Hostel Happy Hippo International Backpackers


View from inside Bar
Twin en-suite
Rooftop bar
One of many restuarants in the area
Spacious Communal areas
031Durban's Dialling code



The Review

If you need a safe and clean hostel in an old warehouse style near the beach and Ushaka Marine World, Hostel Happy Hippo International Backpackers is the place to be! Also handy is the nearby Baz Bus stop and staff who can organize day trips like shark diving for you.

The Location

Happy Hippo is at the very end of the Golden Mile at South Beach, the very popular beachfront (around five kilometers long) that stretches from South Beach to Suncoast Casino all the way north toward the soccer stadium. Happy Hippo is right next to the world famous Ushaka Marine World, which is a water theme park plus Sea World. The nice beaches and city life including restaurants are located around North Beach.

The closest bus stop is next to Ushaka Marine World. The buses run every few minutes and are very safe and cheap. At night time it is highly recommended to take a taxi to the hostel, because it can be a shady area when it is dark. At the reception you will be given a door code to enter at any time. If you come with Baz Bus, Happy Hippo is a very handy and good option to spend the night. (Free) parking might be difficult.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel is quite big and has a wide option from single rooms, double rooms to a maximum of six-bed, mixed dorms. The dorms are spacious enough. Unfortunately, no lockers or drawers for luggage. Rooms are named after tribes. The bathrooms are big, have several showers and toilets, and all are very clean.

Common Spaces

This hostel has huge common spaces. At the entry hall near the reception is a lot of space to hang out. On the first floor, where the rooms are, is a super spacious living room area. It is in an old warehouse style, but very colourful in African theme and clean with colourful walls. Many seats and tables are available to hang out and enjoy free and fast Wi-Fi. The best is the rooftop bar, with a good view over Durban, which can get busy in the evenings. There's also a cool pool table. It is a self-catering hostel, so there is no breakfast provided, but there is a fully and well-equipped kitchen with refrigerators.


It is spacious, safe, and clean hostel. Even though the hostel can host many guests, unfortunately it is not much of a social hostel. Many hang out, but mostly on their laptops. Only at the rooftop bar you might be able to make new friends. The staff are very helpful and can provide you with free city maps and show you the closest bus stations and supermarkets on the map. They can also arrange trips to go shark diving or to rural areas to see the traditional Zulu life. This is a good stop for travels on the popular Baz Bus touring the country.
by Julia Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
beds in dorm
female showers
common area
kitchen area
roof top bar with pool table


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Hostel Happy Hippo International Backpackers" at 222 Mahatma Ghandi Road.)


222 Mahatma Ghandi Road, Durban Central, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
-29.867684, 31.041904 (accuracy not guaranteed)
+27 (0) 31 368 7181
+27 (0)31 368 7196
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(226 ratings)
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84% Guest Reviews

Pretty cool place
Happy Hippo was pretty cool. We were approached by a local upon our arrival to Durban saying the area our hostel was at was not safe and the dodgy part of town ... It wasn't at all! The staff was friendly and the actual hostel was pretty spacious and cool! It was clean and close to a shopping center/water park/restaurants! I would definitely recommend this place!
Age 27, USA
A Dive
The owner is the most rude woman on the face of the earth, I would not recommend any of the hippo hostels to anybody, stay well clear.

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