To bazbus or not to bazbus; that is the question?!
Buses - Backpackers - Old Barry's Baz Bus
Barry started the Baz Bus yonks ago in Dec 1995 & he is still running 10 years later having left the competition behind. Just like his horse that I placed a bet on.... The Baz Bus is like the Kiwi & Oz Experiece but the diffs is that pax get picked up door to door instead of a central point to another central point. The Baz Bus have pros and cons that I will get to just now.
First of the competition to bite the dust was the abonimable Walkabout. It should have been called the F*ckabout as they were up to a day late at times even though travelling at what seemed to be twice the speed of sound. This was a copycat effort of the baz bus that was the brainchild of Explorers Club & Backpackers Underground, both Jo'burg hostels, both now deservedly closed down. The next competitor the Baz Bus left behind was Vernons' Hopper Bus; that now operates good mainly day tours from Port Elizabeth. 3rd to go was the Grasshopper. Then the Baz Bus left Route 49 behind, though uncle BoB Mugabe has a great part in this as well. Then the Daisychain or someting bus just never got off the ground. People just don't learn; you just don't take the Baz on. So if you want to support the Baz Bus you can be reasonably sure that your ticket is safe and they won't fold. But you can't ever be guarranteed this - it is 3 x more expensive to travel in SA now than 3,5 years ago and I have seen the Baz Bus running empty very recently.
I want just to clear up something here. When the Baz Bus started in 1995 95% of travellers flew into as well as out of Johannesburg and they had 2 huge support problems in Gauteng. Their office was in Cape Town while the Walkabout was actually owned by 1 hostel, Explorers; with only Explorers and Backpackers Underground aware of the fact. So the 2 hostels worked their competition on a daily basis punting their product with no one the wiser. The 2nd was that the Baz bus didn't go to Pretoria hostels so no one except us supported them. It was thanks to the writer that we sometimes provided 70% of the passangers. It was also thanks to us that the atrocious Walkabout lost major support and closed down. There is no doubt in my mind that if we didn't support the baz bus in that 1st few months they would be no more. It is also thanks to us that the bus extended to Pretoria. I supported the baz bus as I believed it to be good value; I even gave them "free accommodation" for 3 years - it wasn't free for us - it cost us major. It is sad that I have to withdraw my support as I don't believe it anymore. However; I will give you the pros and cons and you can decide for yourself.
To Bazbus or not to Bazbus
Baz Bus pros and cons
Baz Bus schedule
Baz Bus prices
Baz Bus 7 and 14 day travel pass
Buying Baz Bus tickets and discounts
Alternatives to the Baz Bus
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Word of Mouth Rules - Updated Dec 2005