Gardens Backpackers and Hostel FAQ’s

We get asked this question ALL the time and the answer is a resounding YES!!!  Like all major cities in the world, there are certain areas to avoid especially at night but our reception staff will tell you all about these.

Here is a recent press release that should answer all those niggling questions – but please contact us for more info if required.

FAQs for Tourism Safety

1. Is Cape Town safe for tourists?
* Cape Town is a major, modern cosmopolitan South African city. As such, we would advise travellers to exercise the same level of vigilance they would exercise when visiting any major city in the world.
* This includes ensuring you follow basic safety tips such as keeping emergency numbers on hand, avoiding carrying large sums of cash and keeping your valuables safe at all times.
* For the overwhelming majority of the 1,7 million foreign visitors to the Western Cape in 2018, a visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape was a positive, memorable experience.
* The destination is frequently cited as among the world’s best holiday destinations and has a high return visitor rate, proving that those who visit our destination once, fall in love with it, and want to discover it again.

2. What precautions should a visitor to Cape Town take to stay safe?
* The same precautions travellers would take to secure their safety in any major city in the world, apply when visiting Cape Town, a growing city of nearly four million people.
* A list of #BeSafe Travel Tips is available on Cape Town Tourism’s Website and can be viewed here.

3. Will I be safe in my hotel or accommodation establishment?
* Cape Town offers a range of tourism accommodation options catering to all markets. These include luxury hotels, budget establishments, guesthouses and Airbnb accommodation.
* Tourism is one of the major industries of Cape Town and the Western Cape. As such, formal tourism establishments largely take the safety and comfort of their guests very seriously.
* When deciding on an accommodation option, use the same vigilance you would when selecting accommodation elsewhere in the world.
* Should you be concerned about the property’s safety measures or the location of the property, do not hesitate to contact them for further details, check whether they are a member of a tourism association or organisation and make your enquiries there.

4. Can I walk around central Cape Town safely?
* We encourage visitors to be mindful at all times of their surroundings when walking around any major city.
* The Cape Town Business Community and local authorities have taken numerous proactive initiatives to ensure the safety and upkeep of central Cape Town. As a result, this area – where most tourism establishments are located – has grown to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
*  Visible safety officers have been deployed and the city centre is kept clean. Major restaurants, shops and galleries line the streets and many offices, apartment buildings and hotels are located Downtown.
* A variety of walking tours are available to suit different interests and you’ll share the pavements with locals walking to work, business people rushing between meetings and other tourists who, like you, are exploring all the city has to offer.

5. Can I travel alone when visiting Cape Town?
* Cape Town and the Western Cape is a popular solo-travel destination, with a variety of activities and experiences on offer for the solo adventurer.
* Solo travellers are encouraged to exercise the same vigilance and safety measures to ensure they are not soft targets as they would anywhere else in the world. 

6. Do I have an alternative to walking?
* Cape Town is one of the most well-connected cities in South Africa when it comes to transport options. While travellers often choose to walk around the Downtown or Central Business District area because distances are short, you have the option to use Uber, Taxify, metered taxis and the MyCiti bus system,  which can also connect you to points within the central district of Cape Town and surrounding tourism must-sees like Camps Bay, Sea Point and Hout Bay.
* The MyCiti bus also connects you directly to Cape Town International Airport through a direct shuttle. There is also a City Sightseeing
hop-on-hop-off red bus service with a variety of tourist routes on offer.

Safe travels and see you in Cape Town. There is truly nowhere better!

SAFETY TIPS
• Make sure no one can see you enter your PIN or transaction amount at an ATM.
• Avoid carrying all your valuables (including your passport) and large sums of cash in your purse.
• Hike in a group, remain on the designated paths and carry a map.
• Carry plenty of water, a hat and a snack whilst hiking. Protect your skin from the UV rays by applying sunscreen.
• Never approach, feed or touch any of the wild animals found on the hiking trails.
• Never swim alone, always swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard.
• Use a reliable registered taxi service.
• Store emergency numbers on your phone and make sure it is charged before you leave your hotel.
• Don’t allow your children to wander off on their own make sure you always have an eye on them.

STANDARD BOOKINGS:

  • To secure your reservation we will charge your credit card with an amount which is equivalent to the first nights stay. The remaining balance can be settled on arrival in cash or credit card.
  • Cancellation of a booking must be made in writing (via email) and will only take effect once such cancellation has been received by Ashanti Lodge. The 1st night stay deposit paid will be non-refundable.
  • We will refund any other monies paid provided that the reservation is cancelled/amended prior to 14 days before arrival (less a 7% admin fee).
  • If cancelled within 14 days of arrival, no refunds will be given.

NON-REFUNDABLE RATE BOOKINGS

  • All reservations made at the non-refundable rate will be charged in full at the time of booking.
  • These rates are non-refundable with no exceptions. 

GROUP BOOKINGS

A reservation of 8 or more is considered a group booking.

We require all group bookings to put down the 1st night’s stay as a deposit within one week of making the reservation in order to secure the booking.

