I went to South Africa as a solo female backpacker and always when I travel alone I try to find the safest way to get around. This for me was the most important fact when choosing how to go from Cape Town to Johannesburg. When I read about Baz Bus and their services I knew this would be the best option for my travels. Before this trip I always had a problem how to get from bus or train stations in new cities to the hostels I have booked. I wasn’t always sure where the bus will leave me, taxis were expensive, local bus systems complicated, without timetables or maps. So Baz Bus seemed like a great option and it turned out to be the easiest, most convenient, comfortable and safe way to get around South Africa.
What is Baz Bus?
Baz Bus is South Africa’s convenient hop-on hop-off door-to-door backpacker bus service, although I have met many travellers with suitcases travelling with Baz Bus, too. They pick you up in your hostel and drop you off in the next hostel. Sounds amazing, right? 🙂
You have different types of Baz Bus tickets: hop-on hop-off ticket, 7, 14 or 21 travel pass or normal ticket for just one destination. I had the hop-on hop-off ticket to go from Cape Town to Johannesburg, which has no time limit, so I could travel in my direction for as long as I wanted. Check out all my stops here.
How does Baz Bus work?
Once you purchase your selected ticket, you have three important documents to have in mind. The first is Baz Bus’s Map, where you choose which stops you will make along the way. Honestly, choosing the stops was the hardest part of using Baz Bus, because all their stops are incredible destinations offering many attractive sites and activities. As usually, my problem was the time limit of my travels, otherwise I would stop everywhere. To make your choices of city easier, Baz Bus has an online guide of activities and stuff to do on their website, as well as a printed guide on-board of each buses with all activities and accommodations listed. Port Elizabeth and Durban are compulsory overnight stays and some stops are reachable with an additional shuttle service. This you have to reserve in advance directly with your hostel and sometimes you have to pay additional fee for the ride.
Source: Baz Bus
The second document is the timetable, so you can see which days and at which hours Baz Bus is going to your selected destination. Be attentive because Baz Bus does not operate every day. And finally, the third document is the hostels list, so you can choose at which hostel with a Baz Bus Stop you will stay. Don’t worry, their hostel list includes more than 180 hostels and all I tried were great!
Then all is left for you is to send them an e-mail / call them / send them text message and make your seat reservation. You have to tell them your ticket number, name & surname, date of travels and which is your pick up and drop off hostel. Then you will get a seat confirmation and your trip can start! You can let them know your whole trip in advance or send them destinations one per one, as I did. To be sure to get your seat, make reservation 72 hours in advance.
How is travelling with Baz Bus?
A friendly driver picks you up in your hostel, usually they even carried my bag to the bus, then you chose your seat and get comfortable. The driver explains the trip and hours of arrivals to destinations and when you can expect breakfast, lunch and dinner stop. If you need to use toilet, they will make additional stops.
When you travel early in the morning, you can get in some sleep, all the other travellers will do the same. Or you can admire gorgeous views from the bus window. After the first stop, getting your morning cup of coffee, everybody wakes ups and then making friends part starts. I met a lot of fellow travellers while travelling with Baz Bus, with many we later discovered South Africa’s beauties together and became friends.
Before they drop you off in the next hostel, you fill out comment book for the driver, so you can help better the whole Baz Bus experience.
What is more?
I also did the Cape Peninsula Day Tour and the Kruger National Park Tour with Baz Bus. Both were more than fun, amazing adventures I will remember forever. They offer other tours and special price combinations as well, so be sure to check out their entire web page.
I wrote this article in collaboration with Baz Bus, however all opinions are always my own and I genuinely recommend Baz Bus’s services to everyone who is travelling around South Africa.
I traveled with Baz Bus in June and July 2017.