We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Amazing time-thanks Lebo and Friends” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lebo's Soweto Backpackers

Lowest prices for {0} - {1}
Enter dates for lowest prices
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
We check up to 200+ sites for the lowest hotel prices
Lebo's Soweto Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing time-thanks Lebo and Friends”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2012

First time ever to Soweto and was pleasantly surprised. Lebo took me around in a Tuk Tuk, I could have listened to him for hours. It was great to see how he interacted with everyone in Soweto. Everyone at backpackers was super friendly and the place was really clean. I would go back again. Highly recommend the both the tour and the hostel.Thanks Lebo and friends.

Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank gmarlenes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

183 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    129
    41
    6
    3
    4
See reviews for
19
52
53
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

If you are going to Soweto, look no further than Soweto Backpacker's. It is just right and extremely well-run. Lebo, the owner and mastermind behind the Soweto Bicycle Tour, has the perfect mix of character, intelligence and tenacity. After the bicycle tour, my husband and I stayed up half the night talking. We experienced such a range of emotions. It was amazing. The hostel itself was full of character - murals on the walls, an extremely cute baby (Lebo's son with his Swedish wife) and puppy, a mix of guests, and a deep connection to the people living right nearby. The food was like eating at your parent's house. Just right. The rooms were clean and comfortable and left nothing to be desired. Staying at Lebo's is a true experience.

Room Tip: If you want a quieter room, they can accommodate that, just ask.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Gmercier311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

I had an amazing time at Lebo's - it was just what I was looking for. It was full of character, and everyone was super nice. They have kids that hang out there sometimes, and it was really fun to talk with them and learn about what they do at school and what they're interested in. They have wireless Internet for an extra charge, which was really handy for sending home some pictures from my phone. A few locals come hang out at their outdoor bar and play pool, so there's a lot of character there. They offer home-cooked meals at an extra charge, so I had a lovely fish dinner and full vegetarian cooked breakfast with vegetarian sausage. The half-day bike tour was really interesting, and the amazing guide was willing to walk the bikes uphill since I'm not used to biking at all. It seems like someone's always cleaning, so it's super clean. They have volunteers from abroad who volunteer in the area living there, so it's homey and social. I highly recommend it - it was more than a place to stay, it was an experience!

Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank MatiaNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2011

I stayed for 3 nights at Lebo's with some friends at the start of our trip to South Africa. We felt very safe and welcome in the local community and used the local supermarket and takeaway without any problems. We also took part in the bicycle tour which was both informative and thought provoking. This insight into South African culture from our knowledgable guides Thomas, Philly and their assistant Tommy was a great starting point for our trip. The 'Soweto handshake' was a great talking point with other South Africans we met on our journey. Thanks to Lebo and all of the team I would love to visit again and would definately recommend his place.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank thelaw288
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2011

Overall a very nice place to stay, with a only a few quirks. We are glad we stayed here, but would not do so again on return to Jozi. For us at least, it was a great one-time experience.

First, the location is very safe in Orlando West. The area about the hostel is okay to walk around day or night, no real problems. You can easily explore over to Vilakazi St on foot. I was only jeered at and called "whitey" a couple of times while making this trip, nothing serious. Soweto can occupy your attention for a few days, and Jozi central, Rosebank, Sandton, Melrose Arch, &tc are all accessible enough. (Do be sure to ride the new Gautrain to Pretoria also if your are travelling to Joburg!)

Second, the accommodations themselves at the regular hostel are very nice, as you are staying in the owner's house. We did spend one night in the "homestay" which, word of advise, you should avoid if possible. It is far away, and there is nothing to do there, although Lebo's grandma was a lovely host. They claim they will drive you back and forth no problems any time you would like, but then act as if it is a huge inconveniense to do so whenever you ask. This is understandable, (as it really is an inconveniense), but regrettable nonetheless. Which leads to...

Thirdly, make sure that you do rent and come in your own motorcar. Do not expect to rely on the hostel's driver. The costs are high, he will make you feel very uncomfortable (a very gruff personality), and any time you wish to go anywhere will decry it and bemoan about the trouble you are causing him. Apparently "traffic" begins at 9 or 10 am, and goes until 7 or 8 PM, so you shouldn't expect to go anywhere during this time. Ridiculous. (I did very much appreciate the music he always plays though. My one regret from this trip is not asking if I could rip a copy for my itunes library.)

Finally, costs for the accommodations are a good value, more expensive than better quality accommodation in Cape Town, but this is Joburg and a unique experience, so it is worth it. The meals and bar are well-priced and everything was lekker. The real attraction is of course the tours, those of Soweto are the bread and butter of the business here, and a must-see for any visitor. Skip the Jozi city tour, as we found it to be overpriced, rushed, and lacking in value. I cannot on the other hand underestimate the excellence of the Soweto tour. Do it!

