Chances are, if you’re traveling in Cape Town, you’re probably residing in one of the more popular waterfront neighborhoods or the City Bowl. This is a good thing, especially if you don’t have a car, because that’s pretty much the only place you’ll find mini-buses or shared taxis.
Mini-buses generally run along Victoria, Regent and Strand Roads, plus Long, Kloof and Buitenkant Streets, following the same route back and forth from sun-up to sun-down – and sometimes after, although they’re less common at night.
Shared taxis can be flagged down by standing at a bus stop or signaling when one passes you by. If you are already walking to your destination, you can usually hear them coming by the honk of a horn and a man screaming out the window “Cape Town! Sea Point!”
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It’s best to ask where the final stop is before you embark. Camps Bay, Sea Point, Cape Town CBD or Cape Town Train Station are the most common turn-around places. Don’t be fooled into taking one shared taxi part of the way and then switching: chances are, the next mini-bus to come your way will be going to your destination.
In order to get off the bus, simply tell the driver or money collector when you are nearing the street corner where you want to be dropped. It’s polite to thank the driver.
Fares are anywhere from R3.50 to R4.50. Assume you are paying R4, unless the driver or money collector requests otherwise. A trip should never cost more than R10. Exact change helps, but most of the time you can get change for smaller bills.
Keep in mind that mini-buses can get very full. Watch your belongings and unless you want to be sick, don’t watch the road. Mini-buses are notorious for their wild-and-reckless driving, especially competing with other taxis for the next customer down the street. If you believe one driver is particularly bad, get off and catch another one! (You’ll have to pay again.)