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“Cheap, no charm, wouldn't recommend.”

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Backpackers Hostel & Campsite
Ranked #52 of 143 Speciality Lodging in Kampala
Reviewed 10 May 2014

I stayed here 4 nights in a single room (30,000 UGX per night) to attend university meetings during the day. The bed is OK, provided with a mosquito net. There is 1 light switch in the room but no socket to charge your electronics, this can only be done in the bar where you have to stay close and keep an eye. Wifi is free.
There is hot water in the shared showers, they are basic but acceptably clean.
Was woken up very early in the morning by loudly speaking staff. Also, the coming and going of other guests can be disturbing.
The place has changed a lot compared to 2 years ago when I stayed here while travelling through Uganda. It is darker, loud music blasting all day and night, you can't escape to have a quiet moment, except to your room. There are fewer monkeys outside (heard them but didn't see them). It seems like they are trying to put this place on the map as a night club, but hereby not paying attention to tired travellers who want to rest, have a beer, talk (not shout over the loud music!), read, plan their trip,...
I would only recommend this place because it is really the cheapest option that I know of.
However, you pay extras: breakfast is not included, you pay 1,000UGX for a towel (not available at night),...
I hope to find a better address to stay on a budget for my next trip to Kampala.

Room Tip: There is 1 single room with a bigger bed: gorilla. If available, go for this one.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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Thank An D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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35 - 41 of 96 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2014

We stayed here for one night to have a night out in Kampala.
The accommodation was adequate but pretty basic. About 14 beds in a dorm, which come with mosquito nets.
The food was very slow-an hour for scrambled eggs on toast!
It's also a bit out of town but there's not many cheap options in Kampala

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Sophie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

The location was convenient in that it was an easy walk to the old city center, the bus park and the Owino Market. The staff was friendly and helpful. BUT the owner seems to be trying to add a nightclub to the hostel and there was loud music playing from late in the afternoon with no quiet place to go to simply for conversation. And some of the money going to create a club should be spent on redoing the main bathrooms which are barely functional.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2014

Arrived here at 3 AM after a 21 hour bus ride from Arusha. Thankfully we knew they had staff 24 hours and the check in only took about 45 minutes. We got a double room with no bath and our friend got a single room; but it was almost a double as the employee opened a room to a sleeping guest - well a once sleeping guest.

So we got our room and it was sparse and dirty. After about 3.5 hours of "sleep" we were ready to shower since we felt dirtier from "sleeping" in the bed. No water in the shared bath and the sink set up is virtually impossible to use for simply washing your hands. So we decided to leave and tried to get some breakfast on the way out. After being told they were "out of" or "it will take a long time to make...." we aborted any attempts at eating.

Next we tried to use the advertised free wifi, which was not free. So we finally left.

We've stayed at many cheaper places in Africa with much nicer accommodations, there is no value here for your money b/c at $25 USD for a double you are getting a $8 room. Add the fact that just about every staff member was unhelpful or did not acknowledge your existence (except the lady that checked us out) this place gets the title of the worst place I have stayed at this far in over 10 years and 20 countries.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else..
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Dnorthup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

Rooms not great and expensive - aponye hotel is better value if you want a hotel, and red chili much better for a backpackers vibe.
Ar this hostel the only area to sit and relax in is a dark clubby area where blaring house music is played until 4 even if no one is there, and was put on again at 9 in the morning even though I was the only person in there and I was just eating breakfast! This place is really trying too hard to be a cool backpackers hang out but have just got it wrong.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank Iny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013 via mobile

I would give two stars, but the staff as nice, so I'm giving them an extra star. The rooms need remodeling, and the bathrooms are gross. They charge for wifi, and it's way outside the main city area. Also, the owner seemed mean to his staff. The place feels safe though, so that's good :-)

Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
Thank AaronLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Im an expat living in Kampala for two years, so I have visited a lot of the locations in the city but I also stayed at backpackers as a traveller when I first came to Uganda.

For a start, there really are only two options considered immediately to travellers coming to Kampala, which is this Backpackers and also Red Chili. Right now I can tell anyone considering the two that Backpackers is your best bet, mainly because its location is much, much better.

The vast amount of travellers coming into Uganda will come from Nairobi on the buses. Now, these do stop in places that would be handy for Red Chili, but if you are not a resident of the city then you will not really want to get off a bus in random locations, so following the buses to their termination points will lead you closer to Backpackers which is just that little bit easier. It is closer to the 'old' centre of town, the huge Owino market and bonkers bus park are within walking distance. These are probably the most fun places for tourists to visit and are a long taxi ride from Red chili, as are the central bars and expat type pubs.

Another thing to consider, is that backpackers is also on the main road out of the city and so its a much better place to position yourself for onward travel (again being close to bus stations etc as well).

The actual hostel is ok. It could be a lot better and has a great view up on one of Kampala's hills, but it always looks a little bit like a building site and its never really busy enough to be called a mecca for meeting people. Red Chili is much better for this. The bar area is nice enough and there are bits and bobs of information and wifi available.

I stayed in the dorm, which was three bunks in a small room, just within range of the wifi. Pretty standard, though its a long walk to the toilets and showers and you need to go outside and walk around to the back, so if its raining you're going to get wet. The rest of the rooms look ok and they are currently converting a few of the larger ones into more luxurious rooms.

There isnt much to entertain, no pool table, pool, games or television. Its very much a come in and then leave sort of place, which is a shame as i feel they are sitting on a lot of potential and could easily have a fantastic backpackers. The plot is huge and there is definitely scope to improve, it just seems to have settled for what it is and could really do with some competition.

If you were looking for somewhere to get to easily, spend perhaps two days exploring Kampala then leaving, this is the perfect place. Anyone wanting to spend a longer time and meet more people might be better off going to Red Chili, which is probably a better place for this, it's just very far away from the city centre and not very easy to get to if you dont know where you are going.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kampala_Hoop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Backpackers Hostel & Campsite

Address: 3 km From the City Centre On the Natete/Wakiliga Rd, Kampala, Uganda
Region: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #52 of 143 Speciality Lodging in Kampala
Number of rooms: 23
Also Known As:
Backpackers Hostel & Campsite Hotel Kampala
Backpackers Hostel And Campsite

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