Manyatta Backpackers is a small place with a shabby feel to it. The place has a kitchen that is available for use, but if you're feeling lazy, they can also serve you food for a cheap price. The hostel offers internet for those that want to lounge around and connect with home. The hostel is also accommodating to people with their own camping equipment, but the yard is a bit messy and without any nice fluffy patches of grass, so you might have a hard time finding a good place to pitch a tent.
The hostel's proximity to Nairobi is its saving grace, as it's just the right distance from the city center to allow for some quiet in an otherwise busy and noisy city. Walking to the city center takes about thirty minutes and for the majority of the walk there are sidewalks the entire way. The hostel is also located between the Ministry of Defense as well as the State House, so in terms of safety, the location is top notch. Fruit can be bought right in front of the hostel, and restaurants can be found within a ten- to fifteen-minute walk, but once the sun goes down, we would hesitate to walk anywhere at night.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms are very simple, with beds and little else. The rooms are small, since the hostel itself is quite small, and the dorm room is particularly cramped. The private rooms offer a bit more space, but the room is still cramped if you're sharing it with anyone. As for the bathrooms, they aren't dirty, but they aren't exactly clean either -- they have more of an unfinished feel to them. The showers have hot water -- not from a water tank, but from the instant heaters that are attached to the shower head.
The common spaces are fairly intimate, with an indoor living room that can seat ten to fifteen people and an outdoor dining area that is about the same. The good thing about the outdoor seating area is that there is a fire pit right in the middle, great for chatting with new friends on those chilly Nairobi evenings.
Overall, the place isn't that bad, but it's not that great either. For a backpacker hostel, the place is fairly small and it could use a bit of work to spruce it up and give it more of a lively feel. The advantage the hostel has over its competitors is that it is slightly cheaper, with a closer walk to the city center.
by Richard Ballentine
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
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