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“Good for a Sleep and Maybe a Beach Day” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Buffalo Bay Backpackers

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Buffalo Bay Backpackers
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1 Main Road, Buffalo Bay, Knysna 6573, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 28 hotels in Knysna
Miami, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good for a Sleep and Maybe a Beach Day”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2011

It looks like this place is part of an old farm - and a lot of the dorms are old stables, which was actually sorta charming. Linens were clean, common areas were clean. Lots of bad reviews, but our stay wasn't bad - maybe because we didn't try to use the kitchen. Certainly not the worst place I slept in on my trip. The setting is super peaceful and the fireplace is exceptionally cosy if the weather is bad. The decor has some nice character and the big table in the common room was fun to sit around. The bathrooms weren't amazing but were sufficiently clean, it does seem like they have a bit of a problem with (ladies) toilets working correctly but I didn't see any actual overflow when I was there. I don't recall much of a staff presence but it didn't seem overly necessary given the low key feeing of the place. It's probably better if you have a vehicle so you can hop into Knysna if necessary, and to schedule this place for when you need a beach day.

Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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8 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2011

If you like isolated beeches, swimming, chilling and the ability to day trip kynsna this place is amazing. We were a little out of season so had the place pretty much to ourselves. Having said that the service here really does stink- staff dominate the facilities, we asked about dinner options and were fobbed off despitew there being menu advertisdements, no toilet paper etc. When the owner's there for an hour in the morning everyone looks buisy but that's it. We did have people next door on our last night and must say the walls weren't particulalry soundproof. Still location can really carry a place and we'll be back here for sure!

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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Goteborg
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

After a few attempts to contact this place I finaly managed. They didn´t accept Visa and I had to deposit the full amount, when arriving in South Africa.

When arriving at the backpackers we got a room in what looked like a crack house from hell. There has been no maintenance done what so ever for at least 20 years - but the worst was the stench. After a while we managed to lokate the sorce of the worst oder - a rubbish bin that someone had releaved themselves in, was standing next to our bed.

I´ve traveled extensivley alla over the world, and often with very little funds. But this was the absolutley worst place I´ve ever seen through out my years.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

This backpackers is located ON the beach: great! There's not much else around here but thats fine for a few days. Best beach spot ever! Nice people that were running the place though not very business-minded. The whole atmosphere was great with a nice fireplace inside for the cold nights, relaxation to the max. The rooms are quite basic but it's an experience. Dont stay here if you want a Hilton experience, stay here if you're up for a great time!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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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gauteng
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2010

A few months ago I made a telephonic booking with the backpackers. Subsequenlty (over a period of three months, several emails and phone calls) I have not been able to get a booking confirmation out of them. I followed up today to pay a deposit for my upcoming holiday in 3 weeks only to find out that they have NO RECORD of my booking. No need to say that it cost me half a day of calling around to get alternative accommodation for the Xperiod. What a shame that the place is not managed properly - it is the closest one can possibly get to the beach in the Knysna area and is a truly beatiful spot. Business must be really good if they solely rely on walk-ins.

Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Spain
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2010

I stayed at Buffalo Bay backpackers as part of a 10 month trip through Africa with my wife. We rented a car and drove all of south africa and did public transport for the rest. When we arrived in the parking lot we thought that we had arrived in paradise and we had heard before hand what a great location it is. It was, but the hostel itself was run down but that was not the biggest problem. I can't possibly imagine that the owners were on hand. The lady running the place was just plain rude and didn't care one way or another if we were happy. We greeter her on arrival and she just rolled her eyes and pointed at reception. I thought she must have been another guest but turned out to be in charge. We booked three nights in advance and each night they do a set menu dinner and every night we were there it was the exact same meal and it was bad and over priced. I had many BBQ's (braai's) while we were in South Africa but this was just not able to stomache. There was hardly anyone staying there and the showers were filthy. Luckily it is only a short walk to town where there is a great restaurant overlooking the water with ice cold beer. The beached in each direction were amazing and among the best we saw in SA. It is a real shame that the backpackers has such a great location and they just don't seem to care. We stayed at budget backpackers the whole trip and this was the worst one by far. The best being the Karoo Soul in Outdshoorn. My advice would be to stay in Knysna and visit Buffalo Bay as a day trip or there is a municipal campground in town near the restaurant.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
S.Wales UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2009

We stayed at this backpackers in January 2009 for 2 nights. We did the whole Garden Route. We took our tent and just drove straight into the Backpackers and asked if we could pitch our tent. We put pur tent up right on the beach, when we opened our tent in the morning the 1st thing we saw was the ocean-wonderful. We paid about R50 per night which is about £4. I think that is excellent for a place to lay your head.
The previous review sounds like they are used to staying in 5 star hotels. It is a backpackers after all. I never expect much from them. Granted the kitchen isnt that clean, the guests are expected to clean and wash up after themselves & as you can imagine the minority dont do it properly. When we were there, there was a cleaner. The shower and toilet facilites were fine to me. Shower cubicles rather than communal. The owner made ostrich Potjie for about 10 people and it was delicious. When you are backpacking I think you only need somewhere to lay your head and meet other travellers. If you want something special then you have to pay for it. I'm sorry if the place has got bad since we were there, but it was fine in January.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Buffalo Bay Backpackers

Address: 1 Main Road, Buffalo Bay, Knysna 6573, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 28 hotels in Knysna
Also Known As:
Buffalo Bay Backpackers Hotel Knysna

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