Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers, Johannesburg

Parktown North
6 Reviews
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Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers Reviews

One of a small selection of backpacker hostels in Johannesburg's northern suburb of Rosebank, Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers is just two hundred meters north of one of its competitors, with another a couple of kilometers further north.

The Location

Located on Jan Smuts Avenue, the main Rosebank street that runs south into central Johannesburg, Africa's Zoo Lodge is a fifteen-minute walk from Rosebank Gautrain station, which gives very easy access to the city center and to Pretoria.

Rooms and Bathrooms

This very cozy backpackers has a selection of small private rooms and dorms. None of them are very big, meaning space is limited, especially for those with big backpacks. Some of the rooms have storage space or lockers for those with their own padlock. The small dorm we occupied has quite thin, saggy mattresses and cheap, creaking metal bunk beds, but the room is neat and tidy. The larger dorms are also very cramped for space and share just a couple of bathrooms with one shower and toilet in each. There is a ten-bed dorm with en suite, though, at the back of the house along with a ladies' dorm. The bathrooms are clean with twenty-four-hour hot water, but there are few hooks for clothes, and towels are not provided here.

Common Spaces

As you enter the hostel, you arrive at the comfy sitting room. Five sofas and a couple of armchairs are settled around a couple of glass tables and there's an old-fashioned TV with satellite channels. Adjoining the sitting room is the pool room. As it was originally a bar, there are also sitting options here. In the backyard, there is a patio right outside the ten-bed en suite dorm, with a table and chairs and steps down to the huge bar area, which has another TV and a dartboard. The swimming pool sits between the bar and the big grassy garden -- and there is even a gym here! The small kitchen has a kettle, toaster, microwave, two fridges, and a cooker. There's plenty of crockery, cutlery, and pots and pans too. There's no free breakfast or tea and coffee here, though. The free Wi-Fi has a decent signal in and around the main sitting room.


This very neat little hostel was virtually empty when we stayed there; there were a few locals staying long term, but unfortunately, no other backpackers. The common areas -- particularly the big bar and garden area -- would easily cope with a dozen or more backpackers and create a nice atmosphere: the ingredients are there. The accommodation could do with a re-think, as it's pretty cheap and basic. It's a fairly neat and tidy place and can organize any tours or bookings that backpackers might need. It's a little more than ten minutes' walk to Rosebank Mall, so although no food is available at the hostel, there are plenty of options close by and there's very easy access to both Johannesburg and Pretoria centers and the national transport hubs.
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Front Gate
Reception and Tour Office
Sitting Room
Pool Room
Back Yard Patio
Back Yard Bar
Swimming Pool
LondonroadMa Staff Reviewer
Published on Jun 24, 2018


Hi travellers, welcome to Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers.


We are proud to announce that we are the primary listing for backpacker accommodation in the Johannesburg Northern Suburbs in both the Lonely Planet and Lets Go Guide Books for South Africa.

The Lodge is situated in the lush northern suburbs of Jo'burg and offers you the comforts of home. Within walking distance you will find the shopping and entertainment districts of Rosebank and Hyde Park. Do your banking, go to the movies, treat yourself to a meal at one of the 40 restaurants, or go to a club.

Experience the Great African Curio Market and flea market or stroll to the Zoo get an intro to wildlife, or the Zoo Lake for a romantic row in a boat with your better half.

You may prefer to relax in our treed gardens or take a dip in the swimming pool. Weekend B-B-Q's are the order of the day.

Browse our travel centre where our trained staff can assist you with travel arrangements:- book a day tour, overland trip, accommodation, car hire or transport.

Location and Contact


• We are located in the lush Northern Suburbs, 7km from the city centre and one of the safest suburbs in Jo'burg. The bus and train stations are only ten minutes away by car for those wishing to travel on. Jan Smuts Avenue is the main transport route running north-south through Jo'burg with buses that stop on our doorstep. You can make use of our in-house transport or take a taxi to many of the nearby attractions.
• Africa's Zoo Lodge is located in Parktown North, in the Rosebank area. We are within walking distance to shops, banks, restaurants, pubs, cinemas, clubs etc.
• From Cape Town:- Follow the N1 to and then onto the N12 in the direction Witbank and Johannesburg. Turn onto the M1 North. At the junction with the M2 head in the direction Sandton / Pretoria. Take the 3rd off ramp, Jan Smuts Avenue. Turn left at the 1st traffic light. Pass through 9 traffic lights. From the 9th traffic lights we are 400m further along on the left hand side No. 233A Jan Smuts Avenue.
• From Durban:- Follow the N3 to Johannesburg and turn onto the M2 West which runs south of the city which you will see on your right hand side. Turn onto the M1 North, direction Sandton / Pretoria. Take the 3rd off ramp, Jan Smuts Avenue. Turn left at the 1st traffic light. Pass through 9 traffic lights. From the 9th traffic lights we are 400m further along, on the left hand side No. 233A Jan Smuts Avenue.
• From Nelspruit:- Follow the N4 and onto the N12 direction Johannesburg. Follow the signs to Johannesburg centre onto the N3 and then onto the M2 East. Turn onto the M1 North, direction Sandton/Pretoria. Take the 3rd off ramp, Jan Smuts Avenue. Turn left at the 1st traffic light. Pass through 9 traffic lights. From the 9th traffic lights we are 400m further along, on the left hand side No. 233A Jan Smuts Avenue.
• From Pretoria:- Follow the N1 to Johannesburg and turn onto the M1 South. Take the Glenhove off ramp. Turn right at the traffic lights, pass over the highway and through 5 traffic lights. Turn right at the 6th into Jan Smuts Avenue. Pass through 3 traffic lights and we are 400m further along on the left hand side. No. 233A Jan Smuts Avenue.



Address: 233A Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers Johannesburg
Phone Number: +27 (0) 11 880 5108
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Digital Nomads

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller


Luggage Storage

Airport Pickup

City Tours

Lockers in Lobby



Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

BBQ Grill


Book Collection/Exchange

Cable TV

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking


Gym/Fitness Room

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Pool Table

Swimming Pool


Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Max. Age: 45

Min. Age without Parent: 18

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 07:00 - 22:00

Size: Small (less than 30 beds)


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