South Aficia for Dummies

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East South Aficia for Dummies

1. Posted by P_Mann (Budding Member 18 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hey all,
So I'm still in the early stages of planning a trip to SA as part of a round the world trip. My first thoughts are fly into Cape Town and fly out of Joburg. First question, does anyone whats the public transport is like, would it be possible to bus this distance.
From people I'm talking to they are saying to do the garden route. I'll be travelling on my own so I need to stick to a route that has hostels to stay in and lots of backpackers to mingle with.
Any suggestions on the route and the things that I have to do in SA. I know its a very braod question but any advice is appreciated.
I'm planning in being in SA in Feb 2007. Anyone else going at this time??

2. Posted by kyebrown (Budding Member 62 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hey, I'm heading to SA at the end of march, doing basically the same as you, if you want to meet a lot of other travellers then the best thing to do from what I know is to use the bazbus which is a minibus service for travellers, it can drop you off at the door to hostels up and down the garden coast that they are affiliated with and its a hop on hop service. the website is I've chosen to do this when I go, I'm going solo aswell and its my first port of call so figure it'll be a great way to meet ppl from day one!! hope that helps


3. Posted by Kathi20 (Respected Member 270 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'm happy to help you with planning your trip. Drop me a message and I'll answer it asap!

4. Posted by Demian (Full Member 117 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

If you want the bus, then bazbus is the best option. They have stops at most places of interest and at a fair number of backpackers along the garden route.

I wouldn't really suggest hitching on your own, but it is a great way to meet local people, so maybe you can persuade some other backpackers to go hitching. Or you might be lucky ands bump in to some dudes with a car staying in your backpackers. It's easy to buy and sell a car in SA, I met lots of people who did it - in fact, I bought a car when I was in SA for six months. (recently returned home in the netherlands)

5. Posted by Redfen (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

There is a book "on Route in South Africa" by Jonathan Ball Publishers which gives you a Region by Region guide to SA and all the places worth seeing. My husband & I used it last December when got into the car and just decided to go for a three week drive. We had no accomodation booked and December is peak season in SA -we had no problem at all in finding accomodation. A word of advise the Northern Cape is not a place you want to visit in the Summer months - rather go there in spring. Its bone dry and there is almost nothing to see in summer - besides the odd hungry looking meercat. Places worth seeing on your trip are Table Mountain (Cape Town),Tabel Mountain National Park(CT),West Coast Naional Park, Walker Bay-Whale watching (July to Nov). Knysna (take a trip up to the Heads (you can only get there by hired ferry) - and take a camera!).All the Towns just before Knysna (comming from George) like Sedgefield, Wilderness. Plettenberg Bay (Robberg Peninsula)and Tsitsikamma National Park. I love Tsitsikamma - the forests are awesome!! - theres bungee jumping - I think its one of the highest if not the highest. Try the suspension bridge over the Stomers River & the 41km otter trail through the forests. Cheers Jacqui

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 1, 2006, at 1:11 AM by Seganj ]

6. Posted by mansikapur (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


The fastest way to do Cape Town - Jo'burg is to fly. There are a couple of budget airlines (Kulula and Nationwide). U might want to check out South African Airways. (i'd got a great deal on it). Its a two hour flight. You might want to take a bus. There are intercity buses, which take about SAR 350 - 450 and take about 20 - 24 hours. There are trains as well.

Yes, the garden route is a briallint idea. Try to get some people along and hire a car. BTW, hiring a car is by far the cheapest way to travel in SA, especially if you have someone to split the costs.

Jo'burg: Backpacker's Ritz. There a quite a few near the airport as well.

CPT: Try Long Street... loads of places. In CPT, the best thing is to stay in and around the city centre. These guys even arrange for airport transfers (which could otherwise set you back by a SAR 100)
and will readily give you advice on hiring cars to eating to traveling.

Hope that helps!

have fun and don't miss the amarula ;-)

7. Posted by travel4eva (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I would suggest driving yourself along the garden route, the area is beautiful and there is so much to see, although on a bus you see the normal "touristy" things, you are bound to their schedule. Even better if you and a some fellow travellers team up and do the route in one car or micro bus. You should also probably check out its a "yellow pages" of travel and tourism companies with websites in South Africa.
It would be such a waste to stay in Cape Town, then skip out the garden route and fly to Johanesburg.