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Green Elephant Backpackers is situated in Cape Town’s lively student area – Observatory. We are the closest hostel to Groote Schuur Hospital and a 5-minute bus ride from the University of Cape Town. Public transport, shops, bars and restaurants are all a short walk away.

Green Elephant Backpackers offers budget accommodation to backpackers, medical interns, volunteers, students and visitors looking to meet fellow travellers.

We have been running since June 1994 and now have 3 houses. The main house has the dorm rooms, wireless internet, a festive bar, a BBQ area and a swimming pool. The other two houses have private rooms, are quieter and are good for long-stay guests.

Green Elephant Backpackers hostel - observatory, cape townGreen Elephant Backpackers hostel - observatory, cape town

Rooms & rates

At Green Elephant we believe that quality of sleep is important and all beds, including our dorm beds, have good mattresses. Linen and towels are provided.

We also have one dorm room exclusively for women.

Dormitories R210
Private rooms with shared bathroom
Single R500
Double / Twin R650
Triple R860
Quad R1070
5-sleeper R1280
Private en suites
Single R600
Double R750
Triple R960
Camping (small-tent sites) R100 per person

These are our standard rates which may vary depending on seasonality and specials.

Please book all accommodation through our Green Elephant Online Booking System or e-mail us here.

Group accommodation

We offer group accommodation for school, sport and religious groups, as well as any other group needing budget accommodation in Cape Town.

Our accommodation is flexible and convenient for school groups – students can sleep in the dorms and teachers can stay in our private rooms.

We are open 24 hours and can serve early breakfasts for any group that needs it.

Enquire here about group bookings.

Long-term stays

Looking to stay for a few months? There are plenty of options in Observatory, from rooms in student houses to private apartments in the area. We recommend staying with Green Elephant Backpackers for a week. This is a temporary solution that gives you enough time to look for good accommodation and view it in person.


  • Free unlimited Wi-Fi in the main house
  • 24 hour reception
  • Swimming pool
  • Guest kitchen
  • Internet access
  • Luggage storage
  • Bar
  • Pool table
  • Braai area
  • Tour desk
  • Laundry facilities


We serve breakfasts on request, but recommend a stroll to Lower Main Road where you will find a host of excellent restaurants and coffee shops.

Thursday night is pizza night. We also have braai (BBQ) and potjie (traditional stew) nights on occasion or on request.