It’s no news that the Jo’burg CBD is busy shedding its dangerous image in order to create attractive nodes which are fast becoming playgrounds for the cool, the woke and anyone wanting to savour the soul of this dynamic, 132-year-old city.
But did you know that early last year, a new and arty backpacker establishment opened its doors at 100 Anderson St, between the Carlton Centre and Maboneng, to wide acclaim from tourists?
Called Urban Backpackers, it’s part of the Urban Zulu brand, which features a fashion label, a hair salon and a restaurant, Kafé Noir – each located alongside each other on that street. Overall, the business employs 38 people.
Kaluw (39) owns the Urban Zulu brand and is heartened by how well all the strands of the business fit together in creating a distinctly African ethos.
Already the backpackers’ arty and rustic look, complete with witty writings on the interior walls, is a hit among tourists seeking an alternative experience of the city.
“The arty look is a part of our vision of running a business with Afro-centric values – locally produced and symbiotically black. Those are the symbols tourists want,” he says.
The Urban Backpackers’ location makes it a winner: it affords easy access to every part of the city and has a rooftop offering unparalleled views of the Jo’burg skyline, where guests can relax, socialise or enjoy local cuisine.
“We value people and their affiliation to the environment.We want to provide an optimum experience of Jozi to the world,” says Kaluw.