Greyhound Bus South Africa.
As I live in Argentina, a country with very good public transportation, especially when it comes to long distance transport, I had my doubts travelling with a long distance bus in South Africa. The reason being that South Africa is not as developed when it comes to public transportation. Nevertheless I had to travel to Knysna and thought it would be a good idea to book a seat on the Greyhound bus, to see how it compares to the long distance buses that we have in Argentina. I didn’t have a problem to make the 10 hour bus journey to Beaufort West as I find bus travel a truly wonderful way to travel.
Booking a ticket on the Greyhound bus.
I prepared for my trip the same way I would normally make a purchase by reading reviews about the company before I make the booking. Bookings can be made directly from the Greyhound website. It is not a bad idea to check for specials or if you qualify for a special discount before making a booking. Greyhound buses travel to more than a 100 different cities in South Africa as well as Zimbabwe and Lesotho. Foreigners do not qualify for a discount unless you are a pensioner or have a child travelling with you. Tickets can also be bought at any Computicket office, Travel Agent, Shoprite or by contacting the Reservation Office. The booking procedure is very easy and an email confirmation is sent with your booking number.
There are two classes to choose from: Business Class and Luxury Class. There was not a big difference in price so I decided to book a ticket in the Business Class. Business class seats are allocated at the bottom of the bus and the Luxury class seats at the top.
Payment methods to choose from are: Cash, Credit Card, Edcon, Debit Cards or Loyalty Cards. PayPal is not accepted. Please note that due to an increase in credit card fraud, foreign credit cards are not accepted when making a booking on the Greyhound website. However, once in South Africa it is easy to locate a Computicket office to make a booking in person.
My personal experience with Greyhound Bus South Africa.
My bus was scheduled to depart at 19h15 but arrived just before 20h00 at the designated stop in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng. Buses are not marked with the destination and it was a little confusing when the first Greyhound bus pulled in and I had to figure out if it was my bus or not. I was greeted by a friendly attendant who showed me to my seat in the Business class. The bus was luxury and my reclining seat comfortable.
The bus that I travelled with offered movies but no earphones were available. This was not a problem as I had my own set. Complimentary tea and coffee facilities were available on my coach. Refreshments can be purchased from the cabin crew at reasonable prices. In addition the bus makes several meal stops which are incorporated in the route. This comes in handy as you have an opportunity to purchase food or snacks, use the restrooms or to stretch your legs. Refreshments at the One-stops are very expensive. I bought some snack food before I boarded as I was well aware that food would not be served on the bus.
Meal stops do not last for more than 20 minutes and the bus maintains its published schedules.
No blankets were provided so make sure you have something warm as it can get cold on the bus. My trip ran smoothly all the way to Beaufort West and it was quite pleasant.
I would most certainly travel with Greyhound again when in South Africa.
Loyalty Club for frequent travellers and Travel Pass.
If you are a frequent traveller then it is an option to join the Greyhound Loyalty Club where you can accumulate points. Accumulated points can purchase free tickets. If you are a tourist and are planning to visit a lot of places in South Africa, then I recommend getting a Travel Pass. A travel pass can save you a lot of money in the long run and provide flexibility.
Greyhound bus facilities.
- Air conditioning.
- Individual reading lights.
- Reclining seats.
- On-board toilets.
- Audio and visual entertainment.
- Hostesses (on some routes).
- Experienced, trained drivers.