The Spot Backpackers



The Review

The Spot Backpackers is one of a number of small, cozy backpacker hostels on South Africa's South Coast, the stretch of coastline between Durban and Port Shepstone. The Spot is nearest to Port Shepstone.

The Location

Around one hundred twenty kilometers southeast of Durban and eight kilometers northeast of Port Shepstone, on a long, crescent beach of some seven kilometers, The Spot Backpackers is located in the Shepstone suburb of Umtentweni and is a favorite among the surfing fraternity. It sits just off the R102 coastal road that runs parallel, and very close to the N2 highway. The railway, which passes through Umtentweni, is no longer in use for passenger traffic, unfortunately. The Spot Backpackers sits right on the beach -- close enough to hear the crashing waves as you drift off at night.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The Spot has two dorms, two double rooms, and an en suite double cabin. The blue and red dorms each have six beds and are spacious. Choose your bed carefully, as the mattresses are of varying quality, from thin, saggy foam ones to thick, new, firm ones. The bunk themselves are sturdy wooden constructions, but have no ladder to the top bunk. The top bunks are therefore quite low and leave very little headroom for the lower bunks. There is plenty of floor space but no lockers or storage space for luggage. The doubles in the main house are clean and comfortable, sharing ablutions; there is one wooden chalet in the large garden, which is en suite. The bathrooms are clean, but there are no hooks for your clothes while showering.

Common Spaces

Accessed via the back garden, you enter the property through the bar, which is also the reception. This snug room also has a pool table and also converts to table tennis, and the little TV and sitting room is next door with two comfy couches and all the satellite channels available. The free Wi-Fi is accessible only around the reception and bar area, but the signal is pretty strong. The large garden has a big firepit for the really cold winter nights and there is a gate that leads directly down to the beach just a few meters away. Outside the dorm building, there is also a sitting area on the landing with a couple of rather old, tatty cushioned chairs. The guests' kitchen has a kettle, toaster, microwave, four-hob electric cooker, and two fridges for self-caterers, and there is free tea and coffee all day, but no free breakfast here. No food is served here, but there are a couple of restaurants close by.


The Spot Backpackers is a cozy little place that gives easy access both for those with wheels and for those using public transport, to both Durban and Port Shepstone. There's quite a lot of info on things to do around the South Coast here, and The Spot gives access to places like the Oribi Gorge, Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve, Aliwal Shoals, and Mbumbazi Nature Reserve, if you have your own transport. The crashing waves of Umtentweni beach will entice the surfers and Aliwal Shoals is just a short drive away for divers, so this is a handy base.
by Londonroad Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Front Gate
Bar, Reception and Table Tennis Pool/Table
Back of House
Back Garden
TV/Sitting Room
Double Room
Double En Suite Cabin
Dorm Landing


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "The Spot Backpackers" at 23 Ambleside Road.)


23 Ambleside Road, Umtentweni, Port Shepstone, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
-30.717595, 30.474773 (accuracy not guaranteed)
+27 (039) 695 1318
+27 (039) 695 0439
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How is The Spot Backpackers rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
Not listed on Hostelworld.
(10 ratings)
Not listed on HostelsClub.
77% Guest Reviews

