We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Karma Backpackers

Show Prices
Certificate of Excellence
Book on TripAdvisor
Trusted partner. We work with to make your booking as easy as possible.
Secure payments. We use industry-leading practices to keep your information secure.
Enter dates for lowest prices
powered by PriceFinder
Check In Check Out
1 room 2 adults 0 children
We check 200+ sites to find the latest and lowest prices.
Management photos
Karma Backpackers
View Map
{"widget":{"name":"ibex_baseline_photo_carousel","template":"ibex_baseline_photo_carousel__widget","dust":{"nav_controls":"ibex_baseline_photo_carousel__nav_controls"},"divClasses":"prw_rup prw_ibex_baseline_photo_carousel","moduleList":["handlers"],"js":{"handlers":"(ta.prwidgets.getjs(this,'handlers'))"}},"scriptFlags":null,"containerClass":null}
Add Photo Write a Review

99 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 86: English reviews
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We were expecting a bit more after reading all the good reviews, but left a bit disappointed. Firstly, the biggest disappointment was that it is further from the North Drakensberg mountains than we hoped. It takes about an hour and a half to drive to the Amphitheatre Hike from Sentinel Car Park. If I could do it again I would...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Komodosam36
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

Im really sorry you didn't enjoy your stay with us. We are the closest backpackers to the hike. But it isn't on our doorstop. The Ethiopian restaurant is completely safe but as explained it is a restaurant for the Ethiopian community in Qwa Qwa and perhaps might seem to some people to be dangerous, I'm very sorry they were rude...

Baltimore, Maryland
Reviewed 2 January 2017

My girlfriend and I visited back in November for 3 nights- we had the best time! Vera could not have been more accommodating, with a lovely kitchen and home to relax and talk with fellow travelers. We had such a great time talking about everything from traveling to gardening and to current events (thanks for talking us through that rough...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Michael V
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

Thank you Micheal. For all the lovely comments you made about Karma. You review makes such a difference to us and we really appreciate it

Durban
Reviewed 22 December 2016

Stayed for 2 nights in this gem of a spot. Great as a base for hiking in the Northern berg, touring towns or golden gate. We did the famous sentinel hike and its was exhilarating. Very authentic farmhouse with plenty of fruit trees on site. Beds are comfy and you feel safe. Bathrooms are clean though the hot water pressure...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank SeanR27
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

Thank you Shaun for your kind products we will look into the pressure in the outside ablution block. Hope you have a wonderful 2017

Reviewed 29 November 2016 via mobile

Karma is a pleasant home base for hiking in the northern Drakensburg mountains. Situated in the tiny town of Kestell, it's only an hour drive to the Sentinel Trail Head, where you can start hiking up to Tegula Falls. The hike was one of the best we'd ever down and we could not have done it without our gracious hosts....

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Chris F
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

Thank you for your positive review. I'm glad you enjoyed your hike

Sydney, Australia
Reviewed 5 November 2016 via mobile

Karma Backpackers is the perfect stop for visiting the Drakensberg. Vera, the owner, is beyond helpful with information about walks in the area and she ensured our stay was very comfortable. The backpackers has a relaxed vibe, rooms are cosy and clean, and the kitchen is extremely well resourced. Its the most welcoming stop in South Africa.

 Report
Helpful?
Thank jlwellard
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

Im so glad you enjoyed your sty with us and thank you for the thumbs up we appreciate your compliments.

Haifa, Israel
Reviewed 21 October 2016

Good and budget place for stay for track to Sentinel and visit Golden Gate area Nice hosts. Rooms are basic and old, but house has it magic :) Stayed 2 nights, has shared bath and kitchen . has nice common area with books and games. Hosts helped a lot to plan the day and give recommendation

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Natalo4ka80
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay with us we alwayse appreciate reviews from our guests

Reviewed 4 September 2016

The best hostel we lived in for this time. Very helpful chief (wifi starting, directions, Etiopean Reastaurant in Phuthaditjhaba...) . Kitchen maximally equiped. Nice showers. Confortable beds, not cold (we have slept 2 nights in 6dormitory), for more delicate is electric heating by the door. Lovely dogs and big cat. Not at least Vera Ann jams. Family with 3 children...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Tomáš N
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

I'm so glad you appreciated our new wall heaters we alwayse thought hot water bottles was enough for cold nights but we were wrong and by next winter all the rooms will have wall heaters thank you for your review

Reviewed 21 August 2016

The house is so nice and so is the room we slept in, and its owner helped us in whatever we required from her. Jams were delicious! The only con: it has no heating, and it was quite cold at night. Wi-fi was free for the first 100 MB.

