Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge

Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge

14 Umgwezi Road, extension 1 Emmarentia, Randburg 2195 South Africa
                  pool on-site
Traveller (2)
Room & Suite (20)
Dining (6)

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About

3.5
#1 of 4 hostels in Randburg
3.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
This well established backpackers, will give you the parties and rest that you need on your travels. We are within a safe 5 min walk from top Restaurants, Bar's and night clubs, and for those of you that like to explore, let our trained staff help you with all your tour needs! We have all of the facilities you would expect from a top quality backpackers including WiFi, swimming pool and pool table (where you can challenge our in-house champ, or meet your fellow guests over a game and beer)!! We are a self catering facility, but we can place an order for you if you wish to have a lazy night in, in front of the fire!
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Pool
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
Laundry service
Outdoor pool
Shuttle bus service
Room features
Kitchenette
Microwave
Refrigerator
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Budget

Location

14 Umgwezi Road, extension 1 Emmarentia, Randburg 2195 South Africa
Getting there
Somewhat walkable
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 51 out of 100
51
Johannesburg Intl Airport
24.5 km
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Lanseria Airport
24.5 km
See all flights
35Reviews0Q+A2Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
solochicktraveller wrote a review Mar 2014
Bangkok, Thailand
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We'd heard this place was good so decided to book. The guy who checked us in was nice enough but there was no 'here's a map, this is where you are, nearest restaurants are here' etc. In Johannesburg especially, it's pretty important for people to quickly feel safe. Another guest who was travelling solo without a car looked completely lost there - we gave him more info than the hostel guy although the owner did sort him out the next day. A bigger issue was there was no wifi when the hostel is advertised as having wifi. He implied it had not been working for a while but read on and you'll see what happened. Our room was fine, very clean beds, decent bathroom (mouldy behind toilet but otherwise clean and very good shower) but our window had been smashed in one corner which housekeeping should pick up on so it's fixed asap. Kitchen was pretty dated too, the one outside was gross. We had booked for 4 nights but no advance payment so only stayed the one. We spoke with the owner on departure and she agreed we should have had a better check-in process. We asked about the wifi and from reading reviews, it seems it's been on and off for ages, not just a sudden problem but she said it was to do with recent weather (our current hostel has perfectly good wifi!). I said you should tell customers who book that if a facility you advertise isn't there, they should know about it. I said we'd paid full price for a room without having the facilities advertised. Her argument (crazy in my opinion) is that when you pay, you pay for the room - the wifi is free so it's not counted. I think that's RIDICULOUS. When you book an accommodation, you pay for the overall place i.e. a pool, wifi, breakfast or whatever is said to be included. With so much choice around, you do not just pay for the room - that would mean that any hotel, hostel or guesthouse can withdraw whatever facilities it advertises without telling guests and just say 'well, you're just paying for for the room, anything else we say we have is pot luck as to whether you get it cos it's free anyway!' A terrible approach to hospitality. We weren't bowled over by Gleneagles Road, the nearest strip of restaurants etc. Melville, Parkhurst, Kensington and I'm sure others are much nicer places to be based in. The good stuff: the bar area and terrace is really nice but there were barely any guests when we were there (just 2 others and a large private group) so unfair to base a night in on that. Owner was friendly and did apologise for some stuff when we spoke to her but obviously the wifi debate was the main thing. She knows the area really well and it does seem nice enough with the park, Emmerentia dam etc but we just didn't feel the vibe and the approach to not refunding us anything re the wifi (we had a lot of admin-y travel stuff to sort that first night and couldn't do any of it it!) was a bit unprofessional. According to owner's argument, next time I book a hotel, I'll should ask them if everything they say they have is working.... just nuts. I will always assume they have it (be it wifi, a pool, a spa, a rooftop bar) unless THEY tell me otherwise and that is the right way when you, as a customer, are making an informed choice based on their website info.
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Date of stay: March 2014
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
indieinka wrote a review Nov 2013
London, United Kingdom
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed for one night only as went to a gig nearby and it was more convenient than traipsing back to my friends house in the middle of the night... I so wish I could've stayed for longer though! I found the dorm room 15 clean and quiet (I only shared with one other very considerate girl) and both Beauty who checked me in, and Samantha (who I guess was the owner) were so very friendly and helpful. The bonus point was to get to cuddle the 2 week old puppies who Samantha brought out for me too see. Resident chihuahua-pug cross Lana was so cute too, such a treat for a dog lover to be able to cuddle her. The only improvements I'd recommend is to have a washing line outside the room to dry towels & washing on, and to include both cold and hot water taps over the sink - the single tap only gives hot water. Lastly it would be great to have bar of soap in the bathroom? Other than that I warmly recommend this Backpackers, I will definitely stay again next time I visit Greenside!