  The Spot Backpackers is a small hostel located a little over an hour's drive from Durban, and just outside of Port Shepstone. The hostel has a very homey feel to it, since it seems to be an old home that was transformed into a hostel. The place isn't too big, but it does have a view of the Indian Ocean, and a wonderful breeze that rolls over the top of the waves. The place can accommodate backpackers, overlanders, campers, and has private rooms as well. There is a huge parking lot just outside the hostel's gate, but once inside the gate parking can be a bit of an issue. Another advantage of The Spot Backpackers is that it is on the baz bus circuit, so it is easy to access. The Location The backpackers is located in a small town just outside of Port Shepstone with not a lot going on. There is a grocery store located nearby, and since the hostel doesn't serve any food it is easy enough to stock up on food and provisions to cook your own food in the hostel's kitchen. Rooms and Bathrooms The rooms at the hostel are quite small and simple, but with an ocean view, who wants to spend time inside a room anyway? There are a couple bathrooms with showers, although the bathroom that is off the laundry room is a bit messy and cluttered. For those with their own tent, there is a decent-sized yard with grass for people that want to pitch their own shelter. Common Spaces The common spaces at the hostel are ample, offering guests the opportunity to sit in the living room, outside by the bar/ping-pong table, out in the yard around some picnic tables (some covered for rain), and even by the fence with a view of the ocean. The hostel also has a few outdoor fire pits with extra chairs for when it gets chilly at night. The kitchen is a decent size, but once one or two groups start cooking it will get a bit crowded. On the bright side the hostel has free Wi-Fi! Summary For those who are passing through, The Spot Backpackers is a good place to spend the night before waking up and hitting the road again. It's got a good view of the beach, and easy access for swimming, but unless you happen to like the group of travelers that are staying at the hostel at any given moment, there is not a whole lot to do in the surrounding area.
Richard Ballentine
The Spot Backpackers hostel has its own private access to the beach and offers free surf boards and boats for the river a five minute walk along the beach. There is not much in Umtentweni, but the sea and river activities, closeness to Oribi Gorge and being right on the beach make this a great Spot! This hostel is directly off the beach and is reached by a quiet back road. It is a Baz Bus stop and has off road parking behind a padlocked gate, but the nearest bus and train station is a few miles away in Port Shepstone. There is a restaurant / bar at the bottom of the road, approximately a five minute walk away, but little else. A walk to the Spar will take around half an hour in each direction. However, its isolation makes it a good beach hideaway, with its back garden overlooking the sea and with a gate giving direct access to the beach. There is a dorm in the main building next to the kitchen which can be noisy as it is used as access and has a window opening to the bar and there is an ensuite off this room. This is where the book exchange is. Outside in a separate block are two more newer dorms, each with three bunks, and the room leads off its own shower area - a small room with a sink and with a toilet and shower cubicle. The bedroom is basic but large and functional, and is generally clean apart from the sand which may come in with the guest. Outside is a covered bar and pool table area attached to the main building. Inside is a small lounge with TV and video selection and a computer with internet access. Off here is a good sized kitchen with equipment and some storage space. The hostel can get busy at weekends with a good party feel going, and is more quiet in the week. The garden is large and is where tents can be put up. There is a bonfire area and a large table with benches. There is also another picnic table at the bottom of the garden, some hammocks, and a bench overlooking the sea. This hostel is a good beach getaway, but is not as luxurious as some beach hostels are. It is more geared for surfers or as a base for visiting the Gorge, although own transport is required as the hostel does not offer a travel centre. Without transport, it could get boring for those who are not into doing only beach activities.
Helen Resuggan
  There might be backpackers that should get more stars for the kitchen equipment and the overall design -- but the incredibly beautiful location and especially everybody who is working there (dogs included) makes your stay there unforgettable. You come as a guest and you leave as a friend. I haven't seen any better place in SA!
Nils Langefeld
2006-12-07 rock!!! The best holiday spot ever! good vibe!! One doesnt feel like a tourist... they make you feel right at home!! good new years party! and good company! All in all a 15 out of 10!!! Just the place to go for a relaxing holiday! Recommended to all eople to try out!
  This place is amazing!!! It's located right on the beach with the most friendly helpful and accommodating staff ever! Pool table, surfboards to borrow and a barbecue (Brai) area, too! While staying there (in the cabin that overlooks the beach) we often woke up to see humpback whales out in the sea jumping on their backs! It's a hot look! I would DEFINITELY come and stay there again and recommend if you're in the area that you stay here!!!
Bradley Lucas
  This is the kind of hostel in which you inevitably stay longer than you orginally planned. Cool atmosphere, cool location, cool spot!

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