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Reviewed October 23, 2011

My partner and I stayed here for a weekend in the low season and had a really good time. We stayed in one of the double rooms. The room was basically just a (not too comfortable) bed, but there were plenty of couches and hammocks on the patio to relax on. We also shared a communal bathroom (there were very few travelers there at the time though) so there were no queues, but, be warned, there are outside showers. Literally outside, with only jungle on one side to protect your modesty. Being in a tropical climate, there are also loads of bugs, esp mozzies & spiders, but the room had a fan and a mosquito net so we survived.

We catered most of our meals for ourselves but the bar/restaurant serves food all day with vegetarian options for all meals and the meal we had there was good, much better than some of the restaurants in town.

We also went on one of the hikes offered daily. A bit of false advertising on the website, they were not free, but I didn't mind paying the friendly local guide for a generous 2.5 hours of his time. There was no way we would have found the waterfall on our own. The hike itself was quite a workout, more like jungle bashing than hiking in some parts, but the jump off the waterfall was worth it.

Amapondo is right on the road to Second Beach, which is walking distance if you don't have your own transport. Second Beach is definitely a party beach and, we were told, gets absolutely packed over December. Think taxis blaring house and kwaito music in the parking lot, no space to swim in the water and loads of people braaiing at the recreational facilities. Although the beach is really amazing, fine white sand, crystal blue waters, sadly the next morning there were beer bottles and broken glass strewn everywhere.

The Eastern Cape is also the poorest province in South Africa, so don't be surprised if you get heckled everywhere you go, shops, beach, etc. That being said though, even though I am South African, going to Port St Johns was like going to a different universe. It is absolutely beautiful, and on a totally different vibe. We left feeling relaxed and restored. I would definitely recommend PSJ to everyone and Amapondo is a good backpackers to crash at for a few nights, as long as you're not expecting luxurious accommodation.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WanderingRobyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2011

Port St Johns very strange and unique place, and to get even average accommodation is not easy. Lots of traps in this little rustic town.

We drove from place to place and ended up with Amapondo Backpackers, stayed for 5 nights and we were really happy with the place, wonderful staff and view.

We stayed in the Chalets in the back and it was a different experience to a 5 star hotel, more rustic but more than adequate for an adventure holiday.

The bar area is great even for kids and we enjoyed the barman Mr Clint even thou he took all our money on poker night.

If you have a family and you can get one of the chalets I won’t look any further.

Just don’t go fishing in Poenskop you will be harassed from when you stop on the beach until you leave. 3rd and 2nd Beach is better for fishing.

And try to bring everything with you so that you don’t need to do any shopping in town because this is not Camps Bay Spar, you won’t have fun shopping. Absolute chaos!!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Johan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights - was a great place for hanging out and relaxing. Everyone who worked there was really friendly. The accommodation is super basic - basically a bed in a room, with shared outdoor showers - but it is also fairly cheap. The location is beautiful - really green and lovely beaches - the view from the airstrip is definitely recommended. The dinners were pretty good value and the bar was nice for a chilled-out drink or two. One of those places where the nice people and beautiful location make up for the basic accommodation.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank noone28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, General Manager at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 29, 2011

Thank you for your lovely review, we do our best to ensure that people get the time out to relax and enjoy themselves here.
We hope you come and visit us again sometime.
Many Thanks

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2011

We stayed there 6 days and it's one of the best places in the world where relax and be' casted away... Please choose one of the bongalows they have: great view of the ocean and the river, monkeys come in the evening... And you can see everything right from your bed!!!! We suggest this accomodation to' everyone!
And finally they have great staff: say hello to Rex, Tandie and Zulu! They can help you on everything!!!
Amapondo is a perfect place to get the Pondo fever! We got it and we enjoyed!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Zanzoazonzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, General Manager at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 29, 2011

WOW! Thank you for that super fantastic review, we do love our guests especially when they are happy. It is our guests that make having such a good time possible. Come back anytime for some more of that Pondo Love!

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Reviewed September 2, 2011

If you want to experience a backpacker being "high" then this is definitely your place, because you will not notice the lack of cleanliness, the wasps nests, the warn out springs on the bed and the challenging shower. Other than that-if you can see past all these discrepancies it can be chilled to hang around. Should this have been years ago in my wild young days, I would have loved it, because I remember everything of being "high" and careless, however being pregnant it is the last place I want to be and seeing kids at the bar inhaling all the second hand Ghanga fumes saddened me. The staff is definitely friendly and inviting... But I kept wondering whether they are like that when they are not "high" - if ever... We had supper on arrival and my husband had a beer (nice and friendly welcoming). We walked into our onsuite chalet and 15min afterwards moved to a place double the price at another establishment, but even for us hikers who are used to minimal (climbed Kili) this move was worth it. So, depending on who are... You will either love or hate Amapondo... No in between. Happy traveling...

  • Stayed: August 2011
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1  Thank BrinkMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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