 Report
Helpful?
1Thank Javier S
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

We heard you and now have heaters in the rooms we always have hot water bottles and extra blankets but decided to install heaters

Guangzhou, China
Reviewed 10 August 2016

We chose Karma backpackers because it had very good reviews compared to other places we were looking at near the Ampitheatre. We were not disappointed. It was in an old house with a beautiful graden, a couple adorable staffies (that my partner immediately fell in love with), a big, lazy cat and very friendly host - Vera. It was a...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank safasandra88
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

We have listened and now have wall heaters as well as hot water bottles. Thank you for the review

Reviewed 14 May 2016 via mobile

I visited Karma for the first time over three nights and I was pleasantly surprised from the time I made my booking. When people write that they feel the host, Vera, is like their grandmother they are not joking. Vera is very friendly and polite. She phoned back immediately after I couldn't get through to her and makes every effort...

 Report
Helpful?
Thank Nolin R
KarmaBackpackers, Owner at Karma Backpackers, responded to this review

I'm so glad you had a lovely time and your little brother enjoyed the big big hike up the chain ladders

22 photos of this hotel

Traveller photos: See what travellers like you saw

Viewed
All Traveller Photos (12)
Viewed
Room/Suite (2)
Viewed
Dining (2)
Viewed
Hotel & Grounds (1)
Viewed
Other (7)

Management photos: Courtesy of the property manager

Viewed
All Management Photos (10)
Viewed
Room/Suite (4)
Viewed
Hotel & Grounds (1)
Viewed
Other (5)
Check In Check Out
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Kestell
23.3 km away
Golden Gate Hotel
Golden Gate Hotel
#6 of 26 in Clarens
152 reviews
23.5 km away
Lionsrock Lodge
Lionsrock Lodge
#1 of 6 in Bethlehem
290 reviews
25.8 km away
Kiara Lodge
Kiara Lodge
#4 of 26 in Clarens
175 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 km away
Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge
Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge
#1 of 2 in Phuthaditjhaba
74 reviews
35.4 km away
Wild Horses Lodge
Wild Horses Lodge
#1 of 9 in Harrismith
138 reviews
36.0 km away
Qwantani Berg and Bush Resort
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Amenities

Highlights
  • Free Parking
  • Bar/Lounge
Things to do
  • Bar/Lounge
Room types
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Family Rooms
Internet
  • Paid Wifi
  • Paid Internet
Services
  • Free Parking
  • Laundry Service
Official Description (provided by the hotel)
A charming Backpacker Lodge in the small village of Kestell, with very friendly hosts. We are the closest backpackers to the famous Amphitheatre/Tugela Falls hike, with Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the tourist town of Clarens and San rock paintings also within easy driving distance. Additionally, this is an ideal base from which to explore Lesotho. Award-winning homemade jams, yoghurts & other goodies are for sale. We offer accommodation in large double rooms & in dorms for up to 17 people. Our kitchen is fully equipped for self-catering, and a light breakfast is an optional extra. Country-style restaurant & pub nearby. We have a lovely outdoor barbeque area and a coffee-gazebo. ... more   less 

Additional Information about Karma Backpackers

Address: 2 Piet Retief Street, Kestell 9860, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Free State > Kestell
Price Range: €23 - €27 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with HostelWorld so you can book your Karma Backpackers reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Karma Backpackers staff and past guests.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Can tickets for local attractions be purchased at the front desk?
  • Do you have to pay extra for a mini-fridge?
  • At what time does the pool open each day?

See which rooms travellers prefer

“Go with the indoor showers rather than the out-house”
 of 5 bubbles BrendanKil, 14 Apr 2015 | Read review
“Rooms in the main house”
 of 5 bubbles Marion-Billy, 23 Jan 2015 | Read review
“We had a four bed dorm - which was perfekt!”
 of 5 bubbles JLeo07, 8 Nov 2013 | Read review
“You can't lose- they are all awesome rooms and beds!”
 of 5 bubbles travelguy9981, 7 Aug 2013 | Read review
“Double rooms are very big, a recommendation.”
 of 5 bubbles Karina_Erh, 17 Apr 2013 | Read review
5 of 5