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“A quiet and safe budget accommodation for the weary traveller” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pretoria Backpackers and Travellers Lodge

Pretoria Backpackers and Travellers Lodge
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Pretoria Backpackers and Travellers Lodge
425 Farenden Street | Clydesdale, Pretoria 0002, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
238 reviews 238 reviews
213 hotel reviews
Reviews in 196 cities Reviews in 196 cities
200 helpful votes 200 helpful votes
“A quiet and safe budget accommodation for the weary traveller”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2010

Pretoria Backpackers Guesthouse is located in a residential neighbourhood of Pretoria near Loftus Versveld Stadium. It has two separate buildings and it is a quiet and safe budget accommodation for the weary traveller, most of its visitors are backpackers. There is a secured parking and at night there is a guard.

Rooms are basic, but clean. The hostel has a patio behind the house where you can sit outside and enjoy a tea. There is a large sitting and dining room where dinner is served. You have to book dinner in advance. The breakfast is OK. A camping style kitchen is available for use by guests.

Bathrooms and common facilities are basic but OK, there's internet on the porch, and a fireplace that is comfortable during cold evenings. Note that Pretoria is at 1,350m and nights can be cold.

The Pretoria Backpackers hostel is a nice basic place, with welcoming staffs that run the hostel and the travel agency. The friendly owner François van Rooijen is omnipresent, he runs and operates the travel agency.

We stayed for one night before embarking with François on a Kruger camping safari which was very enjoyable and worth every penny.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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34 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Belgrade
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

I agree with most of the comments. The place is good, and the only real downside, when you acknowledge that this is a backpackers, and that it has a virtual monopoly on cheap places to stay in Pretoria, is a problem with heating.

The staff was friendly although I have seen a couple of problems here and there with other people, but don't really know the details.

It looked like it's in the safe area, walking distance to Hatfield square and Loftus Versfeld stadium, and I never felt unsafe. Bathrooms and common facilities are fine enough, there's internet on the porch, and a fireplace that can be a savior during the cold nights.

The biggest problem I had with the place was actually the price inflation during the World Cup. Although that was expected, I have not had a similar experience with any other place in South Africa, so that puts a whole different light on the situation. It's not easy finding a hostel in Pretoria on the internet, so they almost have a monopoly. Also, even though they book a driver to pick you up from the airport, this is not a good value for money either, and it seems as though they could do a better job there, and really try to find something cheaper for their customers.

Overall, if looking for a cheap place in Pretoria, you're probably not going to find something better on the internet. It has it's flaws, but at the end of the day they are minor.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2010

We found this place on a visa run to Pretoria. I'm suprised by some of the bad reviews, since we've stayed there on a couple of occasions and enjoyed it.

We're driving around South Africa, so the secure parking situation was a big plus.

The location is excellent for Pretoria. The guesthous is located in a safe neighborhood right in the embassy district, walking distance to grocery stores and the Hatfield area (bars, restaurants, shopping mall).

Our first few nights, we stayed in one of the double rooms, which is one of the nicest budget guesthouse/backpackers double rooms we've stayed in during our five months in Africa and Asia. The hostel can get a bit cold, but the bed had an awesome electric blanket that was so comfortable we ended up watching the third place World Cup game in the room rather than the Pretoria Fan Park.

Breakfast is a good value at 30 Rand, and the kitchen is available for use any time other than the morning.

Only downside is the bathroom situation. They're perfectly clean, but there's only three bathrooms/showers for the entire place, so it can get a bit crowded, particularly early in the morning.

We didn't go on any of the tours, so I can't comment on that.