For the area, I loved the vibe in Greenside, felt very safe and loved hanging out in the Odd Cafe, and the other bars in the area. I was also very lucky to catch a local band Bye Beneco at the Openroom Productions monthly gig night, if you're looking for some new music - check them out! :)
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Date of stay: November 2013Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from AndyCTBP, Guest Relations Manager at Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge
Responded 26 Jan 2014
Hi, All the team really appreciate you taking the time to review us. Hope to see you again next time your back in the area. Andy :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
prabhavmusaddi89 wrote a review Sept 2016
Bengaluru, India
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We visited Johannesburg in August along with a group of friends. This place was really nice, a good location to be in and not crowded at all. The facilities offered was good and the best thing was the Wifi, which was quite fast and the people in the hostel were very friendly and it is very worth while visiting as a solo traveler as well.
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Date of stay: August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Chip A wrote a review Feb 2012
Folsom, California, United States
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed here for 3 or 4 nights in mid December 2011. The low point on our Africa Trip. Read further if you want to know details, otherwise I'll save you some time- DON'T STAY HERE!! The only reason we stayed that long is we were prepaid and the internet, when it worked, was decent for Africa. It looked as if at one time the place had a good vibe and energy. But something has changed and I think it is the ownership. When we got the initial tour the community kitchen was filthy, stacks of unwashed plates and dirty counters greeted us. Placed in our first room you couldn't help feel like it was a minor step up from a Joburg prison cell. The walls were dirty,stark, and bathroom rundown- horror movie stuff. When we found that we had paid double the going rate, we asked to move to a "nicer "room. This along with any other requests were met with some hesitation from staff. Not because the frontline staff was not helpful (very nice), but they could not make any decisions on their own. They had to ask the owners first as not to get in trouble with them later, (The owners live onsite, and hide from guests). After a few days of staying here we got two feelings from this odd place. 1) the owners must want this place to fail/bankrupt 2) Our guess, they inherited the property and it is more of burden than anything for them. No pride in Ownership!! And they can't just use the lame excuse T.I.A!!! because at one time the place looked like it thrived!
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Date of stay: December 2011
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: If you do stay there, Don't stay in the first room to right when enter the main hallway!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from AndyCTBP, Manager at Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge
Responded 07 Feb 2012
Hi, Thanks for the review ,we pride ourselves on making our place a fun and friendly home away from home for all our guests and to be somewhere that they want to come back to again and again. We fell short of that standard for you and we are sorry. We have taken on board your comments and are making sure that we do meet the standard expected in all those areas. As you mention we do thrive and if you are ever back in Johannesburg please come back and see us and let us show you how good we can be! We hope you enjoy the enjoy the rest of your trip, the Joburg BP team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Lele R wrote a review Oct 2014
Campinas, SP
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I had a really good time at this hostel! The place is in a good neighborhood and its close to bars and restaurants! It's not for party people, but its still pretty good! The staff is really helpful! They helped me with booking my tours and giving me directions. The place is also really clean! :)
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Date of stay: October 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dawn0710 wrote a review Jul 2014
Columbus, Ohio
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We were only stopping through for an evening on our way from Mozambique to Namibia, but wish we could have stayed an extra night. We called ahead to let them know our bus was running late, and by the time we arrived the woman who checked us in was offering to call in a food delivery order for us while we got settled into our room. She walked with us and check for clean towels, etc. We were in a double en-suite which was great with a little porch/sliding door to the outside. The common area had a great fireplace which kept us warm while we were waiting on the food delivery and some of our friends who were stopping through. We had just recently stayed in Jo'berg for a week (in an upscale hotel in Sandton) and this place would have been just fine as well. It is certainly closer to the arts district and everyone we met was super friendly. Great Stay.
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Date of stay: June 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Rune M wrote a review May 2013
Copenhagen
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I spent the longer part of my time in Joburg looking for good, reliable internet. I've tried dozens of internetcafés, paying loads for mediocre or worse service... I stayed with a friend in Sandton, so I know nothing of this backpackers.

