Tucked away just behind the famous Florida Road in Durban South Africa, is a well kept secret….until now of course! Arriving as I did drenched in sweat (because who doesn’t wear thick denim jeans in thirty four degree weather?) and desperately in need of water, I made my discovery of Tekweni Backpackers.
Whati who was managing bar and check in at the time, gave me a quick tour of the grounds and welcomed me with open arms. The first thing I noticed at check in, was the relaxed vibe an atmosphere. Everyone was so chilled out, everyone was mingling. There were guests playing pool, guests in the pool, guests lounging in the various bean bags and of course always someone swinging in the pool hammock! The “backpacker” vibe really rings true at Tekweni’s or Tek’s as us locals like to call it.
It was hard to pull myself out of my room, I just loved the way it was decorated. I stayed in a double room, I suspect the “room gods” knew exactly who I was as on my wall were these amazing Wildlife Canvas Prints. All done in black and white which perfectly matched my white and grey styled room. My room had its own entrance door and a door which led into the center of the house. Giving me access to kitchens, lounge areas and bathroom facilities. Really well thought out and a reminder that the accommodation is in fact an old Colonial style home. I stayed in room No.14 and would recommend this room because of the stunning morning light.
After a quick change out of my jeans and scope of my room, I headed to the pool area where I was able to spend some time with Adri CEO of Tekweni backpackers. Adri and I actually met previously at a Travel Massive event and thus how I came to know about Tekweni’s. I just love the sudden increase of travel related events and gatherings within the Durban community! We spent time talking about the activities and tours that you can book through Tekweni’s at their information center and the famous Tek Braai Nights! Something I was incredibly excited for that evening.
One of the best things about visiting, staying or passing through a backpackers is the fact that you never know who you’re going to meet. Within my first 2 hours I had met a digital entrepreneur, a surfer, a high school teacher, and a photographer. Later on I would meet even more interesting individuals who have only motivated and cemented my lust for travel and exploration. Paul Fretz the teacher I had been talking too, had earlier given his skateboard over to Whati as a gift. It was such a simple and genuine gesture and it made someone else so happy. I then spent some time talking Paul and learning about his 2 week adventure in South Africa. And finding some rather interesting artwork on his Instagram page.
Speaking of which, the artwork and graffiti at Teks is amazing! There is artwork on almost every surface and very interesting stories behind the images. Unfortunately most of the work was done many years ago and so I could not gain any names of the artists to credit them. Make sure you get to see all of the pieces around the property when staying over.
And then suddenly it was Braai time! Joe known for being the Braai starter begun to setup an amazing fire and not long after that some stunning salads were bought through to the outside tables. I say stunning because anyone who can pair sweetcorn and feta and cucumber in one bowl is my secret superhero! I loved that everyone ate together around one long table. What an amazing conversation starter. Food was shared, everyone trying something of someone else’s and sharing between ourselves. There is a bar and music which plays while open, due to the accommodation being slightly separated from the pool area you don’t really hear much noise if you need an early night.
Chef Shannon who introduced himself by laying the braai with prawns (already a good person in my eyes) spent the evening in and out of kitchens and chatting in between over hot fires. Shannon has recently spent some time in Capetown I learned later on, and is really enjoying his time here in Durbz! Oh and yes he rocks a top knot 🙂
So while munching away on my wors and salad roll, and trying to snapchat, tweet, and instagram all the awesomeness I bumped into well known photographer Al Nicoll. Talk about a surprise, it took me about 3 seconds after we introduced ourselves for my brain to go “hey that’s that awesome Instagram account you like”. And then we spent the next hour or so chatting, sharing images and generally just talking about anything surf or photo related. Al is a great guy to have a conversation with and he is so passionate about his craft! Refreshing to see.
At one point in the evening I just stood to the side of the pool and looked around me. I was in this space, this atmosphere of complete and total freedom. People were just engaging with one another and I think that is such an important part of living in today’s technology based world.
Tekweni’s is this private space an sanctuary for the chilled ones. It’s rare, its been protected and its beautiful. In my past career in hotels, I always knew that staff made or broke your brand. And this is another example of just that. The staff at Teks are ALL amazing and have such characters. If I wasn’t laughing, I was giggling, if I wasn’t doing one of those I was learning or being taught something new. The mood lightning by the pool is a fantastic space to end the evening off in.
Eventually morning had to come, when I opened my eyes the room was filled with light warm energy and I didn’t want to move. Like ever.
I’d like to thank the staff, CEO Adri Randall, Patrick Moroney and everyone involved in making Tekweni’s what it is and inviting me over. I had such a fantastic time and can’t wait for my next braai night experience.
*Tekweni’s offers both dorm rooms, private rooms and monthly stay options
Rates are subject to change*
And As Always….