If you're looking for a bed and breakfast, look elsewhere. This is a budget guesthouse, backpackers, but a really good one.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Perth
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

Accommodation was basic - rooms were clean but nothing pretty. Showers and toilets needed repair and a thorough clean. Breakfast was basic but plenty of it. Didn't cook there - maybe I'm too fussy about how hygienic the kitchen looked! Common room needed to have windows and doors properly sealed - despite the fire, it was freezing from all the draughts. Not many tours running either - which meant I spent a day doing nothing because I didn't feel safe venturing out on my own on foot. I'd recommend it - but only if you want somewhere to lay your head that doesn't cost too much.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2009

Stayed for one night before embarking on 3 day Kruger safari (which was very enjoyable)with 'Footprints in Africa' - a travel/tours operator linked with this lodge I think. The premises is quite large covering at least a block and contains more than one building so it can be a short walk (a couple of minutes) from the room to the reception. The reception staff is very good and internet access is available. The premises appears to be in the Pretoria suburban area so not much in terms of eateries close by, however, one can order take-away. Be warned, the price charged upon phoning up was higher than the price quoted in the menu (which was current)!

The room is basic but reasonable in terms of the price. It was fine as a one night's stay but due to lack of sleep from the cold weather and lack of good heating I don't think I would be able to stay for longer. There is a kettle and tea/coffee in the room. Only issue I had was just how cold it can get at night in the Johannesburg/Pretoria winter (I have been informed at times it can get below zero degrees so be prepared in terms of warm clothing). There is a small square heat radiator in the room but it was ineffective. I felt so cold I wore several layers including woollen jumper, woollen beanie and socks to bed + packed on all the layers of blankets I could find in the room!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Madrid
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2008

Take care specially of the travel agency. My wife and I had a safari booked for Kruger Park weeks before our departure from Spain and they confirmed everything was OK before we arrived.

Surprisingly, just the evening before the beginning of the Safari, they said that they had to change plans, because as we were only two, the safari was not cost-effective. Of course, same price, but different (and much worse) conditions, and with no time to change. They lied us and try to cheat us without any embarrasement, several times.

Fortunately, we have travelled before to other "non-easy" countries and we managed to go on our own to Kruger. It was less than half the price, and finally, much more comfortable. I have been travelling for years and this is the first time I write so bad about any place. Please, avoid this backpacker and specially the travel agency, unless you want to be cheated by Francois and his colleagues (except for the nice and poor girl in reception)

By the way, if you want to see still apartheid in South Africa, you can see how the owner treats to the black employees

  • Stayed May 2008
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2008

My girlfriend and I had booked four nights accommadations in March 2008 at this Lodge. We also booked four different tours with the travel agency that is associated with this Lodge. We booked tours to Pilanesburg Park, to Kruger Park, to Victoria Falls and a Pretoria City Tour. We received confirmations by internet prior to our arrival. At present the travel agency and the lodge is owned by the same owner.

We found the lodge O.K. but very basic. Breakfasts as stated in their internet sites is also very basic.The gardens are nice. There are two pubs within close walking distance of the lodge that offer reasonnable priced lunches and dinners.

The big problem was that we were never sure what was on the agenda for us the next day. For ''logistic'' reasons our reservations were often changed. On the forth night we were given a room with common bathrooms when we were confirmed with a private bathroom.

The order of our tours were changed with 12 hours notice and no explanations. We did get what we paid for but with a lot of modifications and some negociations.

Our biggest surprise was during our tour to Vic Falls we found out a the evening before we were routed from Vic Falls Zimbabwe to Livingstone Zambia. This chances everything because we need different visas. Upon our arrival to Livingstone, we find that our reservations were not properly made and we had to change hotels.

Form a money point of view, we were reimbursed most of are additionnal expenses and we recieved an upgrade in lodging at Kruger Park.

The internet system at the lodge in Pretoria didn't always work.

In conclusion Pretoria Backpackers offers safe basic accommodations. Their travel agency offers many interessing tours at reasonnable prices. We experienced changes that we didn't expect some good and some bad.

  • Liked — The rooms with a private bathroom are good value for the money
  • Disliked — The contionous changes on our reservations
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pretoria Backpackers and Travellers Lodge

Address: 425 Farenden Street | Clydesdale, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Pretoria
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 69 Specialty Lodging in Pretoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
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