What to expect from bus travel in South Africa
With buses connecting almost every city in the country, this is a popular, safe and budget-friendly way to explore the country. You can get pretty much everywhere in ZA by bus, so if you're up for it, you can explore the entire country easily. Here's what you can expect from buses in South Africa:
The level of comfort on the buses can change drastically from one company to another, and also depend on the bus class you choose. But, in general, the country's long-distance buses are equipped with bathrooms, reclining seats and air conditioning, three basic amenities that make the trip more pleasant.
Bus travel is an affordable way to explore South Africa. Bus fares are generally cheaper than flights or driving. Bus companies also offer discounts for students, seniors, and groups, and some even have loyalty programs for frequent travelers.
South Africa has diverse landscapes, and bus travel offers stunning views of mountains, forests, beaches, and wildlife reserves. The scenic routes are perfect for nature lovers and provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the country's beauty.
The reality of bus travel in South Africa is that delays are a common occurrence. Sometimes buses can be delayed due to traffic or unforeseen circumstances, which means you should know there's a chance you'll be waiting for your bus for a while.
South African roads are safe, and the buses are generally well-maintained by experienced drivers. With that being said, it is important to remain vigilant at all times, keep your belongings with you and listen to safety instructions given by staff or the driver.
Bus travel in South Africa is usually affordable, but subject to fluctuations during the high season and near holidays. So you can expect drastic changes if you're planning on traveling right before Christmas, for example, especially if you book your tickets last minute.
The bus companies in South Africa
South Africa has several bus companies that offer reliable and safe services to its passengers. These bus companies have a vast network of routes that cover most parts of the country.
When it comes to bus travel in South Africa, you get what you pay for. If you're looking to save money, you might have to put up with delays and less comfortable seating. However, if you're willing to pay more, you can expect a more comfortable experience with amenities such as air conditioning, reclining seats, and onboard entertainment.
Despite the discrepancies in prices, bus travel in South Africa is generally affordable and offers good value for your money. However, it's important to do your research and choose a reputable bus company to avoid any unpleasant surprises. In general, paying a little extra for a reputable and reliable bus company is worth it for the added peace of mind and comfort that comes with a hassle-free journey.
How to choose a bus company?
Here are some of the major bus companies in the country:
Greyhound ZA is one of the most popular bus companies in South Africa. Greyhound ZA has two types of buses:
Greyhound premium/Luxury Dreamliner: these premium coaches offer extra legroom, charging ports, bathrooms and comfortable seats. They're double-deckers with comfortable seats upstairs and business class seats downstairs (wider seats and exclusive area).
Greyhound lite/single decker: also known as Citiliner buses, they offer a more affordable experience, but also comfortable and convenient. These coaches are equipped with air conditioning, bathrooms and reclining seats.
* Note: Citiliner bus company is now part of the Greyhound ZA group, and their buses were rebranded to Greyhound Lite.
Intercape is the largest intercity passenger transport service operating in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. Intercape has a fleet of modern coaches that are equipped with air conditioning, reclining seats, and onboard entertainment. The company operates a network of routes that cover most parts of the country. They offer three bus classes: sleepliner, mainline and budgetliner, each with its own features.
InttercityXpress has daily scheduled trips to and from the East Rand in Gauteng and the South Coast in Kwazulu-Natal, including Margate and destinations located between Johannesburg and Durban. IntercityXpress also offers a luxury bus service at an affordable price to passengers commuting from Gauteng to KZN or Zimbabwe.
Eldo Coach is the second-largest bus company in South Africa. It provides services for passengers travelling to Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Johannesburg and more. It also runs daily services towards Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Their buses are standard coaches with reclining seats, individual air vents and air conditioning. They also have very affordable tickets, so it's good to keep in mind you get value for your money with Eldo Coaches.
Eagleliner bus company connects South Africa’s largest cities and beach resorts. They are known for having the most affordable fares in the country, so if price is your main concern, this might the bus company for you. Book your Eagleliner bus ticket on one of the daily buses scheduled which connect many cities in the country such as Edenvale, OR Thambo International Airport, Boksburg, Benoni, Pretoria, Midrand, Johannesburg, Heidelberg, Harrismith, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Durban, Amanzimtoti, Scottburgh, Hibberdene, Port Shepstone, Shelly Beach and Margate.
Buy your South Africa bus tickets online
If you are planning a trip to South Africa, the first thing you need to do is buy bus tickets. It is not always easy to buy tickets from the bus station, and it can be time-consuming, so it is best to buy them online. This will save you time and money, while ensuring that your tickets are booked in advance.
Book your tickets with Busbud
Booking bus tickets with Busbud is a convenient and reliable way to plan your bus travel in South Africa. There are several benefits to using Busbud for booking your bus tickets, including:
A wide selection of bus companies - Busbud partners with numerous bus companies, making it easy to find the right one for your travel needs.
Easy and secure booking process - The Busbud website is user-friendly and provides a secure booking process that accepts multiple payment methods, including credit card and instant EFT.
Price comparison - Busbud's platform allows you to compare bus ticket prices across different bus companies, making it easy to find the most affordable option for your travel needs.
Mobile app - The Busbud mobile app provides an easy-to-use platform for booking bus tickets on the go. You can search and compare bus ticket prices, view bus schedules, and book your tickets with ease.
See the best of South Africa by bus
South Africa is a diverse and vibrant country, with numerous cities that offer unique travel experiences. Here are some of the top cities in South Africa that you can travel to by bus, and what makes each of them special:
Cape Town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa, and for good reason. The city boasts stunning natural scenery, with iconic landmarks such as Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town is also home to vibrant nightlife, diverse cuisine, and a rich cultural history.
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the economic hub of the country. The city is known for its rich history, with landmarks such as the Apartheid Museum and the Mandela House. Johannesburg is also home to world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Durban is a coastal city known for its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and laid-back atmosphere. The city is a popular destination for surfing and water sports, and is home to numerous cultural attractions such as the Durban Botanic Gardens and the Umgeni River Bird Park.
Port Elizabeth is a vibrant city on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, known for its beautiful beaches and scenic natural beauty. The city is home to numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, and whale watching.
Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, and is known for its rich cultural history and beautiful architecture. The city is home to landmarks such as the Union Buildings and the Voortrekker Monument, as well as numerous museums and galleries.
Traveling by bus in South Africa is an affordable and convenient way to experience some of the country's top destinations. Each city offers a unique travel experience, with something to offer for every type of traveler. Whether you're looking for natural beauty, cultural attractions, or urban excitement, South Africa has it all.