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Backpacking in Cape Town has become extremeley popular in recent years and you'll find plenty of excellent backpackers lodges to choose from both in Cape Town and in the winelands region of Stellenbosch as well as all the way along the picturesque Garden Route. Cape Town is a vibrant city with loads of young people - locals and travellers alike - who are looking for fun and adventure. Adventuring, climbing, hiking, partying, wining, dining or beaching - you are sure to find some like-minded souls to share your experiences with.
There are a wide variety of backpackers lodges and hostels to choose from - most are located in the city centre and surrounding areas of Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Sea Point and Green Point. Many lodges offer excellent facilities including swimming pools, internet cafe's, laundry services and more. Most lodges and hostels offer dormitory's as well as private rooms, some with en-suite bathroom facilities. Many lodges have their own bar/cafe on the premises where drinks, snacks and light meals are served. Self-catering kitchens for preparing your own meals and often braai (BBQ) facilities are also the norm.
> take a look at the Backpacker Tourism in SA website for listings and contact details of hostels countrywide.
If you've booked in advance at a hostel or lodge, there's a good chance that you'll be given a free airport transfer. Alternatively there is a backpackers shuttle services that operates between the airport and about 40 lodges in and around Cape Town. This service also does routes to a few surrounding tourist attractions, including the winelands area of Stellenbosch, and operates a night bus service for party goers.
> take a look at backpackerbus.co.za for routes, rates and to make a booking or enquiry.
For long distance backpacking trips along the scenic Garden Route ,and as far as Durban and Johannesburg, the Baz Bus offers a hop-on-hop-off bus service. Buy a ticket to your final destination, then hop-off at various points along the way and stay for as long as you like before you hop-on again and continue your journey.
> take a look at bazbus.com for details, prices and routes.
Alternatively, if you want complete freedom and flexibilty to get around, consider hiring a car. Cape Town has a good road network and is easy to navigate - if you're in a small group it may work out as the most affordable option.
It's always advisable to stay alert when travelling in a foreign city - tourists are often easy targets so be careful with your possessions particularly cameras, jewellery and cash. Many hostels will provide safes for you to store your valuables. As a woman, it's advisable to travel in a group - more importantly at night - and don't walk in remote areas after dark. Minibus taxis are safe during the day, but are best avoided at night unless you're in a big group and are only traveling a short distance.
> expect to pay between R60 and R90 per night for a dorm room, depending on the location and facilities offered.