Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, the Baz Bus! Memories of backpacking about in South Africa wouldn't be the same without it! Geared at budget travellers and backpackers, it collects and drops off fellow travellers at over 180 backpacker hostels or lodges in over 40 towns and cities.
And this year the Baz Bus celebrates its birthday! Now in its 10th year of operation, the Baz Bus keeps on keepin' on! Last year the bus transported over 15,000 travellers between the backpacking lodges of South Africa and Swaziland.
Baz Bus hit the road for the first time in November 1995 – the brainchild of Barry Zeidel. Barry, a qualified accountant, entrepreneur and retired backpacker; hired an assistant to help answer calls and two drivers to drive his two new busses between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Passion, dreams and hard work were invested into Baz Bus and after a year in operation, Barry was finally kicked out of his home which had become Baz Bus' Head office!
Now Baz Bus is fuelled by a team of 40 staff located around the country and a fleet of ten 19-seater semi-luxury Volkswagen busses, all with on-board TV & videos, and trailers capable of carrying extra luggage, surfboards and bicycles.
Part of the popularity of the Baz Bus is due to the flexibility of its ticketing system. Unlike regular intercity buses, you simply buy one ticket to your final destination and can 'hop-on, hop-off' wherever and as many times as you like, with no time limit on your ticket. (The ticket can also be bought for a portion of the route or the whole direct route). The route runs between Cape Town and Johannesburg/ Pretoria, and vice versa. Shuttles provide links to out of
the way places, like Lesotho and Mozambique. Popular spots along the Baz Bus route include the Garden Route. With a lush Mediterranean climate, and renowned for its diverse range of adventure activities (Including the highest Bungy jump in the world), it's the untouched beauty of the Wild Transkei Coast in the Eastern Cape, where rural South Africa meets a rugged African Coast line. KwaZulu Natal is a subtropical splendour, known for its hot Indian curries and great waves. From Durban, you have a choice of travelling either via the Drakensberg Mountains, the highest peaks in Southern Africa and gateway into Lesotho, or travel via Swaziland, with the youngest reigning monarch in the world. The highlight on many people's itinerary is the Kruger National Park, the biggest Game Park in Southern Africa (bigger than Israel), where you have the opportunity to spot the big 5 (Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino & Lion)!
Besides their hop-on hop-off bus service, Baz Bus has diversified into three other exciting backpacking products, namely; South Africa Flexi-Tour Adventures, Baz Bus Cape Peninsula day Tour and Baz Bus Travel Passes.
A Flexi-tour is a combination of a hop-on hop-off Baz Bus ticket, a 'once in a lifetime' African safari and a selection of 'must do' cultural day tours along the route. The tours include Baz Bus' very own Cape Peninsula day tour, a fun-filled day tour to the South Western-most point of Africa; a township tour with the Xhosa people in Port Elizabeth
which examines the harsh reality of South Africa's Apartheid past; a rural encounter with the Zulu people, the largest ethnic group in South Africa in the 'Valley of 1000 Hills' village just outside Durban; a Swaziland highlights tour in Swaziland, which explores this unique country and its people and finally; a four day/three night Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga safari, where you have the opportunity of spotting the big 5 game animals. Baz Bus Flexi-tours allow you to experience the highlights of South Africa, whilst still maintaining the flexibility to choose where you want to travel, where you want to stay and how long you want to travel for.
For travellers who are short on time, Baz Bus offers seven and 14 day Travel Passes. These tickets are based on a time limit (unlike the regular 'sector' hop-on hop-off tickets), but passengers are free to travel as often as they want and in any direction within the time limit. With its regular schedule, local drivers and on-board information about all the exciting adventures (and discounts) en-route, Baz Bus is a great way to get around, while meeting fellow travellers on the way! Web: www.bazbus.com
Tel: +27 21 439 2323