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.

“Unclean, un-female friendly, and unprofessional”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers
Reviewed 10 October 2011

While the location is pretty nice for Johannesburg (within walking distance of the mall, Gautrain station, and bus), the backpackers itself is pretty dismal. There was no heat and the windows didn't close all the way, leading to nights sleeping under 5 duvets and still freezing! The rooms and bathrooms weren't filthy, but I wouldn't call them clean either. Kitchen was a mess, and I always felt very nervous using the crockery and utensils. The owner was constantly drunk and screaming, acting like a disgusting idiot. I was incredibly turned off the my number of long-term residents, mostly local men working in construction and the like, that were living in the hostel. As a young female travelling alone, I was made to feel very uncomfortable and occasionally feared for my safety

Room Tip: Spurge on the double rooms. It is the same price as a lot of dorms accommodation in CPT.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank knrose29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (22)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

14 - 20 of 22 reviews

Reviewed 13 February 2010

I've booked and paid a deposit with my credit card in order to stay at Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers in June 2010. That was months ago now. However, it was a mistake and I lost the deposit. That's all fine and part of the conditions.

But so is this: "In the event of a no show, your card will be charged for the first nights accommodation total"

Therefore I have on six separate occasions now, no less, (I know, d'oh...six times? Do you think they are going to reply the fith or sixth time? ;) cancelled the booking and asked for a confirmation. Which I haven't received. In fact they haven't even bothered to reply. Event though I've emailed both them and even their webmaster.

I know, if they do charge for the first day, I can complain to VISA and get the money back. But still, it'll be a hassle.

So I guess, judging from my experience, I would say be sure you want to stay there before you book.

Stayed: February 2010, travelled with friends
2  Thank Finndk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zoo L, Owner at Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2013

Well Finndk, Do you know what rip off means. Please detail exactly what was ripped off.( IN YOUR CASE NOTHING.) I find your review the kind of knee jerk reaction that a little spoilt child will make when he does not get his way.

Firstly, you never booked directly with the lodge but with Hostelworld. You paid Hostelworld a deposit which is their 10% commission for facilitating the booking. You have neither paid Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers nor directly made the booking with the lodge. You cancelled with Hostelworld and they sent you a cancellation notice confirming the cancellation of your booking. End of story

But, you are obviously very insecure and very tight fisted because you then read a condition from Hostelworld: - "In the event of a no show, your card will be charged for the first nights accommodation total"
You were sent a mail detailing that you cancelled the booking with hostelworld, but still kept sending e-mails.

Your review is totally worthless and just the ramblings of a spoilt little child throwing a tantrum for the following reasons.

1) You have never stayed or even been to at Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers. (How can you comment on location, Service, Value, Cleanliness, Sleep quality or our rooms???)

2) You have never seen the lodge inside or out or our gardens. (How can you comment on Swimming Pool or our fitness centre?)

You would have had to give us the lowest rating for all the above mentioned categories to get a review total that you gave the lodge.

You are nothing but a vindictive spoilt brat. I will be getting in contact with your mother to wash your mouth out and give you a good spanking.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2009

Thank you Tim Derek and Mike for a wonderful stay at your Lodge. The Kruger walking Safari and the Delta and Vic Falls where awesome. Friday night Braai (BBQ) where the best. I found Zoo Lodge to be very centrally located with taxis and bus routes avaiable on the road outside the lodge. Thanks again and keep it up.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mr_D_Wimbeldon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2008

Unfortunately we incurred constant problems staying at this hostel. To summarise the following happened

- We constantly waiting for the manager to give us details off our tour after arranging a time to meet him but he failed to turn up. On one instance after 1.15 hour of waiting we went to find him and found him getting drunk in the bar

- We arranged for the hostel to book us a safari tour weeks prior to our arrival. After being picked up by our tour guide we realised we were on a different tour than requested. We couldn't understand how this happened as we booked the tour weeks in advance, paid a deposit and even had to change our flights to accommodate the availability on the tour. Our tour guide informed us that we had been booked on the tour at 9pm the night before departure. We were really angry, as no one had told us of the change and this wasn't the tour we wanted to do. The hostel informed us after we returned back from the tour that it was the tour operator fault not theirs but what upset was that someone should of told us of the change as they knew it was a different tour when they told us our pick up time. We also couldn't understand why we lost our places when we had paid a 50% deposit to our hostel 2 weeks prior to our arrival.

