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“Great fun and Adventure”

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Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge
Reviewed April 30, 2013

I had a great time at Amphitheatre Backpackers, and took an amazing trip to the nearby country of Lesotho. The Lodge caters to all budgets from camping to suites. The scenery is beautiful, but the fantastic scenery comes with being far from a store or shop. They have a restaurant and bar that offers great food at decent prices. I met some wonderful people at the lodge and the trip I took was educational and beautiful, I met many people doing trips on their own, but I didn't have a car so it was nice to have a guided option. The Drakensberg mountains were a great way to finish my trip.

Room Tip: Dorm sleeps 6 and has an in room bathroom.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Tim F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 - 243 of 367 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2013

Stayed in a dorm, very clean. Food is good, a bit pricy. Views are amazing. Its quiet and isolated (no supermarkets here). Good tours on offer (reccomend the Lesotho tour). Had a great time, met lovely people.
Tip: they don't take credit cards, but you can pay via internet transfer.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rosa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

It is true that if you stay here they will push you on their tours-- so, if you just want to stay somewhere for a night and be left alone, maybe don't come here. HOWEVER, if you are a solo backpacker without a car, this place is very convenient. The amphitheater hike is great (if you're on a tight schedule make sure you call ahead and confirm the hike is available when you are there, they don't go out every day). I would highly recommend bringing your own groceries here-- there are several kitchens available and the food they serve is expensive and not amazing (not bad either). The dorms are nice and clean.

You can take the BazBus here, but it's not necessary. If you take a minibus from Durban to Harrismith you could ask around and find another minibus that will take you past the backpacker's place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Alma A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2013

At first we really liked the backpackers, but after we left we had a bad feeling..some things didn't seem right.
Why? Because the staff tried to talk us into expensive tours we didn't need to book (we didn't, thank god). They said the road was horrible to the national park and a car of previous guests broke down there because of the horrible road and everything got stolen.. Yeah right! It was impossible to do the hiking on your own. We had an amazing day in the National Park and did the Gorge walk. The staff in the park is very helpful and the walks are easy to do on your own. It cost us only 150 ZAR including entrance fee, gas and our lunch instead of ZAR500.
Paying for wifi is oldfashioned these days and for a five star backpackers we think it should be a service.
They say you cannot drink the water and that you have to buy bottles at the reception..
And if you have a car, go to Tower of pizza for dinner!! Something they can recommend, but all they do is give you information about the backpackers itself.

And not possible to pay by card?! Oldfashioned aswell.. Moola Magic, in all the books and on the website of Molla Magic it is said that they give you discount with a MM card... NOT!

Conclusion: bad taste after all

Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Louisepascale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

What galls me most about my experience at this place was the appalling attitude and hard sell tactics displayed by the manager in terms of providing simple information about the surrounding area and independent access to the Amphitheater and the ‘Berg. As an independent traveller. I’ve stayed in backpacker hostels all over the world and have found it a pleasurable experience as they have only been too pleased to help and provide information. The sheer ‘hard sell’ attitude here left a really bad taste. When we asked the manager some basic questions about how far the access to the mountains were etc… we were met with absolute rubbish that they nearest entry point was two hours away, that it could only be accessed with guides, and that the price was 500 Rands – absolute garbage! We did the trip to the Amphitheater and Tugela Falls for 60 Rand and stayed at a lodge at the base of the mountains for a fraction of the price we were quoted. This places takes advantage of people’s ignorance (especially young travellers backpacking for the first time). I wouldn't mind if this was a one-off experience that only happened to us but everyone we spoke to had received similar treatment. Do your research first – there are plenty of affordable accommodation options within the area. If you want to go to the Amphitheater and trek, the Royal Parks Office is at the foot of Sentinel Peak. You’ll pay 20 Rands entry and 40 Rands for a day’s hiking. Don’t bother giving this place your money as they give hostels a bad name.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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11  Thank JDM2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

On first sight this hostel appears to situated in the middle of a huge field. We almost didn't get off the mini bus as it seemed so remote. Fortunately, however, we had read the guide book and knew that the tour to the Tugela Falls departed from here. Once inside, there is a definite hippie style that is as endearing as it is unique. The staff were friendly and helpful. The rooms were clean and benefited from a good size veranda. However, it was the bar that really grabbed your attention - full of souvenirs which varied from old tins of polish adorning the pillars on the bar to wallpaper that was in fact sheets of matchbox labels, multi-coloured bottle-ends cemented into the bar and backlit and a jacuzzi! The food was reasonably priced and of good quality. Great value, good trips available. The surrounding Drakensberg Mountains are stunning.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
2  Thank BristolButterflyRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

This was a very special place with incredible experiences. The Drakensberg tours set up by the backpackers were a highlight of my South African adventures. The owner was very helpful and I enjoyed my time at the very unique Hostel. Thanks

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank WildLouis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge

Address: R74, Jagersrust 3354, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Jagersrust
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Jagersrust
Price Range: $38 - $55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The venue is really amazing. The lodge is found on a stunning 300 hectares of land near the foot of the Amphitheatre (Royal Natal National Park) and Cathedral Peak. The Mpande River weaves through the lands. There are buck, small mammals and a fantastic array of wild birds near the 2 dams and a picture postcard view from the lawn, a 360 degree panorama that takes in the entire Northern range from the Amphitheatre all the way to Cathkin Peak. The lodge is a base from which you can explore different sections and all the highlights of the Drakensberg Park each day. Built from stone, thatch and wood, the place is like an artist's sculpture with stained glass, metal and wooden carvings, mosaics and beautiful indigenous rockeries. ... more   less 
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