Coffee Shack Backpackers, Coffee Bay

238 Reviews
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Coffee Shack Backpackers Reviews

With unbelievably cheap surf lessons, organized daily activities, excellent dinners served up nightly, and a longstanding reputation for being a good place to party, Coffee Shack Backpackers is an excellent hostel. Its clean and well-maintained, and for those who want to sleep without the noise of partying, there are dorms and rooms across the river, well away from the bar. Free Wi-Fi is available but it's not reliable and is always slow. The staff at reception will help with onward bookings and transportation arrangements.

The Location

Coffee Shack is located at the end of a well signposted road in Coffee Bay with rooms spanning both sides of the rivermouth. A small shop selling basic foodstuffs is less than five minutes away on foot and a few restaurants are also within walking distance. A full-size supermarket is more than an hour away by car. Coffee Shack operates a shuttle from Mthata that coordinates with the Baz Bus, and for those driving, its easy to find off the main road to Coffee Bay. Minibuses link Coffee Bay to Lubanzi and other nearby villages, although routes are long and require many changes.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Some dorms are in rondavel huts while others are in block rooms next to reception. Rooms near reception and surrounding the main bar area are loud, as the party at Coffee Shack often goes well into the night. Across the river, accessible by a footpath or by car, are a few quieter rondavels with shared kitchen and bathrooms.

Beds in rondavel dorms have individual reading lights and electrical outlets. Rooms are cleaned daily and sheets are changed between guests. Rooms are locked either by key or a numerical combination.

The main bathroom block is divided by gender, with each having two showers and three toilets plus shared sink areas. Each shower has a dry area with hooks and a bench for towel or clothes and the shower windowsills provide space for toiletries while showering. Hairdryers are available in the womens restroom. Bathrooms are cleaned daily. Extra showers are located off the communal kitchen.

Common Spaces

A small indoor common area sits near reception and is often used by those trying to use the slow Wi-Fi. People are more often found in the bar or at any of the outdoor common spaces. Meals are served outside near the bar, where many long tables invite guests to mingle and make new friends. The bar itself tends to fill only at night as most people grab drinks at the bar then find a spot outdoors. A few hammocks swing in shady spots.

The communal kitchen is reasonably stocked with cutlery and dishes but gets crowded at peak meal times. Tea and coffee are available all day. The kitchen is cleaned each morning.

Information about tours, activities, hikes, and transportation as well as the evenings dinner offering and following days organized activity lines the corridor between reception and the communal kitchen.


Coffee Shack is a well-run hostel with a lively atmosphere. Staff provide a thorough explanation of the hostels facilities and offerings at the time of check-in and are always on hand to answer questions. The hostel can be quiet during the day when most guests are out surfing, hiking to Hole in the Wall, cliff-jumping, lazing on the beach, or otherwise exploring the area. At night, however, a good party takes over. A few friendly dogs reside on the property, and guests can make arrangements to bring their own.

M. Sullivan
reception and indoor common area communal kitchen the bar 1 of many common areas outdoor common area 4 of 6 beds in rondavel dorm main bathroom/shower block quiet rooms across the river

Affordable, nice accommodation

Lots of activities. Beautiful setting. Affordable accommodation.

Age 28 | south africa

I can't believe it has taken me this long to write how great a time I had there.

I was at coffee shack around two years ago and I still can't stop thinking about it, I miss Nomanlah making me a drink with her great big smile, I miss sundowners, I miss waking up to the sound of drums, I miss that feeling of being completely safe/care free and totally happy.

Gracie, Aussie gal with tattoo leg

Coffee shack was the best backpackers I stayed in South Africa. The staff were friendly and chilled, the situation was stunning, people met were great, the food was excellent (at a backpackers!) and cheap...and there is a free meal every sunday!

Lived the same old story came for two nights, stayed 4...met people there who had stayed two months.

Definitely recommended, would much rather stay in a place like this than almost any luxury hotel.

Almost overdosed on the Caffeine...

I stayed in Coffee Bay about three years ago and its the one place in South Africa which stands out in my memories the most!! The only regret I have is that I didn't run the gauntlet, the all-day drinking game, which would humble any hardened drinker!! Thanks to Dave for giving me a lift to East London where I stayed in his brother's hostel, you're a geezer and a half! I will definitely return one day, hopefully sooner.


Without sounding corny, it is a piece of heaven on earth! Not so many hostels offer a staff that at times are nicer and more fun than the guests. Hi to Dawn, Belinda, Topsi, Yoni, Numandla and of course Ncumisa... miss you!


