FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Cape Town is an international city like many others. Crime exists, but traveling with caution and paying attention to certain safety risks is crucial for an incident free visit. We recommend standard international safety practices, as well as saving on a cloud based system or email server, a copy of your: insurance documents, passport, ID, Drivers License, Serial numbers of any expensive equipment such and flight informaiton. Save these numbers in your phone to be extra cautious: Hostel Reception: +27 21 424 6169; All emergencies from your cell phone – 112; South African Police Services (SAPS) – 10111, and read this interesting article by the city of Cape Town for more info: http://www.capetown.travel/content/page/health-safety

Please email us your flight details: info@onceincapetown.co.za and we will arrange one for you at an additional fee. This fee is payable to reception directly, and can be paid online, in cash or using a credit card.

The area we are located in is beautiful, and easy to navigate by foot. We are within walking distance of many restaurants, museums, night venues, supermarkets, vintage cinemas etc. To reach the beaches, we suggest the local and very modern “My Citi” bus (link: http://myciti.org.za/en/home/) – OR calling a cab from reception. Uber is also a popular, affordable and safe option in Cape Town and very reliable.

To those who are questioning coming to Cape Town during the drought, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:

1. What does ‘Day Zero’ mean?

'Day Zero' is a term used to describe a date on which the City of Cape Town will cut the regular flow of the water. The projected date depends on water usage level, dam levels and rainfall into catchment areas. Even after the arrival of this date visitors to the area would still be able to enjoy the diverse, world-renowned experiences the city has to offer. The CBD water supply will NOT be cut off and businesses will be operating as usual. 

2. Will tourists have access to drinking water?

YES

3. Will tourists be able to bath, shower or use a swimming pool?

Tourists will be able to shower and maintain daily hygiene. Mandated guidelines suggest a shower of no longer than 2 minutes. The use of baths is entirely discouraged. Some swimming pools at hotels have been converted to salt (ocean) water.

4. Will restaurants and bars still be in operation?

YES - Many parts of the hospitality industry have proactively implemented water saving strategies and water augmentation solutions to ensure ongoing availability of water in their establishments. The central business district will always have running water. 

5. Will Cape Town's tourist attractions be affected?

Tourists will still be able to access and enjoy primary tourism attractions such as our iconic Table Mountain, Cape Point and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. You will still be able to enjoy the diverse and world-class experiences Cape Town and the Western Cape has to offer.

6. Would going to Cape Town be irresponsible as a tourist?

Please do not let the drought hinder your decision to come as tourists as a whole only represent 1% of Cape Town's population. Our doors will remain open, but please bring a water-saving mentality and together we can ensure the city gets through this crisis. Tourism generates a large percentage of the GDP and without YOU our city and country will suffer immensely. 

Located on the vibrant Kloof Street, Once in Cape Town is less than 5km away from the waterfront, Camps Bay beach and Table Mountain. We have the MyCiti bus stop right outside our front door which can take you to the V&A and Camps Bay, an uber to Table Mountain is roughly R50.00

Kloof Street is filled with many funky bars such as Asoka and Van Hunks, if you want a good time but do not feel like hitting the streets you can have a drink and meet many locals at our on-site bar Yours Truly, for the club scene take a five minute walk down Long Street where you will find Dubliner, Fiction, Beer House and many, many more.

We have a BazBus stop, just tell the driver that you will be getting off at Once in Cape Town.

We are just over 3km away from the central station, about walk a 30 minute walk from Once.

At Once in Cape Town we offer free daily activities for all our guests to join, some of the free activities include sunset on Signal Hill, hike up Table Mountain or Lions Head, Walking Tour, Braai Nights, Local Markets, and Free Drinks. We also assist guests with booking tours from our licensed tour providers such as shark cage diving, wine tasting, Cape Peninsular tour, skydiving and more. Our front desk will also recommend many must-sees such as Camps Bay and Kalk Bay so you will never have a dull day.

YES, our front desk is open 24/7

YES, we do laundry at Once in Cape Town, laundry gets collected at 10am and returned at 17h00pm should the laundry be brought to the reception after 10am it will be collected at 17h00pm and returned the next day at 10am. Services is closed on Sundays and rates vary.

YES, at Once in Cape Town we have off-street secure parking for our guests, the parking area is at the back of the hostel just drive past Once and take 3 immediate lefts. Enter where you see the sign “Kurt Forever” by ringing the bell.

YES we do, the code to the wifi can be found in your welcome pack on arrival or you can just ask the front desk for the wifi code and they will gladly assist you

YES, Your breakfast vouchers can be found in your welcome pack, you will need to select from the options on the voucher what you would like to have for your breakfast and hand to voucher in at Yours Truly to receive breakfast.

YES, we do have a communal kitchen where you can cook and store our food.

In our private rooms you will have towels provided however for all our rooms your will require to bring your own shampoo and soap. Alternatively, we do have towels for sale at reception and a super market 5 minutes down the road for all toiletries to be brought.

