Backpacker Hostel Zimbabwe

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Cheap Hostels in Zimbabwe

Ann Bruce Backpackers in Mutare is one of the longest running backpackers in Zimbabwe – so Ann knows what she’s doing. The lodge is her house. The rooms are divided into a couple of dorms and three double rooms. The dorms are 4-bed and 3-bed, so this is a small place, but that gives it a personal touch as Ann lives here too with her housekeeper (and a couple of dogs plus a cat!).

The dorms are very comfy and roomy. The toilets and showers are clean and have hot water if you let it run a while. There is a comfy sitting room with flat screen DSTV and there is pretty fast WiFi for a small charge. The kitchen can be used by guests, but there is a small charge for using the oven. It’s well-equipped with plenty of utensils, pots, pans as well as a kettle, toaster and a microwave.

Ann has a small book exchange and there is a guests’ comments book with information from travellers on the road who have passed through. Ann herself is a mine of info on Zimbabwe and can organise various trips around the area. A little gazebo sits in the garden for those wanting a bit of fresh air or somewhere to eat outside. This is great place, very much like a homestay and makes a fantastic introduction to Zimbabwe for those coming from Mozambique.


Close to the centre

Use of kitchen

Excellent WiFi

Very friendly & welcoming owner

Lots of info for onward travel


Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare - Gazebo
Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare - Living Room Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare - Kitchen
Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare - Dorm Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare - Double Room
Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare - Bathroom
Beds from USD 15.00
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Our Rating:
Ann Bruce Backpackers Mutare

Rated 5.0 / 5.0 (1 review)

From USD 15.00 per person – dorm (available)

Excellent place to stay!

(Last Reviewed: September 2016)

Vumba Lodge in Bvumba (with a silent initial ‘B’) is in a wonderful location about 20km outside Mutare by the Mozambique border. The lodge is in beautifully manicured gardens with great views of the hills and surrounded by forest filled with birds and monkeys. What could go wrong? Well, the Small World team that also run 2 lodges for backpackers in Harare, don’t really maintain their properties to western standards. The lodge wasn’t signed when I visited, so hard to find as all the properties along this remote road are set back up the hill in the trees, so need signing. After 100m or so, the driveway reveals a beautiful old house in these gorgeous gardens complete with ornamental ponds, but the interior really needs some work.

Although it isn’t bad, it could be so much better. The sitting room is large and comfy, particularly with the fire lit in the evenings, but is let down by hardly any light bulbs in the many lamps. The flat-screen TV was also not working. The kitchen for self-caterers is fairly basic, a bit grubby and has none of the things you’d expect. No kettle, no toaster and no microwave. There was no light here either! The 2 dorms are 8-bed and 6-bed. The 8-bed was a bit cramped, but comfy as I picked the one with the thick mattress. The others were a bit soft and flimsy, but plenty of blankets were provided. Hot water is available on request, but may be by the bucket. The staff are very helpful and can cook for you if you give notice before arriving as this is a lodge for self-caterers mostly. A bit more care from the owners would make this a fantastic place, but it’s not bad at the price.

Beautiful location

Excellent staff

Great garden


No WiFi

Poor maintenance

Poorly equipped kitchen

Vumba Lodge Bvumba Vumba Lodge Bvumba - House
Vumba Lodge Bvumba - Way Vumba Lodge Bvumba - Lobby
Vumba Lodge Bvumba - Double room Vumba Lodge - Bvumba - Dorm
Vumba Lodge - Bvumba - Dining Room
Beds from USD 10.00
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Our Rating:
Vumba Lodge – Bvumba

Rated 2.5 / 5.0 (1 review)

From USD 10.00 per person – dorm (available)

Not bad for the price.

(Last Reviewed: August 2016)

Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani – Calling yourself Heaven puts you on a hiding to nothing, really, but this place does get close. Situated half a kilometre outside Chimanimani village in the foothills of the Chimanimani mountains, it has great scenery that gives it a good base from which to build. This small, but well-thought out lodge has a variety of rooms; a self-contained cottage plus 2 double rooms & 4 dorms all sharing ablutions. The dorms are in the form of one room in the main house, two wooden A-frames and one wooden cabin. The A-frames and cabin are 4 and 3-beds respectively. They are a little cramped and without any other furniture or power points. The best is the dorm in the main house which has 2 bedside tables, 2 armchairs and a power point.

