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Public transport from Jhb Airport to Champagne Castle area?

England
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1 review
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Public transport from Jhb Airport to Champagne Castle area?

Hi. I'm travelling to the Berg earlyish December. Flying into Jhb and them meeting my Dad in the Berg for his 60th. Makes no sense to fly to Durbs only to turn round and go nearly half way back to Champagne Castle. Does anyone know if it's possible to get there without having to hire a car?

Any help appreciated.

Howick, South Africa
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837 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Public transport from Jhb Airport to Champagne Castle area?

Unfortunately, public transport in SA outside of major urban areas is sketchy; to say the least. It's possible to go between major cities by bus, and to get on/off at fixed points along the way, but to get to where you want to go that wouldn't work.

Flying to Durban and then hiring a car to drive half way back would, like you say, make no sense.

In my opinion, it would be better for you to hire a car from Jo'burg airport and drive down to the Drakensburg (about a five hour pleasant drive, mostly on freeways but some narrower stretches).

If you're staying in one of the larger hotels in the area, it might be worthwhile contacting them to see what they suggest. Most of them have their own mini-busses and might be able to collect you if you get closer by other means. Could you father not collect you from one of the city-to-city bus drop-off points? The nearest would probably be Escourt, Harrismith or Newcastle.

Below are two of the bus possibilities (SA Roadlink have had "bad press" recently though). You'd also have the difficulty of getting to a bus stop from the airport - they don't seem to go via there.

www.greyhound.co.za

www.saroadlink.co.za

Another possibility would be the train from Jo'burg's Park Station to Ladysmith (Shosholoza Meyl's tourist class) - same problem though with transport at either end and you'd get into Ladysmith at five past two in the morning!

www.shosholozameyl.co.za

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Durban
Durban
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
England
4 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Public transport from Jhb Airport to Champagne Castle area?

Thank you very much for the ideas. I'll be staying at Champagne Castle Hotel so may see if they could pick me up from a nearby town if I can get there. I'd hire a car and drive down as the easiest option if I could, but I don't have a British licence and my SA one is still the ID book type that I believe is no longer valid. I tried to change it 3 years ago when I was last in SA (was able to lodge an appeal for consideration having missed the cut-off due to being overseas) but the whole application dropped intoa black hole and I got nowhere. I'm guessing no hire car would give me a car on the old style licence?

Ottawa
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963 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: Public transport from Jhb Airport to Champagne Castle area?

I’d add Intercape [http://www.intercape.co.za/] and Translux [http://www.translux.co.za/] to the list of acceptable bus companies. I travelled with Greyhound, Translux, and Intercape on my recent trip to South Africa and found all three up to North American standards. (Heck, maybe even better; they all had seat belts.) You can compare rates and schedules at Computicket [http://www.computicket.com/web/bus_tickets/].

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Howick, South Africa
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837 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Public transport from Jhb Airport to Champagne Castle area?

Ah, I see your problem and, no, they wouldn't lend you a car.

You could also try Baz Bus (site below) who, it seems, can get you from the Africa Centre Airport hotel (shuttle service from the airport) to the FNB bank in Winterton - and back of course - but only on certain days and at a cost of R1500 (about 125 quid) - as part of a return trip to Durban (not that you'd use that bit).

www.bazbus.com/RouteSelect.aspx?Route=Loop

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Durban
Durban
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
5. Re: Public transport from Jhb Airport to Champagne Castle area?

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