Fantastic place, with fantastic people. Hi to Dave, Belinda, Gemma, and Genavive. I had the best time. I will go back see you soon.


The atmosphere is unbelievable in this small holding. Everybody's super friendly, it doesn't matter who you are or where you are from. I met lots of interesting people. The downside to this place: too little space. :) I definitely want another visit in the future, for longer.

Board Riders Underground

More reviews...

Coffee Shack Backpackers Reviews from the Web

Coffee shack was certainly a fabulous experience! The staff are all super friendly and we arrived on a Sunday when they were doing free dinner! It was delicious and everyone eats at a large communal area so its great to meet people there! The rooms had a weird smell, and everything felt damp, but apart from that we really enjoyed our time there and met some lovely people, big mix from families to solo travellers. Something for everyone :)


Lively hostel, with facilities for cooking and eating in. The main house seemed a bit crowded with the kitchen too but across the water, the rondavels this was really nice. The dorms were more spacious and the private rooms very good. Also the kitchen was better there. Walks and kayaking organised for you. All in all good value for money and a good atmosphere.


Came for 2 nights, stayed for 9 nights, that sums it up :) perfect wild coast hostel, even during covid full and vibrant, cheap meals, location right on the beach, cheap camping (you can rent a tent even), lively bar, locals+travellers parties, stable internet (no electricity after storms, be prepared), best surfing instructor James. Every 5th night for free, and free sunday dinner for everybody. Many activities, communal hikes and village walks. Awesome!


One of the most amazing backpackers I have stayed at. Met some like-minded people, great food and lovely staff! Feeling all the feels after only spending 3 days here. Highly recommended!


A must stay on your backpacking journey. The best social scene with lots of great locals and foreigners. Unreal meals for such a good price (dinners great way to meet people at big communal table). Private room with ensuite was so nice!! Even the dorms are great with amazing little cubbies outlets and lights for each bed. Yoga hikes and surf lessons available.


Great hostel lead by the amazing owner. Thanks!


Id have to give full marks. Cause I had a great time, met awesome people. Felt taken care of.

Highly recommended place to stay.


Enjoyed our stay to the max!! We were going to go to Sugarloaf backpackers but decided against them because of the bad rewards on trip advisor. We went with coffee shack and I am sooooo glad we did! Right on the beach. We stayed in a private room over looking the ocean. Their golden retriever rusty was a highlight. We constantly had a beach buddy. Really friendly owners and on Sundays it's free dinner! Really really cool touch!

I would recommend.


If you like it busy and party book in the main area. We stayed in the area at the other side of the bay (500 metres away), which I liked much more. It was very silent and it offered much more privacy. The add. charge was definitely worth it.


Staff were fantastic, very helpful and enthusiastic. Homemade meals were great, accommodation ideal, great shower facilities and more importantly - hairdryers!! I loved it here and definitely coming back one day.


nice hostel, great sea view, but lot's of importunate people around asking for cigarettes & drugs


Liked: I had the best time here. I was meant to stay 1 night, but ended up staying over a week. I made some awesome friends here. It was a good place to stay if you are travelling alone. All the activities run by the hostel were heaps of fun too. I'll be back for sure, even if it is just for some pappezelles pizza. Didn't like: nothing



Ideally situated on the beach in the heart of the Transkei. Coffee Shack offers accommodation in traditional huts.

Daily 4 x 4 ethno-active daytrips, abseiling, canoeing, hiking, free surf lessons and intimate Cultural interaction.

Value for money meals (heaps of fresh seafood), buzzing Babalaza Bar with free pool table, open campfire, and giant treetop hammock.

Location and Contact


• 20km South of Mthatha (N2) take the Coffee Bay turn off. This road is full of pot-holes and stray animals, so drive slowly and carefully. It is 80km and takes just over 1 hour to reach Coffee Bay. We recommend that you arrive during daylight. You will see signage for Coffee Shack once in Coffee Bay.
• Coffee Bay has a couple of small spaza stores where you can get basics. Coffee Shack offer all meals at very good rates.



Address: 1 Coffee Shack way, Transkei, Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Coffee Shack Backpackers is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Coffee Shack Backpackers Coffee Bay
Phone Number: +27 (0) 47-5752048
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller





Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Airport Pickup

City Tours

Luggage Storage

BBQ Grill


Book Collection/Exchange

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Evening Entertainment


Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Live Music/Performance

Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Pool Table

Genders: Females Only

Checkout: 11:00 (11 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8 AM - 9 PM (08:00-21:00)

Size: Medium (30-60 beds)


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