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“Magic of the most relaxed kind!”

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Fairy Knowe Backpackers Lodge
Reviewed 22 April 2014

I stayed at Fairy Knowe Backpackers for three nights and loved it so much. Wonderful staff who are friendly and attentive. Felt comfortable and instantly at home as I arrived. Really good facilities. Clean and and comfortable. Beautiful set up in the trees with a lovely bonfire area and the most amazing bar. Low prices and lots of different seating options (bar stools, couches, tables, outside benches, pool table, etc) mean that there is always a 'vibe' in the evenings with people coming out of their rooms to mingle. Great music thanks to the excellent Hennie. Made some really amazing friends and I think this has a lot to do with the wonderful atmosphere that Digby, Charl and Hennie have created. The delicious breakfasts also deserve a mention - well priced and sure to keep you going well into the afternoon. Overall I couldn't have been happier with my stumbling on to this little spot of joy.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Kathleen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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112 - 118 of 184 reviews

Reviewed 17 February 2014

At first glance, the place is idyllic, set deep in the trees in a quiet and scenic location. Digby the host is affable and apears keen to ensure that everyone enjoys their stay. The bar area is an absolute gem, set in a boma style hut with big screen tv, good music and a varied though expensive selection of alcohol.

The lower rooms appear to be everything that the fans of this hostel claim them to be. However:

The accommodation in the top property, which is where most backpackers are confined, leaves much to be desired. Filthy bathrooms, mouldy shower curtains, all pervading smells of bad drains. Not great. The accommodation units themselves are creakingly badly maintained, stuffy, grubby and hopelessly overcrowded. Uncomfortable beds, tawdry pillows and no lockers. Quite frankly, way below the standards current in most other SA backpackers. In Feb 2014, price per head is 125 SAR. Way more than they are worth and completely outrageous when taken against what is offered elsewhere.

When asked for a fan to stir the turgid air of a full dorm, all that Digby could offer was advice to," open up the windows." Great! With mosquitoes at squadron strength, no fly-wire and an insecure rural location to deal with, it was good to know that our caring host had our welfare at heart.

The self catering kitchen would benefit from a good steam clean. The fridges are packed with expired food, mouldy cheese and milk which looks as though antibiotic cultures are being harvested. Apart from the lack of cleanliness, the whole place smells nasty and has an unloved atmosphere. With it's ratty carpets broke,n down and tired furniture and general air of decay, the only thing missing from the facility is Miss Haversham.

Back down at the bar, meals are wildly overpriced and not very substantial. 60 Rand for a dinner which may possibly satisfy a supermodel on a diet is a little cheeky.

All in all, a super location, huge potential but needing a giant rocket into the back pocket of the owner. It is not sufficient to trumpet a caring nda laid back welcome when the product is very distinctly below par.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank mr_metaxa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2014

My husband and I stayed at this totally wonderful place for five nights and it was hard to leave. Digby, the owner is a great guy and extremely helpful. Evening meals are delicious and we all eat together like one big family. The rooms are very nice and comfortable and the bathroom facilities are super clean.
We highly recommend this wonderful place for a relaxing chill holiday. Evenings are cool and days re warm. Hiking trails galore including one to a gorgeous waterfall where you can swim

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank McGill_Tripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

Being hikers, we're used to roughing it but the Backpackers Lodge at Fairy Knowe was appalling. It's run by a father and son combo and they obviously need a woman around to organise the chaos. There were FAR too many campers for the facilities, so the kitchen fridges were over flowing, we had to queue for ablutions and toilets, and campers even put their tents in the parking lots. Although the braai area under millkwoods was appealing, there were only two small braai places which we also had to queue for because no fires were allowed outside the designated area. A beautiful setting but completely spoiled by the owners trying to make a quick buck. Never again.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Ethnee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2014

A group of us recently stayed at this backpackers and were all disappointed. Compared to other backpackers we have stayed at, it just doesn't compare. Admittingly it was the busiest time of the year, but that shouldn't be an excuse. The rooms were dirty - skirting boards, carpets and under furniture had not been dusted in months, the kitchen was filthy, there were not enough rubbish bins - those that were there were overflowing. The lodge badly needs an organized person to be in charge, to control and restrict the number of campers and to control the cleaning staff. The ablution facilities were dismal to put it mildly and insufficient for the number of guests. They were all in need of a good clean and paint job. So I cannot recommend this lodge to anyone until they put a bit of work into maintenance and organization.

Room Tip: The 2 outside en-suite rooms are probably your best bet if they have been cleaned.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

We went to the Fairy Knowe Backpackers to do some bird watching. They are very welcoming and quite relaxed about people hanging out on the property. Helful too with info about the area.
We had some coffee & muffins - both freshly made.
If you are birding, also ask for the key to the hide - they look after one of the hides belonging to the Wilderness National Park.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank yachtneutron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2013

A wonderful place with a great atmosphere, fantastic service, delicious food and run by professionals! Don't even bother going to Wild Farm, Fairy Know is cheaper, cleaner, better set up, friendlier, with better service, food and facilities. I'll be back for sure.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Doretteds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fairy Knowe Backpackers Lodge

Address: Dumbleton Road, Wilderness, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Wilderness
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 41 Speciality Lodging in Wilderness
Price Range: £20 - £44 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
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