Cancellations made 0-7 days prior to arrival date:         100% of total tariff

Cancellations made 15-28 days prior to arrival date:       25% of total tariff

Cancellations made 28 days prior to arrival date:            10% of total tariff

Cancellations made 8-14 days prior to arrival date:         50% of total tariff

The remainder of the balance is due 30 days before arrival.

At certain times of the year (New Years Eve, Easter weekend, Rugby Tens and other ad-hoc events) we reserve the right to ask for full payment with the possibility of no refund.  We will advise accordingly.

Ashanti Lodge is situated in the safe neighbourhood of Gardens, which is just a 15 minute walk through the Botanical Gardens to the City Centre.  Have a look here for more info and detailed directions.

Please click here to view all our rates as advertised on our website.

Yes, a basic backpacker breakfast is included in the rate.  Read more here.

We have a free basic backpacker breakfast and there is also an upgrade to a cooked buffet breakfast if you wish.  See pics and more here.

Yes, we can arrange a meet-and-greet pick up from the airport for you.  This will cost R250 per journey for up to 4 passengers with baggage which is payable directly to the driver.   Kindly provide your exact flight details including flight number, and we will confirm the arrangements.

If you book your accommodation online via this site, you can book the airport transfer at the same time.

Alternatively, you can take the Airport Shuttle bus from International Arrivals.  The bus will stop at the Civic Centre in the city centre from where you will need to change to the suburban bus to Gardens.  Please click on the MyCiti bus site here for more info.

We have 6 bed and 8 bed room dormitories. The dorms and private rooms in the main building are not en-suite but there are plenty of communal bathrooms for your use. The dorm rooms all have private lockers, individual reading lights, individual safes and fluffy white duvets.
NO. All rooms (including the dormitories) are fully equipped with pillows, pillow cases, sheets and duvets. We suggest you bring your own towel if not staying in an en-suite room, but we do have many available at reception to hire if needed.
Most of our en-suite rooms are in the lovely Ashanti Guest Houses, which are around the corner from the main building and have National Monument status. There is a small kitchen for use in each house and all the rooms are equipped with towels, a tea/coffee station, unlimited wi-fi and satellite television.  All the other facilities are available for your use at Ashanti Lodge Backpackers around the corner.

Yes.  You can book online with the travel experts by emailing [email protected] or visiting www.ashanti.co.za/travel or alternatively chat to one of our knowledgeable receptionists when you get here.

Yes we do have barbeque facilities and they are available for your use at any time. You may need to buy your own wood or charcoal though!
Yes, we have a large swimming pool at the back of the hostel.
Yes, we have a large communal kitchen that is fully equipped.  You may also store your food in our cupboards or in the big fridge.

All our properties have free hi-speed fibre wi-fi access.  For those (rare) travellers without their own device we also have a computer terminal for guests’ use.  There is a small cost for the use of these to help maintain their upkeep.  We also have a public phone available for your use.

Yes, we have a hand basin and clothes line but also offer a laundry service. There are collections and deliveries twice a day and a load up to 4 kg costs R70.

Yes, we do exchange all major currencies. We charge a small handling fee but no commission and great rates.
Yes, we have a luggage storage room that you may use during your travels.
Yes, we have our own café on the first floor. It opens for breakfast at 07h30 and the kitchen closes at 10.30pm. During that time you can order light meals and snacks like sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizzas, burgers etc. We also serve drinks and cocktails in our bar!

We do have a pool table and every Friday night is our famous pool competition where you can win great prizes like wine tours or abseiling from Table Mountain.

No, you can park your car in the street in front of our lodge but please park in the direction of the traffic or else you will get a fine. We also advise you to never leave anything (even an old sweater) visible in the car. We have a security guard during the night who patrols the road.
En-suite rooms are rooms with their own bathroom shower and toilet.
It is safe to walk at daytime. You can get a map from reception and we will show you areas to avoid if necessary.  It is not really advisable to walk around any city after dark.
The closest supermarket is a three minutes’ walk away. The nearest restaurants are on Kloof Street which is a 5 minute walk from here.
We have an ATM on the premises!
Yes, you can walk to the Waterfront, but it will take between 45 minutes to one hour from Ashanti Gardens.  If you don‘t want to walk you can take a MyCiti bus or a regular taxi to get there.
Cape Town’s most famous beaches, Clifton beach and Camps Bay, are within walking distance for the keen hiker. For the rest of us a minibus or regular taxi takes 15 minutes from Ashanti Gardens.
Yes, it is possible to walk. The best thing is to take a MyCiti bus or a taxi to the Cable car. Then it is up to you to climb up or to take the Cable station. A walk up takes between two and three hours (depending on the path you chose). The cable car takes 7 minutes to get up to the top.
There are cheap minibuses and the new MyCiti bus service. There is also a train running to some suburbs and towns nearby Cape Town.
A twin room will have two single beds whereas a double room has one double bed.
No. All camping is on a first-come, first-served basis as it is difficult to determine the size of tents and reserve space accordingly.