Backpackers Hostel is a clean, well-run spot to spend your nights in Kampala. It is one of the few lodgings in the country that replicates the youth hostel model typical to Europe or America -- a fresh and informal accommodation at a price cheaper than a hotel.
Some particularities proper to a developing country that surface here and there will make this stay a bit different from what you're accustomed in a standard youth hostel. Among other details, the high walls delimiting the property, the armed guards at the gates of the compound, the quiet absence of Africans in the clientele are a reminder that in this region of the world, accommodations targeting backpackers don't offer the most unostentatious beds in town as is often thought of youth hostels. Regardless, if you are looking for a friendly spot from where to meet fellow Western travelers, you will find Backpackers to be a good asset from which to launch short trips in and out of Kampala.
Backpackers Hostel is twenty minutes' walk from central city, although a bit far from Kololo district, where Kampala's celebrated nightlife revolves. It offers comfortable dorms equipped with mosquito nets, a must in Uganda to avoid malaria. Dormitories are distributed in small cottages dispersed in the lush gardens (home to a few monkeys) and in the main construction. Lockers are available by the reception desk.
The lively bistro bar in the main building is a nice hang out, and serves more than decent western food – from crepes to hamburgers. Indian dishes are also prominent on the menu, attesting the influence this culture has perpetuated in Uganda since the English colonization. They are surprisingly well prepared, as is the case throughout the country. Alternatively, an open-air kitchen in a large hut offers the necessary space and appliances for basic cooking, but is not equipped with electricity. Flushing toilets and Turk toilets (used mainly due to frequent water shortages in the city) are accessible and kept clean. Showers have hot water, although early birds will get more of this. Finally, broadband internet is available for a small fee.
To get to this hostel, take a ten-minute shared mini-bus ride going to Natete from one of the downtown taxi parks, or for a few more schillings hire a private taxi or hop on a motorcycle boda-boda. Taking a private hire taxi is more advisable if you arrive a night.