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South Africa Offers an Array of Cheap Beds

August 10, 1997|LUCY IZON

For travelers planning adventures to South Africa, there now are 31 low-cost accommodation facilities affiliated with Hostelling International (HI).

The HI hostels have shared accommodations and some private rooms. All have 24-hour access, and most offer a TV lounge, cooking facilities, a travel service and, sometimes, a free shuttle.

Here are some of the HI-affiliated hostels that provide a free airport shuttle if you call when you arrive.

The three Cape Town hostels:

* The Albergo for Backpackers, 5 Beckham St., Gardens, 8001; telephone 011-27-21-22-1849, fax 011-27-21-23-0515.

* Ashanti Lodge, 11 Hof St., Gardens 8001; tel. 011-27-21-23-8721, fax 011-27-21-23-8790.

* Cloudbreak Backpackers Lodge, 219 Buitenkant St., Cape Town 8001; tel. 011-27-21-461-6892, fax 011-27-21-461-6892.

Three Johannesburg hostels are:

* The Backpackers Ritz, 1A North Road, Dunkeld West, 2196; tel. 011-27-11-325-7125, fax 011-27-11-327-0233.

* Fairview Youth Hostel, 4 College St., Fairview, 2094; tel. 011-27-11-618-2048, fax 011-27-11-614-2823.

* Johannesburg Central Hostel, 4 Fife Ave., Berea, 2189; tel. 011-27-11-618-2048.

For more information, contact HI--South Africa, 3rd Floor, St. Georges House, 73 St. Georges Mall, Cape Town, 8001; tel. 011-27-21-24-2511, fax 011-27-21-24-4119.

HI will arrange travel passes for backpackers on Translux Express, the intercity coach service. Bus trips can be long--Johannesburg to Cape Town is a 17-hour trip.

The Internet can be a helpful resource. Many hostels have their own Web sites. The Amazulu Backpackers Lodge, which is in Kwanbonambi, 110 miles from Durban, recently moved its Web site to On it you'll find information on their budget accommodations (tents, dorms, double rooms) with a pool, shop and a travel center. At the hostel you can arrange local excursions, such as nature hikes, visits to a game reserve and a boat safari.

An excellent Web site that will link you to many South Africa hostels is

Izon is a Toronto-based freelance writer. She can be reached at

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