The Old Bridge Backpackers

The Review

The Old Bridge Backpackers is a decent hostel that is well located with a wonderful river view. The hostel offers a number of activities at some of the cheapest prices. Guests can book trips on mokoros (canoes), planes, or helicopters to get a good view of the nearby Okavango Delta. The place also has a restaurant on site as well as a lively bar. There is also wireless internet, although you must purchase vouchers to use it.

The Location

The Old Bridge Backpackers is located a few miles outside of the main center of the town of Maun. Unfortunately, the town of Maun is a very sprawling place that stretches for miles down a few roads with accommodations all along the side. This makes getting to the backpackers without a car a bit difficult -- a taxi would probably be the best option. Once at the backpackers, however, the place is set on a nice property overlooking one of the rivers that runs off the Okavango Delta.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are a variety of rooms from which to choose at Old Bridge. The dorm rooms are all housed in one large, thatched-roof building that overlooks the river. It is also possible to rent one of their tents, or pitch your own if you've got one. There is ample space for overlanders, and there are even some nice, large tents where you can stay that are located under a thatched roof, with their own bathroom, and a nice view of the river.

Common Spaces

There is one large main common space and it all focuses around the river. The bar area has plenty of seats underneath the large, thatched-roof building and it spills out into the yard with more seating closer to the water. There is also a swimming pool with a few chairs laying around. On the other side of the main building is a small community kitchen which tends to get dirty. It is cleaned daily, but it still manages to feel a touch grimy despite this.


The Old Bridge Backpackers definitely feels like a backpackers hostel, and has a great location overlooking the water. The prices are comparable to the other budget places in the area, and if the bar scene isn't your thing, it is easy enough to escape it and enjoy the river view.
by Richard Ballentine Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
The entrance is very informal, but the backpackers is at the end of a dirt road so it can't be missed!


Hippo Pools, Old Matlapaneng Bridge, Maun, Botswana
(+267) 6862406
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  Old Bridge Backpackers is located just outside Maun, within close distance to the Okavango Delta. This hostel is something of a ‘legend’ amongst the Southern Africa backpacker trail. As the hostel is located 10km outside of town, there isn’t much of a surrounding neighbourhood. However, the hostel has a wide array of facilities on the grounds, including a pool, bar, restaurant, billiards table, tv room, library and a relaxing area with hammocks. The hostel is in campground style, with areas for tents and then dorms and private rooms housed in larger permanent tents. The hostel grounds are very large, with a picturesque location overlooking a channel of the Okavango Delta. The Location The hostel is located 10km from the town of Maun itself, generally requiring a taxi. All taxi drivers in Maun know Old Bridge Backpackers, so you will have no issue reaching the hostel. When you reach the road, the streets are well-signed to indicate the turn off. Seeing as most travellers don’t come to Maun for the city itself, but rather for access to the Okavango Delta, Old Bridge Backpackers is perfectly situated. For those driving, there is a safe parking area. Rooms and Bathrooms The dorms have enough space for the number of people and have an element of privacy. It should be noted that this hostel isn’t for the faint hearted, the dorms are often visited by spiders, mice and frogs. Regardless, the dorm areas and bathrooms are kept clean, with daily cleanings. The bathrooms and showers are of an outdoor style, but with adequate privacy and daily cleanings. The shower areas are spacious, with enough room for hanging clothes and towels. It should be noted that there is often not enough bathrooms (only 4) for the amount of people here. Note that the wifi does not reach the dorms. Common Spaces The hostel’s common spaces are large and very relaxing. There is an open air bar and restaurant, surrounded by a TV room, billiards table and then an outdoor pool, tables and hammocks. All of this overlooks the river, making for a very atmospheric experience. These areas are big enough for all the guests and you can find Wi-Fi in the common areas. The communal kitchen was dirty for most of our stay, however most people just order food from the bar/restaurant. Given that this is the only real hostel in Maun, the common spaces are usually full of every type of budget traveler. Summary This is an average hostel, designed for those who enjoy relaxing and socialising and are willing to compromise on luxury. Without doubt, the best part of Old Bridge Backpackers is their own organised tour options to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. Thanks to this hostel, these areas are accessible to backpackers and made very affordable. Their overnight Okavango Delta camping trips are a unique way of experiencing the Okavango Delta and a highlight of any trip to Maun. When considering the lack of alternative options in Maun, this is cheap hostel is probably the best available in Maun.
Dorm rooms Kitchen Dorms Bathroom Outdoor area Entrance/TV Room/Bar Billiards Table Pool

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