The Backpack & Africa Travel Center

74 New Church Street
Cape Town
8001

The Backpack & Africa Travel Center

Ecotourism ResourceSocial ServiceFair Trade

Overview

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The Backpack is a luxury backpackers of note in Cape Town, straddling the line between hostel and hotel with its dignity intact. In a superb location right on the fringe of the city centre. The pool is huge, the food is good, the activities are many, the staff are friendly, the location is central - and The Backpack is popular, so book ahead.

Facilities include a travel centre, a cafe, a swimming pool, guarded parking, safes, luggage storage, a community shop, a self-catering kitchen, a washing and laundry facility and Wi-Fi access

They also focus on uplifting staff and community; commitment towards transparency, high-level standards and profit sharing for the majority of staff.

Community involvement is a core feature of The Backpack’s ethos whereby it has helped to build a crèche in a local informal settlement, financed from commissions earned by selling a cultural tour to the townships; positive and proactive attitude to working with staff affected by HIV/Aids.

021 423 4530

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Comments (1)

Environmental Changes

• Recycling Bins - 8 colour coded and labelled to divide plastics, glass, paper/cardboard & tin
• Separate recycling waste bin in guest kitchen with 3 divisions
• Signage in guest kitchen and bin area on recyclable materials
• Private recycling company, Waste Control, employed to remove recyclables from premises
• Policy of double sided printing of all documents or printing on scrap paper
• Worm farm, staff trained. All organic waste from main kitchen decomposed in worm farm. Worm tea then used to nourish garden
• Number of supplier deliveries reduced by better planning when ordering to reduce number of trips suppliers make to the hostel
• Most of the cleaning products are bio-degradable, as well as toilet paper
• Encouragement of guests to use tours rather than self drive to various destinations thereby reducing carbon emissions
• Use of chiminea fire place and fire place opposed to electric heat in bar area. Wood used is alien vegetation such as blue gum
• Gas mushroom heaters used as opposed to electric heaters
• Energy saving light bulbs used throughout the house where possible as opposed to high voltage bulbs
• Water saving signs and material displayed at all general shower and bathroom facilities
• Solar geyser in one of the houses
• Noise pollution is kept to a minimum through the placement of signage and staff training to ensure late night noise impact on our neighbours is kept to a minimum
• Beer bottle tops collected and donated to company that uses it to make crafts
• Beer bottles bought from SAB returned to them to recycle and re-use
• Solar light for tepee, movement sensor lights in certain outside areas
• Outside garden is water wise, most plants on premises are indigenous and some are water wise
• Pool pump running time reduced to reduce electricity consumption. Filter now runs on 6 hour cycle as opposed to 10 hour cycle
• Pool filter changed to chlorinator to reduce the amount of chlorine used, pool salt is now used and converted by chlorinator into chlorine.
• Pools pump set to run off eskom peak hours – 7am – 13:00
• Pool light is set on times and only activated after dark.
• Pool pump is cleaned regularly to ensure the system runs efficiently.
• Heat pump installed for new loft rooms for production of hot water for showers and basins
• Policy to switch off LCD computer screens in offices while computers are out of use.
• LCD screens now purchased as opposed to tube operated screens as LCD screens have lower energy consumption
• No dishwashers are used in either guest or café kitchens, all dishes are washed manually by hand.
• Automated lighting sensors used where possible.
• Staff encourages to switch of lighting when not needed.
• Bio degradable take away food containers and cups used in café area for all take away drinks and foods.
• All bathrooms have showers as opposed to baths, showers use less hot water than baths reducing hot water production energy consumption.
• All fridge door seals checked to ensure chilled air does not escape reducing the production of cold air.
• Geysers set to 60C
• When the main kitchen oven is in use effort is made to ensure it is kept closed to reduce heat loss.
• Appropriate kitchen appliances are used for correct tasks – ie – toast is made on a toaster and not under the oven grill.
• Low energy consumption wall panel heaters used in guest rooms for heating during colder months.

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Environmental Changes

• Recycling Bins - 8 colour coded and labelled to divide plastics, glass, paper/cardboard & tin
• Separate recycling waste bin in guest kitchen with 3 divisions
• Signage in guest kitchen and bin area on recyclable materials
• Private recycling company, Waste Control, employed to remove recyclables from premises
• Policy of double sided printing of all documents or printing on scrap paper
• Worm farm, staff trained. All organic waste from main kitchen decomposed in worm farm. Worm tea then used to nourish garden
• Number of supplier deliveries reduced by better planning when ordering to reduce number of trips suppliers make to the hostel
• Most of the cleaning products are bio-degradable, as well as toilet paper
• Encouragement of guests to use tours rather than self drive to various destinations thereby reducing carbon emissions
• Use of chiminea fire place and fire place opposed to electric heat in bar area. Wood used is alien vegetation such as blue gum
• Gas mushroom heaters used as opposed to electric heaters
• Energy saving light bulbs used throughout the house where possible as opposed to high voltage bulbs
• Water saving signs and material displayed at all general shower and bathroom facilities
• Solar geyser in one of the houses
• Noise pollution is kept to a minimum through the placement of signage and staff training to ensure late night noise impact on our neighbours is kept to a minimum
• Beer bottle tops collected and donated to company that uses it to make crafts
• Beer bottles bought from SAB returned to them to recycle and re-use
• Solar light for tepee, movement sensor lights in certain outside areas
• Outside garden is water wise, most plants on premises are indigenous and some are water wise
• Pool pump running time reduced to reduce electricity consumption. Filter now runs on 6 hour cycle as opposed to 10 hour cycle
• Pool filter changed to chlorinator to reduce the amount of chlorine used, pool salt is now used and converted by chlorinator into chlorine.
• Pools pump set to run off eskom peak hours – 7am – 13:00
• Pool light is set on times and only activated after dark.
• Pool pump is cleaned regularly to ensure the system runs efficiently.
• Heat pump installed for new loft rooms for production of hot water for showers and basins
• Policy to switch off LCD computer screens in offices while computers are out of use.
• LCD screens now purchased as opposed to tube operated screens as LCD screens have lower energy consumption
• No dishwashers are used in either guest or café kitchens, all dishes are washed manually by hand.
• Automated lighting sensors used where possible.
• Staff encourages to switch of lighting when not needed.
• Bio degradable take away food containers and cups used in café area for all take away drinks and foods.
• All bathrooms have showers as opposed to baths, showers use less hot water than baths reducing hot water production energy consumption.
• All fridge door seals checked to ensure chilled air does not escape reducing the production of cold air.
• Geysers set to 60C
• When the main kitchen oven is in use effort is made to ensure it is kept closed to reduce heat loss.
• Appropriate kitchen appliances are used for correct tasks – ie – toast is made on a toaster and not under the oven grill.
• Low energy consumption wall panel heaters used in guest rooms for heating during colder months.

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