BUS CAPE TOWN– in Cape Town, privately-run bus lines are, for all intents & purposes, one of the main public transportation options available (for both locals and visitors). Unlike other major cities, there is no metro train system here (only a regional Metrorail line that goes from Cape Town to various suburbs and rural areas).



The Golden Arrow bus line operates an extensive network of routes from the main Golden Acre terminal on the Grand Parade (Castle Street side). These city buses are by far the cheapest form of transportation. You’ll get to most destinations for R5-R10 (US$.09 cents to US$.18 cents), and you can save by purchasing 10-ride clip cards. The bus goes from the central train station to the Waterfront (R4.10) and to Kirstenbosch (R6.90). Golden Arrow buses also depart from the Cape Town Tourism Information Office in the city center.



Golden Arrow’s service has a timetable, but buses are often late and you’ll need to familiarize yourself with its operation. Bus shelters and lamppost markers indicate stops. Route maps are not available in leaflet form, but they are displayed at all major depots. Alternatively, call the Golden Arrow hotline, or ask other commuters at a bus stop for info on which ones go your way. See its website for more info:


ADVISORY: Services like Golden Arrow cover districts close to the city center, but are far more likely to take passengers to outerlying areas – from the tourist-friendly affluent (beachside) enclave known as Sea Point, to far-flung poorer areas like the “Cape Flats” (located on the other side of Table Mountain, and include districts such as Mitchells Plain, Grassy Park, Hanover Park, and Athlone).


Tourists who are not sure about the bus routes and their destinations should get a taxi with a driver familiar with Cape Town’s areas, in order to avoid personal security issues. Even in post-Apartheid South Africa, the Cape Flats areas (which were among the sites of civil strife during the height of the country’s anti-Apartheid struggle) are still riddled with drug gangs. Thus, tourists should proceed with caution if and when going through these areas.