The sitting and dining rooms in the main house are beautifully cosy with art and sculptures, comfy seating and three fireplaces for those chilly mountain winter evenings. There is a large front garden with camping space, but no self-catering facilities – so bring everything with you. There is WiFi for a small charge, but it is limited to 100 MB per use. The common toilets and showers are clean and the hot water is solar powered. Towels and soap are not provided for dorm guests. The restaurant serves a handful of very tasty dishes fairly reasonably priced and Saturday is pizza night which is popular with local families. All in all, very good value.


Very comfy in the main house

Log fires in the evenings

Maintenance issues

Ill-fitting doors & broken locks

Outside dorms basic & chilly at night

Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani - Lobby
Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani - Reception Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani - Reception area
Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani - Double room Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani - Dorm
Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani - Bathroom
Beds from USD 10.00
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Our Rating:
Heaven Mountain Lodge Chimanimani

Rated 4.0 / 5.0 (1 review)

From USD 10.00 per person – dorm (available)

Very good value for money !

(Last Reviewed: August 2016)

Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges is a place on spacious grounds, just a few minutes walk from the Great Zimbabwe ruins. This is just the ticket for budget travellers as the only other budget accommodation being in Masvingo, a 40 minute bus ride away and at twice the price – so this is your best bet. It has a wide variety of accommodation including two dorms, male & female. The dorms are pretty rustic and crammed to the gills with beds. While the female dorm has 38 bunks, the male dorm has 30 beds, some bunks, some singles, all packed tightly together. They are cheap, but bedding costs extra and there are very few power points. You won’t find any tables or lockers for your luggage either. It’s barebones here.

The shared toilets and showers are likewise very basic and you won’t get hot water here! You also need to provide your own soap, towels and toilet paper. There are rondavels (round huts) and cottages for singles and families alike scattered throughout the grounds that look very good value though. There is an onsite restaurant that serves a few basic but tasty meals and some soft drinks quite cheaply that has a flat screen TV as well. The grounds are expansive and there is plenty of room for camping. There was an issue with the only other occupant of my dorm going out with the key so I couldn’t get in on arrival. Make sure you leave the key with reception – it’s the only one they have! Also, make sure the doors and windows are shut as there are monkeys about.


Convenient for the ruins

Very Basic

Cramped Dorms

Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges - Terrace Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges - House
Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges - Dining room Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges - Outside
Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges - Dormitory Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges - Bathroom
Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges - Reception
Beds from USD 10.00
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Our Rating:
Great Zimbabwe Campground & Lodges

Rated 2.5 / 5.0 (1 review)

From USD 10.00 per person – 30-bed dorm (available)

The only budget option in this area.

(Last Reviewed: August 2016)

It’s A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare Centre is situated on the corner of Fife Avenue & Ninth Street just 20 minutes walk from the city centre. This hostel is the smaller, central companion to the main lodge in the suburb of Avondale in north-west Harare. The Road Port bus terminal for international buses is also only 20 minutes walk away and there are minibuses into town just 2 minutes walk away.

The selection of twin, double & dorm rooms are fairly plain but clean. The two dorms (male & female) are 6 bunks (12 beds) and are a little on the cramped side. The mattresses are very thin and tend to sag through the wooden slats of the bed base giving a very uncomfortable night’s sleep. Try to pick a bed with a thick mattress – there are one or two. The male dorm also had a door with a broken lock that loudly creaked open and closed all night. There are no lockers, but valuables can be left at reception.

The small garden is a pleasant place to sit, surrounded by some funky sculptures. There are two lounges, one with flat-screen DSTV and comfy sofas. The toilets and showers are clean and functional, though we found the water either boiling hot or too cold, nothing in between. A kitchen for common use is pretty well equipped, though could do with a microwave and kettle. There is an OK supermarket just 5 minutes walk away for self-caterers. There is free WiFi throughout the property via user login codes from reception.

All in all, this is decent value and the staff are friendly and helpful, but a little bit more care and attention from management could make this place so much better.

Fairly central location

Free WiFi & DSTV

Self-caterers’ kitchen

Thin mattresses in dorms

Unpredictable hot water in showers

It's A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare It's A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare - Garden
It's A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare - Reception It's A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare - Lobby
It's A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare - Dorm Room It's A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare - Kitchen
It's A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare
Beds from USD 12.00
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Our Rating:
It’s A Small World Backpackers Lodge Harare Centre

Rated 3.5 / 5.0 (1 review)

From USD 12.00 per person – 12-share dorm (available)

An OK place to stay that could be improved.

(Last Reviewed: August 2016)

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