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“Great home base while in Lusaka” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kalulu Backpackers Hostel

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Kalulu Backpackers Hostel
Ranked #27 of 96 Specialty Lodging in Lusaka
Lusaka
1 review
“Great home base while in Lusaka”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

I stayed at Kalulu for a month while volunteering nearby. The place is affordable and run by friendly ex-backpackers who seem to have all the answers to those niggling questions (where to get a cab, best grocery shop, what to do in Lusaka, how to go on Safari, etc etc etc). They also seem to never run out of patience as you run through your questions.

The food is decent- eggs, toast and coffee for $2; fish with nshimi and veggies for $6 etc. Nothing to write home about, but then again, who writes home about their meals?

If you're looking for turn down service or a place that has no Zambians, this might not be the place for you. The rooms and amenities are pretty basic.

Oh and to the lady who complained about them "running out of water" the city of Lusaka has been going through water shortages, so all the hostels have the same issue.

Room Tip: I stayed in the cottage in the back which I loved. It was quieter than the dorm rooms, and came with...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Asalip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    20
    18
    21
    13
    6
See reviews for
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7
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
407 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2012

A very affordable hostel in quite a decent location with friendly staff, the place is mostly a fascimile of the longstanding Lusaka Backpackers around the corner. Identical prices, similar configuration, has a pool and, most notably, a noisy outdoor bar where tourists and locals alike cavort to the sounds of drum and bass. Or the occasional soccer match.

Surprisingly, there's only one bathroom in the main house, with no sink. Showers are at the back of the compound. Some of the dorms have lockers, but not all. Though the bar area takes time to be cleaned up in the morning, the whole place is quite pleasantly neat.
Currently, the place seems to host several long term (weeks/months) expats. In my opinion, that's a good thing, as it means the place is somewhat quieter.

Food appears to be decent, if somewhat slow, with the kitchen closing at 8pm. Beers are 2 USD, Savanah 3.

Room Tip: Get a dorm with lockers. Or a private room.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MastaBaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haarlem, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2012

Although the place is perhaps not the most beautiful ever (swimming pool is not really worth it, the garden is fine to read a book but not thrilling), the rooms are fine though very basic, location is very good and most important is that the people are very friendly. They can help you out with almost anything, which is very convenient if you just start your holiday (explain how to walk to the center including a simple map and give good advice on supermarkets/restaurants).

To comment on the other posts, yes Zambian people do come to the bar (and Zambian people also work there!). I guess this is a good way to learn that Zambian people are among the most friendliness and helpful people in the world. Bar closing times are firm so don't worry about a good night sleep. The bar is nice to sit around as well. Dorms are pretty fine to and showers are hot and nice!

Just keep in mind that it is a hostel, not a five star hotel and you should be good to go!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank timovandonselaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2012

We booked this because we needed a place to get a good night's sleep in Lusaka before a long bus journey and saw the excellent reviews. Having stayed there I assume things must have gone downhill recently. On the plus side the bedding was clean and the bar well stocked but that's pretty much it. The layout of the main building is bizarre with only one toilet (no sink) between all dorms. We only saw three other people staying in dorms but at peak times this would be awful - especially since they ran out of water twice in the 24 hours we were there. Other options are the loos through the bar or the shower block which you have to walk through the campsite to get to. We were left to work all this out for ourselves since there was no information given to us on registration and all doors were identical and unmarked. This also meant that our food was removed from the only fridge in the building because it was apparently the wrong one - given the very small number of guests there is no excuse for this. We felt that the place was not very secure with the main gate regularly left open and reception staff leaving bags to go and watch TV in the bar. The door to our dorm didn't close either and I was woken up by a random dog wandering into our room and climbing on to my bed. Disgusting. From what we could see we assume that this must be a decent campsite that is currently trying to build into a hostel - it's certainly not there yet.

Room Tip: We stayed in the mixed dorm at the front of the main building, the door did not close properly which...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fay P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Lusaka hotels

2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2012 via mobile

This place isn't bad for 12 dollars a night but it's not great. The problem was the pictures and adds make it seem way nicer then it is. For instance, they advertise free breakfast but what that means is a lady throwing u a loaf of bread and telling you to make yourself toast.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chucklesw25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2012

A great place to stay in Lusaka. Recently left after a couple of months staying at Kalulu and miss it already. It is clean, comfortable, affordable and above all has a great relaxed family feel to it. Everyone is friendly and happy to help out and the facilities and location make it perfect for both travellers passing through Lusaka and long term guests. There is no need to look anywhere else for a place to stay in the city and I will hopefully be returning very soon.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roaming20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2012

we spend 3 nights at kalulu's. A great way to start our journey in Zambia! Very friendly, helpfull and easy going staff, lots of space to relax, enjoy the sun, have a drink, or just relax with a book in the shade. Rooms are cosey and clean, same for the showers and kitchen.
Location is good, in a more quiet part of town, but with a big shoppingmall in walking distance and possability to buy local simcards just around the corner.
We definitely recommend this place and allready made a new reservation for on the way back of our trip!
emma & maloe

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Maloe H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kalulu Backpackers Hostel

Property: Kalulu Backpackers Hostel
Address: 20 Broads Road | Fairview, Lusaka, Zambia
Location: Zambia > Lusaka Province > Lusaka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 96 Specialty Lodging in Lusaka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clean, comfortable and secure, Kalulu Backpackers Hostel is perfectly located close to the bus and rail stations, two of Lusaka’s largest shopping malls, and the city centre. With a mixture of dorm beds, private rooms, and camping, we have accommodation to suit everyone. You can enjoy a delicious meal from our cafe, or cook up a feast yourself in our fully equipped communal kitchen. Relax by the pool, enjoy a drink at our fully stocked bar, or take some time to explore the sights and sounds of Lusaka. Our experienced staff can advise you on any travel queries and can help book tours or activities you may want to sample while visiting Zambia. ... more   less 
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