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Gibela Backpackers Lodge
Ranked #7 of 80 Specialty Lodging in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
308 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“No Issues”
Reviewed February 20, 2013

I only stayed here for one night on my way back to Joburg, but it seemed like a really cool place, complete with a pool and average continental breakfast. It's far from city center, but that is a plus for me. And it is a Baz Bus stop, so convenient for those using that to get around South Africa. I lucked out and ended having a whole dorm room to myself. Bathroom, room, common areas were great. There is a little shop in the reception area where you can buy trinkets and stuff. It's overpriced, bt it's convenient if you have no other options. Wish I had more time to really enjoy them, but the little I saw was enough to make me recommend it. A bit pricey, but it is well secure and you can't put a dollar amount on peace of mind.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CarmenSandiego2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gibela, Owner at Gibela Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Thanx for your review.
The city by foot is a bit of a trek - about 45 min walk, but being on two inner city bus routes and a mini-bus taxi route the city is a quick 7 - 10 min drive away. Alternatively the 25 min walk to the beach connects you with the Peoplemover bus that covers all the major city attractions, museums and attractions. A one night stop in Durban does make covering all the to do and see spots a bit tricky.
Our rates is a reflection of all the positive points you mentioned - breakfast included, pool and the great bathrooms and common areas.
The items in our craft shop is of a high standard and some made by respected craft people - these items are labour intensive and of export quality, not something you see on every street corner.
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154 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Stayed for 5 day when I arrived in Durban. Lovely place. Very clean. Friendly staff. Quiet at night and very secure. Close to Florida Rd (2 min walk) which is got loads of places to eat/ drink. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Damien L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elmar Gibela Ow... T, Owner at Gibela Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Many thanx for your review and great write-up.
Our location is a great sales point. Being close to Florida Road restaurants, cafe's and bars. Walking distance to supermarket, laundramata and bus routes makes live easier.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Krakow, Poland
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

I visited Gibela Backpackers Lodge for four nights over Christmas with two friends. It was ideal for our requirements - basic, affordable accomodation yet clean, bright and in very pleasant surroundings. The communal area is comfortable with sofas and chairs by the pool, and the rooms were small but adequate, and spotlessly clean. The only slight issue we had was that it was hot during our stay, and even with the ceiling fans on in the rooms, it was still very warm at night and therefore it wasn't overly comfortable (despite a comfy bed). In addition to the pool, the hostel has a kitchen for the use of guests, and also a barbecue - which we used on Christmas Day!

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the owner, Elmar, who gave us a no-nonsense run-down of pretty much everything we needed to know about the place and the local area (where to go and where not to go). The hostel is located in a very nice district, with plenty of amenities within walking distance. There is a Spar supermarket nearby and there are numerous restaurants and bars on Florida Road (a 5 minute walk). The surrounding area is perfectly safe to walk - even at night. It is about a 25 minute walk to the sea front, and the route is again safe to walk.

Elmar was extremely helpful with any questions we had, and is the font of all knowledge with regards to Durban and beyond. I would highly recommend Gibela for anyone who wants a base in a nice district of Durban, not too far from the beaches, and isn't fussed about 5 star treatment. Yes, it is 'basic' accommodation but the cleanliness, the location and the price (in comparison to other forms of accommodation in Durban) are the key points with Gibela.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AMBaines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midland, Texas, USA
1 review
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Great hostel--it has almost a boutique hotel feel to it. The owner runs a tight ship and the place is sparkling. He is also a great source of no BS travel advice. Attracts a very chill crowd. Returning.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Aleks R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
54 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

It's definitely not a party hostel, but the Gibela has a lot offer. The place is probably the cleanest hostel we've stayed at in South Africa. Elmar, the owner, knows pretty much everything about Durban/South Africa. They have a clean pool, a well-equipped kitchen and some nice areas to hang out in the front of the house and at the back. They even have a little handicraft shop, where they sell stuff that is still better (and cheaper) than the things they "force" you to buy on the tours. Besides, the hostel is located in the best area in Durban, close to Florida road, so you can even walk from/to the hostel at night.
It would be nice to have free wifi, but to be fair, between Joburg and Durban only very few hostel offer free wifi. You'll find it more often on the Garden Route.
Would definitely recommend it and stay there again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EyelessView
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
71 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

The place is well protected and placed in a cozy area. You can walk around, even at night and visit some nice restaurants and bars that are located nearby. It is a good hangout, an opern area, and the owner is very friendly and will help you with your stay and trip. The rooms are realy clean btw.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Stephan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Gibela is definitely safe and clean. the rooms are simple but you are only there to sleep. the bathrooms were very clean with hot water. Elmar is a bit intense and at times can be extremely rude to his guests. Even though he was not rude to us (we simply wouldn't let him be) we did witness some very abrupt, unfriendly behaviour towards other guests during breakfast. Our friends had accommodation down the road from us and each time they called to collect us Elmar was rude and made it very plain he just couldn't be bothered answering them and wished they would just go away. Quite frankly I think he was glad we took off each day after breakfast and didn't come back til late at night.

the thing that worried us was the number of keys needed (3) just to get into our room and what would happen if there was a fire. We could not find anyway to be able to exit the building quickly if the worse happened as we were tripled locked in.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gigglesandsass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gibela Backpackers Lodge

Property: Gibela Backpackers Lodge
Address: 119 Ninth Avenue | Morningside, Durban 4001, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 80 Specialty Lodging in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Gibela Backpackers Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
TOP CHOICE - Lonely Planet 2012 "If this hostel (a tastefully converted 1950's Tuscan home) were a B&B, it would be described as 'boutique'. One of Durban's best hostels, it has sparkling surfaces and rooms neat enough to pass an army major's inspection. It even provides a continental breakfast- to be enjoyed in an attractive indoor-outdoor dining area." Gibela is conveniently located in the safe, residential area of Morningside and within walking distance to the center of Durban’s entertainment life, Florida Road, where there are restaurants, cocktail bars, clubs and coffee shops galore. ... more   less 
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