Buses, Cape Town
See beautiful Cape Town in 4 routes available: the Red City Tour, the Blue Mini Peninsula Tour, the Yellow Downtown Tour and the Purple Wine Tour. Discover this mysterious, beautiful and exhilarating city!
Be warned that public transport in Cape Town is terrible, the cost (on some routes) has gone up 100% for the 2010 World Cup and on many routes, buses are few and far between. Do not expect the situation that exists in Europe, where there are buses or trains every few minutes. Fares change at the drivers whim and there are no schedules posted at bus stops - you have to get a printout from the information office at the terminus - which is only open during office hours - THIS IS A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, despite anything you might have read.
September 2014 -
We now also have the MyCiti bus transportation system, which is gradually taking over routes. Although there are still challenges, this is one of the best things that has happened to Cape Town. The trips are much longer, as the routes cover many more stops and a circuitous route in most cases, but with transfers possible and the individual stations safer, it is possible to travel to places that were completely out of reach previously. Drivers are monitored, an electronic card system means that cash is unnecessary and the busses are clean and well-maintained. Well done, Helen Zille and Patricia De Lille - it took women to improve the horrendous situation that we previously were forced to tolerate.
A good way to get around Cape Town and do some sight seeing is to use "CitySightSeeing Cape Town" Tours. You can take in a good deal of the city using the 'Hop-On Hop-Off' buses. The purchased ticket for these buses means you can get on and off where you please at designated stops. There is a blue one and a red one that have different routes. Prices are the same for both, but cheaper if you buy online (see website).
Blue - stops at 13 attractions including Kirstenbosch Gardens, Imizamo Yethu Township, Hout Bay and V&A Waterfront. Buses come by at stops every 45 minutes. First bus departs at 9:10am. Schedule provided here (see photo).
Red - stops at 17 attractions including Table Mountain, The Castle, District Six, Camps Bay and V&A Waterfront. Buses come by at stops every 20 minutes. First bus departs at 9:15am. Schedule provided here (see photo).
The buses have open air tops and headphones to listen to info on in many languages, which is educational. The main stop and ticket office is at the V&A Waterfront near the Two Oceans Aquarium. This is Stop number 1 for both blue and red Hop on-Hop Off buses.
Some personal advice, if you take the red line tour, is to get off at stop #5 (St. Georges Cathedral), from here you can see some market places at Greenmarket Square and walk through the Company's Garden up to Victoria Avenue. This takes you to stop #6 at the South Africa Museum, which is a nice museum and worth seeing. After you finish here you can "Hop-On" again right outside the museum and continue with the tour. The red line tour pass through District Six and eventually takes you to Table Mountain (stop #13). After this it takes you on a nice ride along the coastal roads with some great scenery. It's best to look at the routes & sights and do some preplanning where you want to Hop On and Hop Off.
I spent 6 weeks travelling around South Africa and used Baz Bus for all my inter-city travel.
Baz Bus follows the Garden Route between Cape Town and Johannesburg, stopping at popular destinations along the way. They deliver you door-to-door from your current hostel to your next one. This is a great option for anyone who is concerned about security while in South Africa. They have multiple ticket options to suit most needs.
I found the service to be excellent. It was reasonably priced, ran on schedule, the drivers were professional and the vehicles were in good repair.
This is definitely an option worth considering for anyone travelling to South Africa.
Shared Taxis, a common mean of transport on the african continent, are the backbone of Cape Town’s public transport. Compared to other african cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town’s shared taxis are relatively safe. However, it is not recommended to use the taxi outside the city center, if you are not familiar with Cape Town and if you are travelling without any local assistance. Routes to Waterfront and Sea Point can be used safely throughout the night.
The driver of the taxi shouts out the destination where he’s going to. All you have to do is to get in and take your seat. Pay the driver by giving the passenger in front of you which will reach it to the front, your change will come the same way back. Shared taxis are cheaper than buses, but run more irregulary and get easily cramped. Travelling with a shared taxi gives you a small insight into everyday life in South Africa. Get in, join the locals and perhaps you’ll get involved in a small conversation. (Info as of late 2007)
I have never used the City Sightseeing bus in Cape Town, but looking at the website, it seems like so much fun that I can't wait to give it a go! South Africa is notorious for its lack of public transport, so our kids regard any trip on a train or a bus as an absolute treat!
