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The Cardboard Box is a nice and social hostel in Windhoek, Namibia.
The Cardboard Box is located about ten minutes on foot from the city centre and the bus station. It is at the corner of a big road and clearly marked, so the hostel is easy to find. A shared taxi from the city centre will be very inexpensive. If you are traveling by car, it is possible to park safely on the hostel’s property.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The Cardboard Box contains several dorm rooms and a private room, and camping is also possible if you bring your own tent. Dorm rooms come in several sizes. Each of the dorms are equipped with lockers and the beds are comfortable. Curtains cover the windows, so the rooms get very dark at night. Rooms are not equipped with an air conditioner or fan. Bathrooms are shared and not inside the room. Bathrooms are filthy at times could use some extra cleaning.
The Cardboard Box has a lot of common spaces. The Cardboard Box contains a kitchen where you can prepare your own food or stock things in the fridge. There’s an indoor living room with a pool table and couches near the reception where you can lounge.
The hostel contains also nice big outdoor pool. Around the pool, there are several comfortable seats where you can hang out. Children, however, are not allowed in the pool under any circumstances. Near the pool, separated by a small wall, there is a nice bar with many comfortable seats. Guests can buy drinks and order food at the bar. The bar is also where breakfast gets served in the morning. The breakfast is included in the room rate, but is very basic and may not be enough for breakfast for many guests. Often, there are locals hanging out in the evening too. The Cardboard Box only allows them to stay if they purchase anything. At this time, the staff's priority seems to be having fun with the locals rather than serving the hostel’s guests. However, if you do manage to ask them a question, they will try their best to help you.
The Cardboard Box is a nice and comfortable hostel. There common areas are nice and you can easily meet people and enjoy a drink at the on-site bar. However, in the evening many locals hang out at the hostel, which not all guests may appreciate.
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Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on 2016-12-21
Verified Reviews by our Community
Nothing special about cardboard box
first and foremost the Namibia Tourism Board and Ministry of Environment and Tourism should close this piece of shit. There is no special about this place, everything is old, old blankets (smelly, bedbugs), old toilets, old showers, pathetic breakfast, pathetic customer service. I advise everyone out there not to book at Cardboard box, nothing special. I booked for four nights but i'm moving out before I get some serious diseases. The Ministry of Health should come inspect the place, its not fit for human use. Come on Namibia, you can't expect a tourist from the USA (traveled for 40 hours) and you offer this piece of shit and this is totally bullshit. These kind of establishments deserve to be closed cos they are not selling out your beautiful country. no door handles, windows don't close, no privacy, thiefs all over, fuck you Cardboard box.
Age 45 | United States
The manager Russell is wonderful! Everyone was very accommodating. Breakfast, wifi, a pool ... what more do you need? Would definitely stay here again!
Age 26 | USA
Decrepit, dirty party place
In all my travels, I've only encountered a handful of places I wouldn't stay. This was one of them. A quick tour through the dirty, disgusting party hedonistic party atmosphere of the Cardboard Box, and I concluded that staying in an actual cardboard box would be preferable.
Age 33 | Canada
What a place! i am dying to return to the box. fun bar, interesting
what a place and staff. i am dying for my third visit, fun bar and interesting travelers.
Absolutely to recommend!!! Nice facility with clean rooms. Free pancake breakfast. There is even a pool am a bar. Nice location to meet lots of people and get in touch. I will go there again.
Rundown, full of bedbugs
This place got a good write-up in the guidebook, but it's clear no maintenance has been done since then. Showers don't drain, paint is peeling off the bedroom walls, no fly screens on the windows, no fans in the room, and worst of all it's full of bedbugs. My girlfriend has dozens of bites all over her body, and I was bitten on my arms and back. The bar is pretty good though and open late to visitors so I suggest staying somewhere else and then coming down for a drink.
A Namibian Institution
The Box is the cornerstone of Namibia's backpacker scene, back in the day when nobody heard of Namibia, this was the place to stay. It still is! The Box may be a little worn, but it still has its mojo. Little known fact, but the Harlech-Jones family that started the Box were part of the anti-apartheid resistance that helped Namibia gain independence. They later were responsible for helping jump-start the country's tourism industry, back when nobody ever heard of Namibia. They are quite modest about the whole thing.
Value for money
I don't really see why everyone is raving about this place. Atmosphere was good, but nothing special and I found it rather quiet (Oct. '08). Staff were friendly but not extremely helpful, and I can't help noticing that the rooms and facilities were a little rundown, pool was dirty. Meals served at the bar were microwave dishes and not very nice. That said, location is ok, dorms are cheap and breakfast/transfers to/from Intercape busstop are included in the price. If you're looking for a cheap and central place to stay and have a drink, Cardboard Box is the place to go.
The Cardboard Box was started in 1992 due to a combination of factors, the most important of which was the need for beer money. Over the years the hostel has metamorphosed from a small 12 bed backpackers hostel into its present state. The Cardboard Box is Windhoek (and Namibia's) oldest and biggest backpackers hostel, we have beds inside for about 45 people, private tents with mattresses and bedding for 12 people, and extra camping space for about 20 campers.
The hostel is Namibian owned (a rare occurrence in the backpacking industry in Namibia). Although we have grown considerably from the early days we still strive to give the same warm and personal Namibian service that made us the most popular place to stay in Windhoek.
If you're planning to visit Windhoek and Namibia the 'Box is definitely the place to stay!
Location and Contact
The name of the nearest airport is Hoseakutako International airport which is 45km, by taxi it will cost 200 Namibian dollars