If you are in Johannesburg and need some delicous and stable internet, go to the Steers restaurant in the Fourways Mall (google it). It's free, and you can use it for ten hours in a row. It's a nice gesture of you, as a user, to buy something at the restaurant, but the key is to be nice to them. That's all from me, enjoy (even if you're not in the area, and need some hours of stable internet, it's worth moving cross-city for this). The mall is also generally good for anything you'd need to buy on your journey. :)

cheers,
Rune.
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Date of stay: May 2013Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Upon A Travel wrote a review Feb 2016
Sao Paulo, SP
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dorms are big with ensuit toilet. The staff is nice and is a well cleaned place.
Well located in a safe area with walking distance to markets and restaurants. They offer many tours and transfers services,
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Date of stay: February 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
TravelerinMpumalanga wrote a review May 2015
Cape Town Central, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was a fantastic backpackers! It is located in a beautiful and safe suburb within walking distance of a whole street of restaurants and bars. The accommodation was clean and tidy. The family rooms were lovely and the dorms were of excellent quality with lovely, clean, white linen. I would suggest maybe taking an extra blanket in winter though. The common area and garden was also very nice and kept tidy. The fact that there was a staff member on duty 24/7 was reassuring and helpful. There was more than enough kitchen space and there was enough kitchen utensils. The staff were also very friendly and accommodating. Lovely stay, especially for the price!
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Date of stay: April 2015
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Benjamindrfranklin wrote a review Jan 2015
Tibberton, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I tend to try and save money when travelling on business and opt for backpackers/hostels - it also means lots more atmosphere and socialising at the end of the day!

Price - excellent

Single room - adequate/clean

Bed - comfy/firm

Staff - OUTSTANDING

Location - pretty central

Security - seemed pretty SAFE

If I am ever in the area I will return - Highly recommended

Enjoy
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Date of stay: December 2014
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled on business
Room Tip: Go for a single!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Benjamindrfranklin wrote a tip Jan 2015
Tibberton, United Kingdom522 contributions266 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Go for a single!!"
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Chip A wrote a tip Feb 2012
Folsom, California, United States13 contributions7 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"If you do stay there, Don't stay in the first room to right when enter the main hallway!!"
Read full review
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LOCATION
South AfricaGautengGreater JohannesburgRandburg
NUMBER OF ROOMS
13
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JOBURG BACKPACKERS/UMGWEZI LODGE - Hostel Reviews (Randburg, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Johannesburg Botanical Garden (1.0 km), The Linden Market (1.1 km), and Jan van Riebeeck Park (0.3 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and free parking.
Is parking available at Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Galata Bakery And Restaurant, Duke's Burgers, and Momo Baohaus.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are there any historical sites close to Joburg Backpackers/Umgwezi Lodge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct (6.0 km), Johannesburg Fort (6.3 km), and Nelson Mandela Foundation (5.2 km).
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