Nomads Backpackers




The Review

Nomads Backpackers is a little inconveniently located for the beach, but is a cozy little place with easy access to the city center of Durban, which has a fair selection of pretty good-quality backpacker accommodation.

The Location

Down a quiet street in Musgrave suburb, near Berea district and just off the busy N3 that pours into Durban from the west, Nomads is close to a small shopping mall with supermarket. Minibus taxis pass by on King Dinuzulu Road into the center every few minutes. It's just a fifteen-minute walk away from the Botanical Gardens and a nice city viewpoint.

Rooms and Bathrooms

This rustic but very clean and well-kept place has a number of dorm options from a four-bed ladies' dorm to an en suite, ten-bed dorm. The property occupies two neighboring houses -- one of them has the backpacker dorms, while the other houses private doubles and twins. Each house has its own shared ablutions. The shared bathrooms are of the shower-in-the-bathtub type, but they're clean and the water is hot. The smaller dorms are roomy, with good, firm mattresses and there are lockable cages for your luggage but a small padlock won't fit. The whole backpacker house is a little light on power points. There's only one in the six-bed dorm and only one in the lounge.

Common Spaces

The common kitchen in the backpacker house is small, but has plenty of pots, pans, cutlery, and crockery. There's also a kettle, toaster, microwave, cooker, and fridge. A continental breakfast of cereal, toast, and spread with tea and coffee is included in the bed price and tea and coffee are free all day. The small lounge by the reception desk has a couple of sofas and a small book exchange and is the nearest place you can be to the free Wi-Fi with a power point within reach. In the back garden, there is a small plunge pool and some swing chairs. Further back, there is another sitting area with sofas and a braai (BBQ). With renovations under way when we stayed there, the reception desk is the de facto bar, while the coffee shop/bar out back is being redecorated. There is a pool table by the reception desk also. The reception area is brightly painted and very welcoming.


While not looking like it from the rather tired appearance outside, this is quite a cozy and very friendly place. The staff are extremely knowledgeable about Durban and you can organize walks around the city with a local guide here that take in local markets and districts that other tourists don't see. It's very handy for the botanical gardens and the supermarket is just five minutes’ walk away for self-caterers. It looks a little out of town, but there are excellent transport links into the city center. This is quite a safe area to walk around and the lodge is in a secure compound accessed by an intercom and entry code. It's very nice!
by Londonroad Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Outside Nomads
Breakfast and Pool Room
Indoor Lounge
Coffee Shop/Bar
Swimming Pool and Lounging
Garden Sitting and Braai Area
6-Bed 'Green' Dorm
4-Bed 'Yellow' Dorm


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Nomads Backpackers" at 70 Essenwood Road.)


70 Essenwood Road, Berea, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
-29.850104, 30.998068 (accuracy not guaranteed)
0027 (0)31 202 9709
0027 (086) 662 7835
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(45 ratings)
(6 ratings)
Not listed on HostelsClub.
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98% Guest Reviews

