To Baz Bus or Not To Baz Bus

For those planning on traveling around South Africa, there is a very convenient backpacker-geared transportation service called Baz Bus.  Basically, they provide transportation between backpackers/hostels in major destinations with door-to-door service.  They also sell a type of ticket which allows you to hop on/hop off wherever you want for a fixed price.  Personally, I decided not to go with Baz Bus because I wanted to get a local feel of South Africa by traveling as locals do.  However, I would say 90% of the people I met used Baz Bus to get around.  Here are some pros and cons that I found with Baz Bus (having to take it occasionally out of necessity):

Pros

  1. This is the most convenient way to travel around South Africa and allows you to spend more time enjoying your vacation instead of planning your transportation.
  2. Great for meeting new people.  The majority of backpackers use Baz Bus so you’ll meet fellow backpackers and get great tips on what to do, see, eat, stay.
  3. Some of the drivers act as a tour guide, pointing out sites along the way and providing tons of information about South Africa.
  4. Safe, reliable and comfortable travel.  The minibuses they use are very new and easy to fall asleep in.

Cons

  1. More expensive than coach buses or other minibuses (I found on average it was double the price for Baz Bus).
  2. Takes some of the fun out of traveling for me which is independently finding/planning transportation from point A to B.
  3. Less flexible since Baz Bus has only 1 bus per day going in each direction.  Coach buses usually had 2-3 options per day so you can depart and arrive at a time that suits your schedule.
  4. You might miss out on meeting and seeing how local people live since you’re interacting mainly with backpackers from foreign countries.  There’s a backpacker bubble and you may end up traveling with the same people for your entire trip.  Most of the people I met who took Baz Bus ran into people they met previously on the Baz Bus later on in their trip either on another Baz Bus trip or at the hostel.
  5. *New* (thanks Valerie!): It takes a long time to go from Joburg to Cape Town and vice versa because there is no direct route.  You will have to stop multiple times and it can take around 3 days whereas coach buses have direct routes.  Maybe try hop on/off going one way and a direct coach bus on the way back to get the best of both worlds!

My advice is to try a bit of both and see what suits your style of traveling.  Either way, you’ll get to experience South Africa and all that it has to offer!

Baz Bus website: http://www.bazbus.com

About these ads
Tagged

7 thoughts on “To Baz Bus or Not To Baz Bus

  1. Jeff Brown says:

    Excellent article! May we publish it under travel tips (with due accreditation & links) on the Wild Coast website?

    I really enjoyed your Fear & Loathing post, too, but it’s not terribly good publicity. ;-)

    • claud says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Glad you enjoyed the article! You can definitely publish it on the Wild Coast website. In fact, I’ve been recommending the Wild Coast to all my friends.

      If you need anything else (i.e. clean up the Fear & Loathing post so it’s more “tourism friendly”), let me know!

      Cheers,
      Claudia

  2. Valerie says:

    That is exactly the kind of article I was looking for as I’m in the process of planning a road trip throughout the coast by myself (a 23 year old female traveller). In the baz bus cons, I would add that there is no direct line from Joburg to Cape Town or vice versa. For example, if you hoped on and off on your way to go, on your way to return, you may want to return stright but instead, it takes a minimum of 3 days as you have a number of compulsory stop over.

    • Claud says:

      Totally agree Valerie! Added to post.

      • Valérie says:

        By the way, you mention that you occasionnally took the baz bus, but I wonder, how is that possible? Can you get on the baz bus just for a small section or use some of their shuttle buses for areas not reached by the baz bus ?

  3. Claud says:

    Hi Valerie,
    Exactly, you can buy a ticket for just a portion of your trip (from one city to another) if the timing for the coach buses doesn’t fit your schedule. For example, I wanted to go from Coffee Bay to Cintsa to Hogsback within 1 day but there wasn’t a coach bus that fit my schedule so I took the Baz Bus for just that route. Also, there aren’t coach buses that go to Coffee Bay so I took a coach bus to a gas station in Mthatha which was the pick-up point for the shuttle to go to Coffee Bay. That was the same meeting point for people taking the Baz Bus to catch the Coffee Bay shuttle.

    Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 663 other followers

%d bloggers like this: