We are the backpacker hostel closest to the Sentinel car park and thus the ideal base from which to tackle the Amphitheatre day hike, one of the Drakensberg's most thrilling. From the Sentinel parking area the path takes you to the top of the mountain via the Chain Ladders, where you can enjoy the breath-taking view and also visit Mont-aux-Sources and the top of the Tugela Falls.
Just off the route to the Sentinel car park, turning to Witsieshoek Resort, you can alternatively access many of the attractions of the Kwazulu-Natal's Royal National Park. In a different direction, Golden Gate National Park is also within easy reach and you can continue to Clarens, a lovely village know for the many art galleries and restaurants. A two or three-night stay is ideal to enjoy the attractions of both the Drakensberg and the Maluti Mountains.
We offer quiet, restful accommodation consisting of two double rooms; a triple bedroom ideal for a couple with a child's bed; a family room that sleeps four and lastly a dormitory that sleeps six on three bunk beds that is adjacent to its own ablution block.
We supply natural products such as home-made jams, marmelades and yoghurt as well as fresh produce from our own vegetable garden and orchard and the surrounding farmlands. We also have an exciting and fun bicycle Township Tour, running daily from our Backpackers. Be sure to book this on arrival.
Internet access is free between 19:00 and 07:00 each night and through the weekend.
Availability & RatesTo view availability and prices please select dates and click 'Update Dates'
Hostel Facilities & Policies
- 24 Hour Reception
- Bicycle hire
- Bicycle parking
- Breakfast Not Included
- Common Room
- Credit Cards Accepted
- Free Parking
- Hot Showers
- Internet Access
- Self-Catering Facilities
- Laundry Facilities
- Linen Included
- Outdoor Terrace
- Postal Service
- Reading Light
- Steam Room
- Tea & Coffee Making Facilities
Cancellation PolicyThis property has a 1 day cancellation policy. Failure to cancel within this time will result in a cancellation charge equal to the first night of your stay.
Must-Read Hostel InfoThis property has specific Terms & Conditions.
Please contact us to confirm your arrival time, so we know when you are coming!
No smoking inside the premises, no eating or drinking in the rooms, no late partying.
No pets (our own dogs are very people-friendly, but we cannot protect other animals).
DirectionsShow MapHide Map
Kestell is situated mid-way between Bethlehem and Harrismith, just off the N5. Karma Backpackers is most convenient for self-drive visitors.
There are two entrances into Kestell: A) one from the N5 which leads directly to the very obvious church building: drive around the church and continue from behind it to the last house on the right. B) Coming from Phuthaditjhaba on the R57, take the Kestell turn off and continue along the road until the tarred pavement ends then turn left, Karma is some 200 m away, on the right as indicated by the sign at the junction.
Directions from Johannesburg (on Toll Road)
Drive on the N3, past Heidelberg, Villiers, and at Warden, leave the N3 following the sign for Bethlehem, onto the
R714. Drive 45kms and at the 4-way stop street intersection, turn left onto the R57. Drive for 39 kms and after passing underneath the N5 highway bridge, turn right into Kestell and Humphrey Street. Follow the KARMA
BACKPACKER S signboards. (294 kms from Johannesburg International Airport to Karma Backpackers)
Directions from Durban (On Toll Road)
Drive on the N3, past Pietermaritzburg, Mooi River, Escourt, Van Reenen and at Harrismith, follow the signs for
N5/Kestell/Bethlehem. 45 kms from Harrismith, turn off the N5, cross over the R57 and enter Kestell on Humphrey
Street. Follow the Karma Backpackers signboards. (337 kms from Durban city centre to Karma Backpackers)
Directions from Cape Town
Drive on the N1 for Bloemfontein, then after Winburg, turn right onto the N5 passing Senekal, Paul Roux and
Bethlehem. From Bethlehem it is 45 kms on the N5 to Kestell. Turn off the N5 and at the stop-street, turn right and
proceed under the N5 highway bridge, and then turn right into Kestell at Humphrey Street. Follow the KARMA
BACKPACKERS signboards. (290 kms from Bloemfontein N1//N8 intersection, to Karma Backpackers.)
GPS: S 28 18 39.73 E 28 41 55.62
Golden Gate National Park, Maluti Mountains, access to Lesotho;
Drakensberg Mountains (Northern Berg), Amphitheatre, Sentinel Peak, Mont-aux-Sources, top of the Tugela Falls;
Kwazulu-Natals Royal National Park from Witsieshoek Resort;
Phuthaditjhaba (Qwa-Qwa), Harrismith, Bethlehem, Clarens. Only 3 hours drive from Johannesburg on a tar road.