- We booked a taxi to the airport on our last day with the hostel. The hostel failed to book a taxi so we were left waiting for 40 mins while they tried to sort out alternative transport.

-We found it very difficult to get information about the area or find the staff to even let us out of the building as there was no way of getting their attention e.g a bell.

- We found our room quite basic but the pool and garden area were nice

These issues made our stay quite stressful, although we really enjoyed our tour our first day was spoilt trying to sort out what was going on.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank CheeseNoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2007

After staying at Zoo Lodge in November 2005 and returning this year in March, the improvements at this backpacker are awesome!

Inside its tidy and clean and there is new bed linen in all the rooms including the dorms. The new manager is friendly, enthusiaistic and helpful and there's also a new stove, a new washing machine, a new microwave, satelitte TV has been installed and the new gym is just brilliant!

Security has also been upgraded and even though this was not a poblem before, one feels safe and one's belongings are secure.

I was also reminded how central and convenient Zoo Lodge is. Its close to all the major routes and highways and getting around is quick and easy. Public transport and mini bus taxis pass the lodge on a regular basis and there is also sufficient parking on the property if you're driving.

The suburb of Rosebank is a 10 minute walk and it offers everything you may need - inexpensive restuarants, cinemas, cafe's, pubs, a major supermaket, several banks, pharmacies and travel agents. An underground station is currently being built, so getting to and from the airport will also be a breeze in the near future.

Dont miss the Fiday night braai (barbeque) either! Ostrich, prawns, chicken, steak, boerewors, garlic bread, fresh salads and its free!

I look forward to staying at Zoo Lodge again and would recommend it to anyone visiting or passing through Johannesburg.

    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank robthesafa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2007

We stayed at Zoo Lodge in March 2007 and were impressed by the level of service. The facilities are a bit basic, but the private rooms are very nice. The garden is exceptional. It being a small hostel, personal attention is guaranteed. The staff were very friendly and full of knowledge. I would stay here any time again.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank SAtraveller76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2014
Google Translation

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank JOSIE7474
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Johannesburg hotels
4.1 mi away
Genesis All-Suite Hotel
Genesis All-Suite Hotel
#11 of 66 in Johannesburg
347 reviews
2.1 mi away
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg
4.8 mi away
The Reef Hotel
The Reef Hotel
#25 of 66 in Johannesburg
445 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.8 mi away
AirportInn & Suites Isando
AirportInn & Suites Isando
#35 of 66 in Johannesburg
21 reviews
2.3 mi away
The Residence Boutique Hotel
The Residence Boutique Hotel
#1 of 66 in Johannesburg
783 reviews
16.1 mi away
Valverde Country Hotel
Valverde Country Hotel
#27 of 66 in Johannesburg
201 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Africa's Zoo Lodge Backpackers

Address: 233a Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North | Parktown North, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 123 Speciality Lodging in Johannesburg
Price Range: £9 - £30 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Africa’s Zoo Lodge Backpackers is situated close to Rosebank and Sandton shopping malls as well as multiple public transport facilities, including the Gautrain which runs to and fro, Rosebank, Sandton, Pretoria and O R Tambo international airport. The Lodge has a warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere. It is our goal to give you a home away from home experience. We have a vast selection of facilities available to make your experience enjoyable, comfortable and unforgetable. We are proud to announce that we recently completed an entire renovation of the Lodge as well as the addition of our poolside entertainment, restaurant, bar and function/conference area. We cater to the budget traveller as well as the more discerning traveller looking for private luxury bathroom en suite accommodation. Our friendly staff aims to make your stay at Africa’s Zoo Lodge as relaxing and homely as possible – they are always ready to go the extra mile for you. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Africa`s Zoo Lodge Backpackers & Guesthouse Hotel Johannesburg
Africa`s Zoo Lodge Backpackers And Guesthouse

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