Cape Town - Curiocity Backpackers in the center of Johannesburg has swept through the inner core of Jozi like a breath of fresh air, shedding light on an area that has been stereotyped as a dark alley where tourists shouldn't venture.
Owner of Curiocity Backpackers, Bheki Dube, says he aims to break the negative stigma surrounding life in the inner city of Johannesburg with his hip backpacker hostel.
“Yes," says Dube, "Joburg went through a major urban decline in the 90s, but look at the cooler side. [...] It’s a space with great heritage and history. It’s now a space of transition, a space that’s going through major urban regeneration.”
Working with artist entrepreneurs of all media, Dube wishes to provide travellers with a platform where they are "able to engage with common Joburg as is," he says. "Instead of mere tourist rubbernecking", Dube wants his backpacker establishment to provide a platform where people can "venture off into the streets of Johannesburg, into the surrounding townships, and really engage with authentic Johannesburg".
Check out Dube's Curiocity Backpackers dream here:
The building in which Curiocity Backpackers is situated, is believed to have been a hide-out for the beloved SA icons Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the Apartheid regime.
"The premises at 302 Fox Street was originally the premises of Pacific Press, whose owners printed the magazine “The Black Sash” under the apartheid regime at their own risk. It is rumored that Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu took refuge in the building on several occasions," the Curiocity Backpackers website says.
The backpackers is also the location of the well-loved pub, The Hideout, where guests and people not staying in the hostel can mingle.
Want to check in and check it out? Here you go:
Where: 302 Fox Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg
Cost: R160 - R500 per person per night, depending on the room/dorm booked
Good to know: When staying in Curiocity Backpackers, you can easily book a walking or cycling tour through Main Street Walks, or volunteer for community work in the area.