Hostels in South Africa Hostels in South Africa

You are looking for hostels in South Africa? Good news, you have come to the right place.

On this page we list every single city with hostels and other budget accommodations. helps you to find your South Africa hostel and compare its prices on the major booking sites such as Hostelworld, Hostelsclub and So you can sleep on a budget and save money while backpacking South Africa.

All Cities in South Africa

We list every single hostel in South Africa and the world. In total, we have 102 cities in South Africa for you. Please note that not all cities actually have a hostel to stay in. Below you can filter for cities with hostels and with no hostels-type accommodation, but guesthouses and budget hotels. This will help your planning.

All South Africa hostels on a map

Alright, you are more the visual type? Planning your trip with a map is always handy.

Therefore, this map shows you all cities with hostels in South Africa. It will help you to plan your trip. Just zoom in the map and click your destination for more details. Just so you know: If we do not have a hostel in a city, it is likely that there is no hostel in that city.

Our handwritten guide on Backpacking South Africa

South Africa is a large country located on the bottom tip of the African continent which offers a wide variety of sites and activities for tourists. Tourism has always been a major industry in the country and as a result has a thriving hostel scene. There are several large cities in the country such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, and Bloemfontein to name but a few. All of these cities have numerous hostels which offer both private and dorm style accommodation at a reasonable price. In fact, the cost of living in general is much lower in South Africa than North American and most European countries. Therefore, eating and drinking out in “fancy” restaurants is very much affordable.

Safari tours are probably the most popular and iconic activities among tourists in South Africa. The country has a large number of national parks to chose from. The largest and most popular of these is Kruger National Park, located in the north east of the country. All of the “Big Five” animals can be seen here roaming around in their natural habitat as well as hundreds of other species of animal unique to Sub Saharan Africa. Tour companies offer daily sightseeing trips with various packages available. There are several hostels and backpacker lodges available in the towns around Kruger Park which offer both private and dorm style accommodation at very reasonable rates.

Cape Town is another common place to visit in South Africa. Located in the South Western corner of South Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, this picturesque city is lined with white sandy beaches and is overlooked by the famous Table mountain. The plateau of this beautiful mountain can be reached by cable car and offers stunning views of the entire region. The Western Cape region is particularly famous for its wines and there are several companies which offer wine tasting tours to some of the many vineyards in the area. There are several hostels located in Cape Town which offer comfortable and modern accommodation at reasonable prices.

South Africa has two main seasons - summer (October to March) and winter (April to September). Nevertheless the weather is normally warm all year around. Consequently, outdoor sports and activities are popular among tourists in South Africa. Water sports such as windsurfing, surfing, scuba diving and jet skiing are available along coastal cities and towns such as Cape Town and Durban. For the more adventurous backpackers there is also skydiving, bungee jumping, white water rafting, and rock climbing available in various locations across the country.

While South Africa is an amazing holiday destination which offers fantastic opportunities for backpackers and tourists it must be noted that it also has a very high crime rate. The gap between rich and poor is very obvious in the country and as result there are areas of cities which are not safe for tourists. People travelling to the country are recommended to stay in the tourist areas and arrange guided tours as much as possible.

expert for South Africa hostels

Handwritten by local expert for South Africa hostels Shannon Neuber

Travel Tips for South Africa - from the Community

Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking South Africa. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of South Africa. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!

FAQ on Hostels in South Africa

There is a lot of travel planning to do. So let us help you once again by putting together the frequently asked questions:

Finding Hostels and Prices

What hostel booking sites are best to use?

There is several hostel booking sites, such as, and While every platform has its pros and cons, there is a universal truth you as a traveler should be aware of: Not a single booking site can always offer the best prices.

This is where comes in. You can compare all major booking portals with one click.

For you as a traveler, is the best booking site to actually save money.

How much are hostels in South Africa?

Prices always vary, depending on various factors. Weekends tend to be more expensive, same goes for special holidays. Please also take into account local vaction time.

You can search for exacty hostel prices in South Africa here on Pick your destination and pick a date. The system will track down the prices to give an idea of what budget and prices you can expect.

When to book hostels?

If you want to stay at the best hostels, it is a good idea to have your hostel booked around 1 month before you travel. For the regular hostels, booking one week before should be okay. Yet again, this always depends.

We dedicated a full article to the topic of when to book hostels.


Safety and Packing

Are hostels in South Africa safe?

Generally speaking, hostels are as safe as you make them. We highly recommend always to bring your own padlock, using the lockers and taking care of your belongings. Make sure you pick a safe hostel, offering lockers and a safe location. Please always pay attention to the reviews; they can give you a great insight on what to expect and safety tips.

What to pack when staying in hostels?

There is a few basics you should always pack when staying in hostels.

  1. Padlock
  2. Earplugs
  3. Sleeping Mask
  4. Quick Dry Travel Towel
  5. Head Lamp

There is more actually. We wrote a complete guide with more details. Read our full hostel packing list.

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