In The Press


'Baz Bus' ideal transport for backpackers and tourists alike

By Maureen Kruger

PORT ST JOHNS – One of South Africa’s most convenient hop on, hop off door-to-door backpackers bus service, the Baz Bus, has now extended its operations to include Port St Johns. Operating from Cape Town, this is essentially – but not strictly – ideal for travelers young and old who visit South Africa to get from place to place by traveling through the countryside, and almost all the time literally being dropped at their destination’s doorstep Several backpacker and accommodation establishments run regular shuttle services to points of delivery to make traveling through and enjoyment of the many rural areas even easier for the foreign young travelers, the majority of whom are backpackers. The travelers can simply buy a ticket to their final destination while hopping on and off as they please and as their time permits.

There are over 180 hostels to select from and more than 40 cities or villages to visit en route. I recently had the opportunity of riding the Baz Bus and can highly recommend the trip. First of all, having had problems with our corporate bakkie, I took a lift to the East Coast Resorts area to cover the Drakensberg Boys choir, who were visiting the area at the time. On the Sunday the weather was foul; with everyone rater busy with getting young lads breakfast and ready to go off to Port Alfred for their next concert. We phoned the Baz Bus, but the bus was full so I had to ride the following day. Having resigned myself to a day of leisure, a return call quickly changed all that and off I went on a cancelled seat.

I pick up the bus at Cintsa Bay Restaurant, where it stops for a while for passengers to stretch their legs or get a quick bit at Steven’s; a great place overlooking Cintsa West. The Baz Bus goes down to the popular and well-known backpackers establishments Buccaneer’s to pick up travelers and then on to Mthatha in the Transkei. What was most impressive was the personality of our driver Johnny, who knew the road very well and was most informative with a happy disposition. He explained to the travelers the History of the former Transkei, stopped off at former President Nelson Mandela’s boyhood village at Qunu where Madiba’s present house is built on the same design as the house he had at Robben Island. Before approaching Ultra City before Mthatha, Johnny warned the passengers of the pitfalls, which do at times occur at this point, where they loiter around ATM machines and to make sure that a guard was present when they wanted to do transactions. In no time at all we were in Port St Johns, which was my final destination whilst the bus continued on its merry way again up hills and valleys of magnitude surrounded by beautiful scenery. The change of route coming to Port St Johns via the old road, which is our newly tarred R61 to Durban instead of going through to Kokstad, has been such a blessing for Port St Johns as this is the only bus offers this service.


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