Foreign currency cannot be changed at Once in Cape Town however reception will be there to assist you to the nearest currency exchange.

The Hop-on Hop-off bus is very close to the hostel, and connects to most tourist attractions such as Constitution Hill. Otherwise you can also take a 5 minutes walk to reach this attraction. 

Located within the vibrant area of Braamfontein, Once in Joburg is a short walk from the Gautrain (underground train system). We have a Metrobus stop right outside our front door which can take you to City centre and surrounding areas.

Our location is within the epicentre of Johannesburg nightlife, so you are within a walk of multiple clubs. 

Braamfontein is filled with many funky bars such as Kitchener’s, Skyline, Republic of 94 and Great Dane, if you want a good time but do not feel like hitting the streets you can have a drink and meet many locals at our on-site bar The Immigrant. For the club scene take a short Uber ride to Rosebank, Sandton and Melville. 

We have a BazBus stop, just tell the driver that you will be getting off at Once in Joburg.

We are just over 850m away from the Gautrain (Park) station, about walk a 10 minute walk from Once in joburg.

You have three options;

1. You can take a R300 Uber ride straight from the airport.

2. The cheapest option is to take the Gautrain connection from O.R. Tambo, past Sandton and Rosebank to arrive at Park Station which is an 11-minute walk (850m) from Once in Joburg. You will find the Gautrain station by following the signage at the airport. Take train to Park Station, you will then need to disembark and change trains at the Sandton Station and continue your journey to Park Station (instructions on train are in English). Once in Joburg is an 11-minute walk away from Park Station. After 6pm it is not safe walking to Once in Joburg on your own, so rather call reception for assistance prior to leaving the airport, the Gautrain is mostly an underground railway around the city, cell phone reception will be very minimal during your commute - best to make the arrangements prior to your departure.

3. We can order an airport transfer for you which is R399.00 one way. The driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals section of the airport with a name board.

NB: If you have not booked a transfer, we would not recommend using any of the drivers that stand by the arrivals at the airport, for safety; as you would not have a way to track the driver should you forget anything in the car.

At Once in Joburg we offer free daily activities for all our guests to join, some of the free activities include Group Games, Walking Tours, Braai Nights, Local Markets and Free Drinks.

We also assist guests with booking tours from our licensed tour providers such as Safaris, Animal Sanctuaries, Sterkfontein caves, Cradle of Humankind, art galleries and more. Our front desk will also recommend many must-see experiences like Kruger National Park and Sun City, so you will never have a dull day.

Johannesburg is as safe as you make it, we advise our guests to walk in groups during the late evenings and to not take out cell phones and valuables and leave it unattended in public areas as you would anywhere in the world. Just remember if it feels wrong it is wrong, trust your gut.

YES, our front desk is open 24/7

In our private rooms you will have towels provided however for all our rooms you will require to bring your own shampoo and soap. Alternatively, we do have towels for sale at reception and the supermarket (5-minute walk from the hostel).

No we do not, but have the Openview HD bouqet which comes with local channels as well as BBC Lifestyle.

Our Standard/ Private rooms have air conditioners, but not in our Dorm rooms.

We have laundry facilities and use an external company. Laundry takes about a day to be done and is charged according to how much it weighs. Dark colours and whites are washed and charged separately.

YES, at Once in Joburg we have off-street secure parking for our guests, the parking entrance is on Melle Street. The underground parking has a green sign (Once Parking) above a black roller door. Should you have difficulty locating it, call reception, and we will assist you.

YES we do, the code to the WiFi can be found in your welcome pack on arrival or you can just ask front desk for the WiFi code and they will gladly assist you

Breakfast is included if you include it when creating your reservation.

YES, we do have a communal kitchen where you can cook and store your food.

Foreign currency cannot be changed at Once in Johannesburg however reception will be there to assist you to the nearest currency exchange.

You may book directly at book@onceinjoburg.co.za or via our website www.once.travel

You may pay on arrival should you book on arrival, all bookings prior to arrival we require full payment before arrival.

A dorm is shared accommodation, our dorm rooms can sleep a max of 4 people per dorm and is comprised of 2 bunk beds and each dorm has its own ensuite. A shared dorm is recommended for the budget conscious, friends and solo travels in order to meet other travellers. We also have a female dorm which only accommodates female travellers.

A Budget Private Twin is the same as a regular dorm however it is more spacious and comprises of two single beds and one bunk bed. Also convenient for a family of three.

Due to our two on-site bar areas children are not recommended to stay at Once in Joburg. However, should children be accompanied by adults we will allow for children to stay.

You can purchase one at the local supermarket or the Ackermans. Don’t forget to carry your passport and proof of residence which the reception staff can create for you.

Yes, the tap water in Johannesburg is 100% safe and one of the safest in the world.

Using buses is fairly easy but using the local minibus taxis is more challenging because of the hand signals that you need to know.