Even if you plan on making a trip that’s truly and literally off the beaten path, the odds are third world countries don’t pop up on top of the list. I’m not going to argue how culturally challenging they are (it’s more of a truism in fact), instead I’m going to show you some options that will both make you feel like you’re at a first world country’s hostel and give you the cultural experience you should be so eager to have.
Victoria Falls Backpackers is the best way to spend time in Zimbabwe. While the country’s pretty far from being on top of the popular destinations, this hostel really matches even the highest standards for any backpacker out there. You can arrange taxis and airport pick-ups if you decide to book in advance, and the facilities are really impressive (for anywhere in the world). From the platform you’ll see Mosi-Oa-Tunya (thunder smoke). You can then relax in the swimming pool or go to the adventure center, where there’s plenty of activities waiting to give you the best Zimbabwean adrenaline rush – from riding elephants to jumping off the bridge, there’s really not much that you cannot do here.
The nightly fire’s going to make you wish you would have taken a couple of more days off, the self catering kitchen is not only spotless, but well equipped as well. As for the standard facilities that you usually find in hostels, they’re all at your service! Linen is provided, as well as laundry service, the hostel has a huge and very friendly lounge area, mosquito nets, bush café. The garden’s also truly stunning and well preserved, and the place is also children friendly, which means that a family trip would be just perfect in here!
The greatest advantage of the position of this hostel is being next to the national park that makes this country so famous, where you’d really like to spend a day or two wondering at things while roaming around the amazing raw beauty of this well kept reservation. Although it’s a little far from the capital city, it’s amazing how peaceful and silent everything is here – it’s the best time of your life, especially if you’re usually busy and not able to travel as much as you’d love to. Relaxing is the major concern of your host and when you’re back home all your batteries will have been recharged!
It may not be on top of the most popular hostels in the world, but it’s certainly one of the best in South Africa. It is, once more, unnecessary to argue the reasons for which you should visit this country, but what you’re about to find out instead is that the price is really attractive compared to most of the hostels or B&B’s you’ll find during your trips. Sipping your classy glass of wine in the gardens of the place is one of the most comforting things to do after a long day of visiting all kinds of touristic attractions, not to mention the marvel of the beautifully colored African birds.
The breakfast’s included, the rooms are colorful, vividly arranged in order to give you as much energy to start your day with, and there’s not a single thing that should be changed or improved to make the whole place better. Truly fitting in the description of a home away from home, there’s something about this place, about its cleanliness and coziness that makes you feel less like a stranger when you’re probably not even on your continent anymore.
In case you’re not here by car, the hostel’s near Gautrain, the best national company to offer you travel services at good prices, so that you can enjoy your trip even better. This country’s one of the places where you should have no restrictions when visiting – there are lots of things to be discovered, especially culture-wise.
This is not a place we recommend because of the conditions compared to the expectations of a third world state, but because it’s really fun to come here for anyone who’s creative! People here gather to talk about all kinds of stuff that make them forget about the daily issues they have to deal with, they sometimes paint or sing or simply have all kinds of fun and wicked conversations you wouldn’t miss for the world. You can barbecue here, make a camp fire and get to know the amazingly friendly people that are going to be eager to find things about you.
What’s impressive is that the locals will never bother you with their questions and curiosities, even though they’ve got plenty! They’re creative, but fun and most of all – they’re polite and they would do anything to make you feel like home. You can go to the cyber-bar whenever you wish and keep in touch this way with your family and friends while you’re on the road, and – most importantly – you’ll make friends here! You’ll also be offered trips to Zomba with a local guide, but if you’re sociable enough there may be more than one companion with you everyday!