My partner and I spent a night at Knysna Backpackers in May this year. Their website boasts the following statement:
"We offer the discerned traveller peace and tranquility in this beautiful town on the Garden Route."
Peace and tranquility - the Knysna version of these terms is probably unlike what most of us would describe as a "peaceful" experience:
A loud banging noise woke us up at approximately 3.30AM in the morning. My partner got up to investigate, only to discover three men attempting to break in through the bathroom window. He was threatened with a knife, at which point we got hold of the emergency services.
We of course reported this the following morning, at which the manager (a better term would be "mismanager") of the establishment, accused us of lying. She refused to believe what had happened and instead of offering an apology, abuse was hurled at us over the phone.
As far as the lodging itself goes, we of course were not expecting "Hilton" standards. The room was clean, although extremely basic. The prominent signs warning all guests to not leave ANY valuables in their cars, should perhaps have given us an inkling as to the unsavoury area that this backpackers is located in.
Reception only opens at 8AM in the morning, so attempting to check out any earlier and get back any relevant deposits for room keys (yes, you pay a deposit for your key, as I assume it is only natural for tourists gracing backpacker type establishments to run off with the room keys), is virtually impossible.
If you are after affordable accommodation, in an unsafe area, with an early morning knife attack and abuse by the establishment's manager thrown in for free, then by all means ... book a room at Knysna Backpackers. Enjoy your stay!!
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