South Africa Backpacking and Budget Travel

South Africa is a favourite destination for backpackers from around the globe. This exciting country offers a wide range of attractions and adventures for the traveller, as well as an established network of backpackers lodges and hostels, budget tours and transport options for the backpacker or budget traveller.

Backpackers hostels and lodges are clean, well run and generally fun and often offer single and double rooms, as well as the traditional dormitory, with shared bathrooms. All of the backpackers lodges which appear on are registered, accredited establishments.

Over the last few years, so many hostels have opened that you can travel the length and breadth of the country staying only in backpackers hostels. The best way to travel between them is on a special bus, the Baz Bus, which provides a hop-on, hop-off, door to door service between hostels.

Search our directory of South Africa Tours for package tours and day trips by category. Adventure tours, budget tours, camping tours, hiking tours, self drive tours and student tours are categories recommended for the backpacker and/or budget traveller.

Popular backpackers lodgings

View Backpackers Lodges by Province

Western Cape

 Pictured: Hout Bay Backpackers in Hout Bay, Cape Town
Backpackers are well catered for in the vibrant 'Mother City', home to Table Mountain and a must for any traveller, with many hostels and backpackers lodges not just in the Cape Peninsula, but also in the surrounding regions of the Wineland...

Garden Route

 Pictured: Nothando Backpackers Hostel in Plettenberg Bay
The Garden Route is very popular with backpackers and student travellers due to its extraordinary array of outdoor activities, including the 216m Bloukrans Bungee Jump. Backpackers lodges and hostels have sprung up in the coastal towns of ...

Eastern Cape

 Pictured: Tube n Axe in Tsitsikamma
Port Elizabeth, South Africa's 'Friendly City', beckons backpackers with the promise of year-round holiday fun (it boasts more sunshine than any other coastal town in the country) and the Eastern Cape coastline is ideal for watersports from...

KwaZulu Natal

 Pictured: Monzi Safaris Backpackers in St Lucia
Throughout the year, holiday-makers flock to their favourite KwaZula Natal coastal haunts to cultivate a tan, ride the waves, eat, drink and generally have fun. Further north, KwaZulu Natal's game rich Zululand and Elephant Coast provide an...


 Pictured: The Pretoria Backpackers in Pretoria
Gauteng is the entertainment epicentre of South Africa and home to O.R. Tambo International Airport, the primary airport for international travel to or from South Africa, which makes Johannesburg the ideal starting point for backpackers tra...


 Pictured: Sabie Gypsy's Backpackers in Sabie
Mpumalanga, known as "Paradise Country" and home to the world renowned Kruger National Park, is a must-see for backpackers. Hostels and backpackers lodges abound in the quaint towns of the Panorama Route, with its scenic attractions - God's...


 Pictured: Elephant Walk in Phalaborwa
The Limpopo Province appeals to the adventurer (it is a land of legends, myths and ancient civilizations) and nature lover (it has an abundance of wildlife). It is also the gateway to the neighbouring countries of Mozambique, Botswana and ...

North West Province

 Pictured: Pilanesberg Tented Safari Camp in Pilanesberg
The Hartbeespoort Dam and the Sun City Resort are favourite weekend destinations for Johannesburg residents and also summon backpackers from around the world. Travellers are also drawn to the North West Province for its wildlife and cultura...

Free State

 Pictured: Mosamane Guest Farm in Rosendal
Any traveller who heard Nelson Mandela's famous words "The Free State landscape gladdens my heart", will surely want to include this rural province in their itinerary. Wide horizons, blue skies, mountains and golden farmlands are the backdr...

Northern Cape

 Pictured: Orange River Rafting Lodge in Vioolsdrift
The contrasting landscapes of the Northern Cape draw adventurers from around the globe. From trips on the Orange River to 4x4 trails in the dunes, backpackers are sure to find an activity to suit their interests and a hostel or camping site...

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Related Pages

Hiking in South Africa

South Africa boasts absolutely exquisite and picturesque terrains. Whilst modern advancements allow for such scenery to be viewed from the comfort of a 4x4, most prefer to explore this rugged beauty, on foot. Hiking in South Africa around the ...

Camping in South Africa

South Africa offers over 700 camping sites in popular holiday destinations - in or near nature reserves and wildlife parks, near some of South Africa's attractions and most famous landmarks, on the coast and on popular tourism routes ...

View all backpacking lodges by province, indicated with red markers on the map below.
Blue markers show some popular backpackers around the country.

Budget accommodation for backpackers in South Africa

South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.