate the idea of sharing a bathroom with strangers...but it was fine at Lebos; the toilets and showers were well kempt.

Soweto has a sense of community like few places I have ever been to...I imagine it is much like the African-American community was in the 50s and 60s when my parents were growing up...tight knit and orderly. I did do a bike tour and it was informative and a good workout.

2 thumbs up for Lebo's.

Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
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94 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Trondheim, Norway
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

A lovely welcoming place offering tours of the famous Soweto, a place many wouldn't normally visit. With the help of Lebo my perception of Soweto was completely changed. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience something a bit out of the ordinary in Johannesburg.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Cape town
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2011

Staying at Lebo's is an unpretentious real township experience where you get a great insight into the life in Soweto. Try their bike tours as the perfect way to discover the sights and smells of this vibrant , historical and contentious city. And the garden bar is special.
Oh , for you doubters.....it's safe 'bru' so don't miss it

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Quebec City, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2011

The Lebo's Soweto Backpackers bike tour is a must see. Everybody around the hostel is friendly.

Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
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Helsinki
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2010

Lebo's Soweto Backpackers is amazing. Anyone going to Joburg and wanting to experience real South African life should go there. I spent three nights there with a group of students and everythings went fine. The staff was kind and the atmosphere was very relaxed.

Rooms and other facilities are very simple yet clean and cosy, you feel like at home. There is a little backyard, inside fences, where they provide games, music instruments and a self'-service bar. Every night there were some locals, probably friends of the owners, playing reggae around a fire. We also ate at Lebo's a couple of times and were very satisfied, especially with the South African barbeque. The meals have to be ordered in advance as there is no non-stop restauration available.

The surroundings of Lebo's place were interesting. It is actually a very safe neighbourhood to be (contrary to our doubts). There are middle-class houses around, the slums are about 1 km away. Lebo organizes bicycle tours to different parts of Soweto, they are great and funny, yet shocking for some parts. With our guide during 4 hours we saw some historic buildings, went to see the life in slums, drank beer with local people, ate cow's head grilled in front of us, heard wonderful stories... It was exciting but seeing the existence of extreme poverty and social problems like alcoholism was shocking. I would still strongly recommend taking this guided tour.

All in all, Lebo's Soweto Backpackers is a great experience. If you go there, do yourself a favour and reserve enough time to just enjoy the atmosphere at the hostel and to see the neighbourhood. You will appreciate that time.

  • Stayed October 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2010

Stayed at a homestay which was booked through Lebos Backpackers. This was actually Lebos Grandmothers home. She has a building in the garden with one double room, one twin and a room with six bunk beds. There is one toilet and shower which is shared. The rooms we used were very clean and comfortable. Lebos Grandmother prepared a breakfast each morning but cooked breakfast was available at the Backpackers. A car was sent to us each morning and took us back each evening - it is about a ten minute ride to the Backpackers.

Lebos Backpackers itself is a friendly place. There is a pool table and garden area in the complex and when we were there there was a bar area outside the complex. I dont know if this was temporary for the World Cup or not.

The main thing is to understand that despite its reputation this part of Soweto appeared to be 100% safe. My family and I walked around the area for five days - sometimes my teenage son and daughter wandered around by themselves. People were friendly and I lost count of the number of times people said "Thank you for coming to Soweto".

Lebo does a super job of providing a safe and tidy place to play for the children in the area. He deserves a lot of credit for this. The kids are friendly and many an hour was spent chatting or playing with them.

Lebos Backpackers is an easy fifteen minute walk to Nelson Mandelas House, Desmond Tutus House, Winnie Mandelas House and Hector Pieterson Museum.

Dont be afraid - it is a great place to visit.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TX
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2010

Nice place to stay. Lots of culture and history in the area. the lounge area is great- pool tables, bar, fire pit, etc. However, the beds were awful. Great bike tours to take, and safe.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Lebo's Soweto Backpackers

Address: 10823A Pooe Street | Orlando West, Johannesburg 1804, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 68 Specialty Lodging in Johannesburg
Hotel Class:3 star — Lebo's Soweto Backpackers 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Lebo`s Soweto Backpackers Hotel Johannesburg

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