There are two routes, both of which take in the majority of the major tourist highlights in the Cape Town area, including the beaches of oh-so-trendy Camps Bay. The Blue route also includes beautiful Kirstenbosch (for the botanical gardens) and Mariner's Wharf at Hout Bay.
Passengers are free to get on and off the bus at will.
The cost is extremely reasonable, as you could easily spend that on petrol and parking fees in a day, and of course, it alleviates the need to drive or find parking.
My Cape Town oracle Gerald_D tells me that passengers are issued with a (new) pair of orange headphones and that there is a commentary in 13 languages. I am tempted to suggest that this would be South Africa's 11 official languages + French, Spanish and German, but as with so many things in South Africa, the practice doesn't follow the political rhetoric, so you'll just have to wait for commentary in isiXhosa or Tshivenda or Setswana! Instead you can take your pick of French, Spanish, German, Italian, German, Portuguese, Afrikaans, isiZulu, Arabic, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese and Russian, as well as a dedicated commentary for kids (which seems a nice touch, and will doubtless be popular with parents).
Fares (as of October 2010):
Adults R120 per day (R110 online booking)
Kids R60 pd
Kids under 5 go free.
Optional 1 hour boat trip (an extra R80)
Until 20 December 2010, there is a special offer that allows two kids travelling with a farepaying adult to go free.
What are you waiting for?
Finally Cape Town is starting to get a decent public transport system in operation. The MyCity service operates between Cape Town international Airport and the City Centre (Cost R50.00 per trip), City loop, and between Table View and Cape Town with feeder services at terminal points.
Hopefully the service will be expanded to other routes in the future.
Hop-on-hop-off bus in Cape Town is of immense help and a very pleasant surprise after the lack of acceptable transport for newcomers in Joburg or Pretoria. It is an efficient service encompassing all of the important parts of the city (from tourist’s prospective) at a fixed cost with different departure and arrival times throughout the day. It makes takes you to Hout Bay through the back side of the Table Mountain and then brings you back to the Waterfront following the beaches of Camps Bay and Sea Point.
Finally I did the hop on/hop off bus in Cape Town. The cost is R120 for one day or R200 for two days. We did the red route which was the CBD, Cable Car over to Campsbay. Very nice and most informative.
for getting around the country - a nationwide network..
I travelled them Jhb to Cape Town and Back >> R805 return
also Pretoria to Pietermaritzburg >>R335 return
Clean, on time and well maintained fleet of buses
Golden Arrow has a good network of buses, with frequently running services all over Cape Town. The service is focused on working-class commuters and so the vehicles are unfortunately not the best. Golden Arrow buses are cheap, with fares depending on the route you are travelling. Usually, it’s around 2.00 Rand per person, add a little more for longer routes and routes frequented by tourists. Tickets are available at the driver.
If you are not familiar with Cape Town and its public transport system, do not use public transport outside of the city center. Routes to Sea Point or Waterfront are also less problematic and can be used safely until late at night.
An useful info might be that there is no service from the city center to Waterfront.
I found them to be the cheapest. Unfortunately, not easy to get when you arrive late at night. There is a airport transfer desk right in the same area as baggage claim and next to the money exchange window.
Get yourself Cape Town Pass online. It save lots of hassle. You can enter most places and get on the city bus using it. You can save money too cz fare for the city bus isn't cheap.... we travel in 4.
To go to other part of Cape Town you left with no option than renting a car. We use Hertz and got it from the hotel we stayed. Fuel price is high. Get small cc car is advisable.
It this, I think, the most convenient and effective way to skim around the city. 100ZAR/day, you can hop on and off as many times as you like. The bus takes you to almost every tourist spots in Cape Town namely; V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain (Cable Way), Company's Garden & around, District Six Museum, Houses of Parliament, Castle of Good Hope, a ride thru Bo-Kaap and Camps Bay. On the open-air double-decker, you can wave your camera around as much as you want, it's no-muggers-zone.
Actually public transport in SOuth Africa is on a very low level. Almost everyone that works has a car. It is really an adventure to get around Cape TOwn by the public transport.
From Camps Bay and Sea Point there are mini buses called - taxis by the locals. The price is about 4 rands and they are quite fast. But they also drive very fast, so this is not the safest transport in CT. Still, if you are a backpacker, they are much better than the expensive taxis.
My friend made this photo joke for me. I am sharing it with you :)