Excellent stay, really friendly staff, supurb cooked breakfast
Really had a fantastic time at Nomads, the Staff went out of their way to help us with info about Durban and getting around by Bus & Taxi. Delicious breakfasts, the sparkling pool and ice cold beers go down very well in the Durban Sun. The Beds were comfortable and clean. Really relaxing atmosphere and definitely recommend Nomads Backpackers in Durban South Africa to any traveler.
Richard Vostradousky
Age 41, South African
Not so happy about the place
I found the place dirty, it looks so different from the internet. the owner and her husband are not friendly, especially with us black people. the only friendly is Octevia, Lionel, Rose, Princess and Akhona -- they really welcomed me; the rest of them are unfriendly. and on their adv they wrote we get free drinks on the arrival, there's nothing like that and we sleep with donkey blankets. so if the owner want her business she must be friendly with her guests regardless what color, and her junky friends should stop going in and out. its not good for the business and when you run a place like that there should be no dogs and cats that sleep everywhere -- that's why the place smells! I don't think I will be back and I hope they paying the staff course those girls are working hard.
Disgusting place, please dont u dare go there!!!!
omfg this place is soo gross!! it is disgusting ... terrible is an understatement ... dirty smelling ... unfriendly staff, dirty bathrooms, dark,sex happens all over, they lie to u then wen u get there all has changed. before i went there they lied about soo many things -- was to be picked at station but wen i arrived and called was told had to find my own way as they dont do pick ups. wen i then arrived tired as hell n thirsty for my free welcome drink advertised was told they dont give free drinks and the receptionist on duty told me to go wait outside for 20min as i wait for the next rec on duty to come. they forced me to pay 2nyts. gosh i couldnt wait to leave. jail blankets n pillows n uncomfortable mattress stink. they ran out of mt drink, black label then i bought my own 4 R45 ONLY to be asked for a R40 corkage fee. craZY PLACE CRAZY MANAGER AND ALWAYS PACKED with owners thug friends who only fill the dirty pool n wait to rob guests.
(south african)
Clean, friendly staff, safe
stayed with a friend who booked a double room. He requested very specific things from them and the staff went out of their way to accommodate him from flowers to candles -- Thanks. The room was very nice, facilities great, friendly and helpful staff. Safe and within walking distance from the Musgrave centre. Recommend highly.
Denise Meyer
(South Africa)
This hostel is a popular one, previously with a loud party reputation but now a lot quieter as it is in a quiet residential area and neighbours have complained. Nomads is in the Musgrave area of Durban, a safe residential area, and less than five minutes' walk to the Musgrave shopping centre which has a supermarket, cinema, shops, cafes, ATMs and foreign exchange. It is also near the bus stop for goingin into town and the minibus taxi stop. These buses go via Florida Road where there are many cafes, pubs and restaurants. There is off-road parking behind a locked gate, and there is a pedestrian access code to get into the grounds as well. It is about a 20 minute downhill walk to the Botanical Gardens, and a further 20-30 minute walk into the city. As Musgrave is on a hill overlooking the city, it is easier to walk into town and catch a minibus back rather than the other way round, but the buses and minibuses are inexpensive. A regular taxi will cost about 20 times as much. There are various sized dorms, as well as private room options. There is a 6 bed dorm with three bunks, an 8 bed (with a normal bunk and two triple bunks) and a 10 bed dorm (with three normal bunks and two triple bunks). The larger dorm has an ensuite bathroom with shower over, which is good sized and has a sink and WC as well. The main bathroom facilities for the other dorms are next to the reception, with a small shower room with WC and sink. This is a bit outdated and tired looking but generally clean. Next to this is a bathroom with sink and WC, but this is also where the washing machines are so the cleaners are frequently in here. There is a separate newer building with private rooms, and guests can use the shower room in here also. The first entrance room is large and open plan with a pool table, table and chairs where breakfast is served, and the reception / bar in the corner. Off here are corridors to the dorms, there is an open plan lounge with sofas, coffee table and book exchange, with a computer room off here with one computer for internet access. The kitchen is also off the main entrance room, which is outdated but adequate. Again, there is a newer kitchen in the other building which guests can also use, but storage and fridge space in both kitchens are limited, especially as it is shared with all the people who work here. In this newer building is also a large open plan room with a few chairs around a TV, although there is no option to change channels yourself as it is only an extention of the TV in the owner's cottage and whatever channel they are watching. There is also a dining table here and patio doors to a large outside picnic table. The main seating area is outside next to the swimming pool, as there are benches around a coffee table under a covered area. There are also tables and chairs around the outside servery which is occasionally manned to serve snacks and beverages, and there is a larger grassy area infront of a third building which some guests are put into. The hostel is generally clean, although quite tired. The bar is limited as is the activity centre - some of the staff are friendly and helpful. It is not all that sociable and facilities could be better managed and rooms placed - the bathrooms being across the open social spaces next to the bar is not ideal. However, it has one of the best locations in the city, being in such a safe neighbourhood and so close to the Musgrave Centre and the bus routes to get into the city.
Helen Resuggan
  I think Nomads is a fabulous place, it has changed a lot over the past two years. There is really great staff there now. Lovely home cooked meals! Clean and very professional. I recommend it to all my friends! I will definitely go back again! Great atmosphere! Keep up the good work guys!
Israeli Boy
  I have visited Nomads many times over the last five years with my children. We always have a wonderful time. The staff are friendly and helpful and the atmosphere is very happy and loving. I have met many wonderful people there and I highly recommend Nomads!
  This is not a place you want to stay in. The owners are unfriendly and opportunistic junkies who only make money to party and use drugs. Then they also have friends who frequent the hostel and are sexual predators seeking out the female backpackers. "Ziggy" and his friend are the two dreadlocked Caucasian sex and drug predators you should watch out for. Leigh and her husband are quick to help an international traveler who had been robbed. But they would make it very difficult for such a person. They would eat lavish meals in front of a hungry person yet never offer a crumb. Greed and compassion cannot walk hand-in-hand. They are the most evil willed double-faced persons I experienced there. Poor Lionel, I wonder why he sticks around there. He is as much a sexual predator as the rest of the Nomads crew.
Anonymous from the Netherlands

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