Backpackers Hostel



The Review

Backpackers Hostel is the perfect place for anyone on the backpackers circuit that is stopping in Kampala. The atmosphere is colorful and friendly, and many people go out at night to party. The noise doesn't stop others from going to bed early, as the rooms are far enough away from the commotion. Fast Wi-Fi is available, provided there is enough sun to power the solar panels, and for East Africa it is quite fast.

The Location

Set on a three-acre property, Backpackers Hostel is located about two kilometers outside of the city center. There are minibuses that pass by, boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) are frequent, and walking is always an option if you have the time. Within a ten-minute walk, you can find local street food (try the rolex), small grocery stores, and delicious local restaurants. The property is walled in and there is a security guard at the front.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Camping is available, allowing travelers to pitch their tents in their large yard. Dorm rooms are available, along with single rooms, and bandas. For those without their own room, lockers are available to secure their belongings. Mosquito nets are also provided, along with toilet paper in the bathrooms. There is hot water available, but it shuts off at night, so make sure you shower before 8 p.m. The bathrooms could use a little bit of maintenance, but overall they are in good condition. Another plus is that Backpackers Hostel is very accommodating to over landers, with plenty of places to park on their large property.

Common Spaces

The hostel has a few large common areas that encourage visitors to sit around and socialize. There are outside and inside areas with long tables, booths, bar stools, couches, and a variety of other ways to lounge around and chat with new friends. A bar is available serving beer and water at a reasonable price, and they also serve pretty good food for a fair price. The place is large enough that if you want privacy, it's easy enough to wander off and find a spot of your own.


Backpackers Hostel is a welcome relief from the majority of the guesthouses we've visited in Africa. Not that the others were bad, rather that they didn't have the community that Backpackers Hostel provides. This is a place where many people return time and time again, and for good reason.
by Richard Ballentine Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


Nateete Road, Lungujja, Kampala, Uganda
+256 (0) 772430587 or +256 (0) 41274767
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Comfortable, friendly, beautiful budget hostel.
I spent two months at Backpackers in early 2012 and had an excellent experience. I especially liked the super friendly staff! The grounds are stunning, food was very good -- try the Avacado Kirkpatrick Salad for around $1.50! -- good location outside of city center but with easy access to transportation. All in all a wonderful place to stay on a budget in Kampala.
Backpackers Hostel is a clean, well-run spot to spend your nights in Kampala. It is one of the few lodgings in the country that replicates the youth hostel model typical to Europe or America -- a fresh and informal accommodation at a price cheaper than a hotel. Some particularities proper to a developing country that surface here and there will make this stay a bit different from what you're accustomed in a standard youth hostel. Among other details, the high walls delimiting the property, the armed guards at the gates of the compound, the quiet absence of Africans in the clientele are a reminder that in this region of the world, accommodations targeting backpackers don't offer the most unostentatious beds in town as is often thought of youth hostels. Regardless, if you are looking for a friendly spot from where to meet fellow Western travelers, you will find Backpackers to be a good asset from which to launch short trips in and out of Kampala. Backpackers Hostel is twenty minutes' walk from central city, although a bit far from Kololo district, where Kampala's celebrated nightlife revolves. It offers comfortable dorms equipped with mosquito nets, a must in Uganda to avoid malaria. Dormitories are distributed in small cottages dispersed in the lush gardens (home to a few monkeys) and in the main construction. Lockers are available by the reception desk. The lively bistro bar in the main building is a nice hang out, and serves more than decent western food – from crepes to hamburgers. Indian dishes are also prominent on the menu, attesting the influence this culture has perpetuated in Uganda since the English colonization. They are surprisingly well prepared, as is the case throughout the country. Alternatively, an open-air kitchen in a large hut offers the necessary space and appliances for basic cooking, but is not equipped with electricity. Flushing toilets and Turk toilets (used mainly due to frequent water shortages in the city) are accessible and kept clean. Showers have hot water, although early birds will get more of this. Finally, broadband internet is available for a small fee. To get to this hostel, take a ten-minute shared mini-bus ride going to Natete from one of the downtown taxi parks, or for a few more schillings hire a private taxi or hop on a motorcycle boda-boda. Taking a private hire taxi is more advisable if you arrive a night.
Sebastien Malo

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