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Johannesburg. – I met Bheki Dube, a young entrepreneur who has become part of the inner city’s regeneration with tourism his forte. He offered me a tour of his Curiocity Backpackers in Maboneng, an ever evolving hostel offering an affordable way for urbanites to get a taste of the real Joburg. His enthusiasm and vision for the area is bringing about noticeable change as he offers guests the opportunity to get an authentic feel for the area, also working with volunteer projects and offering inner-city walks.

Trained as a photojournalist, he started his career taking photographs of backpackers as a personal project, before joining up with property developer Jonathan Liebmann, to put passion to practice. Curiocity allows him to engage and infect in-house visitors with his infectious enthusiasm, whilst expanding his Mainstreetwalks project, which I must return to do.

To quote him – ‘Curiocity Backpackers is different from other businesses because we strive to offer an authentic Johannesburg experience – as it is, and not from a distance.

Offering mixed, male and female dorms, single and double rooms, there is a bar, communal kitchen and balcony area from which to watch world go by. In the courtyard herbs grow in containers remant of the building’s days as a print house. Communal bathrooms and a jacuzzi. Also WiFi, a shuttle service and in-house restaurant.

If you want to be in the heart of it all with the best guide in town introducing you to all the locals. This is a great place to stay. Best of all, you get to learn a little bit about this incredible 21 year old who is paving a firm future for himself and his neighbourhood.

Curiocity Backpackers. Tel: +27 (0)11 592 0515
info@curiocitybackpackers.com. 302 Fox Street, Johannesburg.

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