The hosts, Maria and Lebo are both excellent at what they do, but there was some tension. Lebo is an excellent Soweto guide and very passionate about it. Maria, (and their adorable son), manages the hostel, which is quite a task. I did feel bad at night though that she often did so much work in the kitchen and around the house, while Lebo drank and smoked dagga in the backyard. Disappointing and I hope they can work it out.

So, overall, a good experience which would have been much improved if we had hired our own auto. We won't be going back to stay again, but would recommend it to friends, and will definitely suggest the Soweto tours to anyone going up to visit the Joburg area.

Room Tip: Don't do the homestay and you will have a great time.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nic_WesKap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaLebo, Manager at Lebo's Soweto Backpackers, responded to this review, 25 January 2012
Thank you for your review! We are happy you liked the area around our Backpackers and that you felt safe. However, we understand you did not like the Homestay as much which is unfortunate. I can see a few points that you have and that we need to work on, as a guest you need to know more what you can do in the area, however, it is as we advertise a Homestay hosted by Lebo's grandmother so the experience is much about learning more about life in Soweto, and experiencing being hosted by a granny who have many stories to share! :)

We are sorry for your experience of not having your own car. I don't think it was by purpose by anyone to make it feel like a burden for us to take you between our Backpackers and Homestay - that is a service we are committed to - but again, we are sorry if you did feel like that. Our shuttle compared to other transport companies is hugely discounted to meet our target market - budget travellers, as we have 1 driver, our shuttle also runs on a schedule which sometimes can make it difficult to get transport immediately if not booked in advance. But I would want to point out that we definately cater for guests without their own vehicle, plus that we advise on public transport which is used by many people here in Soweto.

We are happy that you enjoyed the Soweto tour, we try to offer our guests a very unique experience when visiting Soweto. We will note down your dissapointment on the city tour, so thank you for this feedback.

Too bad you wouldn't want to stay for a 2nd time even though you gave us a good overall review - I'm sure you would have liked our place even more and getting closer to the community and people here by visiting again, travelling is also about taking your time to get to know a place, life and culture.

Keep well and happy travel! :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ghent, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2011

We stayed 2 days at lebo's. The accomodation is great and everyone is very friendly. Breakfast and dinner are delicious. The bicycle tours are very relaxed and interesting and the guides are cool ! Wanted to stay a few days longer...

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank soetkin84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Italia
Level Contributor
82 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2011

We spent 1 night at Lebo's and got there from the airport by ourself by car. It was easy enough to find it (good directions provided in internet site). Our room was small but comfortable and clean. All rooms have shared bathroom, also clean. Meals provided at addictional cost.
Even if you sleep elsewhere, don't miss the tours: we did the 3 hours walking tour. Our guide, Enki (I don't know if it's the right way to write it...) showed us around and explained many aspects of the history and situation of the township. He was well prepared, eager to answer to all our questions regarding South Africa, Johannesburg, Soweto and life under and after Apartheid. He also taught us some useful words.
At night we chatted with other guests and people from Soweto getting to know many intereting things about this wonderful country.
Staying at Lebo's will help you getting an insight of South Africa.
The only thing I am sorry for is... We only stayed there one night.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank penelope72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaLebo, Manager at Lebo's Soweto Backpackers, responded to this review, 8 December 2011
Hi!

We are very happy that you had a good time with us in Soweto! And what you experienced is exactly what we want to give travellers coming to this corner of the world, an insight in life, culture and history - we are glad you got this. We will make sure to pass on the good comments to your tour guide. Hopefully you can come back another time and stay longer than only 1 night :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Johannesburg hotels
7.9 mi away
Faircity Mapungubwe Hotel Apartments
10.1 mi away
The Residence Boutique Hotel
The Residence Boutique Hotel
#1 of 70 in Johannesburg
5.0 of 5 bubbles 684 reviews
8.4 mi away
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
9.5 mi away
Curiocity Backpackers
Curiocity Backpackers
#1 of 96 in Johannesburg
4.5 of 5 bubbles 193 reviews
7.2 mi away
The Birches Backpackers
The Birches Backpackers
#7 of 96 in Johannesburg
5.0 of 5 bubbles 29 reviews
6.5 mi away
HomeBase Melville
HomeBase Melville
#9 of 96 in Johannesburg
3.5 of 5 bubbles 85 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Lebo's Soweto Backpackers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Lebo's Soweto Backpackers

Property: Lebo's Soweto Backpackers
Address: 10823A Pooe Street | Orlando West, Johannesburg 1804, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 96 Speciality Lodging in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Lebo's Soweto Backpackers 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo and HostelWorld so you can book your Lebo's Soweto Backpackers reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Lebo`s Soweto Backpackers Hotel Johannesburg

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing