There are, broadly speaking, two types of taxi in South Africa (but see the end of this post for a third option):
- 1. Metered taxis.
- Cape Town: Marine Taxis +27 (0) 21 434 0434
- Joburg: Rose’s Taxis +27 (0) 11 403 9625
- Durban: Durban Taxis +27 (0) 31 262 4802
- 2. Minibus Taxis. Also called “black taxis” (but not in polite society), as well as “kombi taxis”, the minibus taxi network stands in for comprehensive public transport in South Africa. The minibuses run set routes, picking up and dropping off anywhere along these routes, and are very inexpensive – usually less than R10 per ride, depending on where you’re going. Some are also very dangerous: drivers tend to overload their taxis (squeezing in 18-20 people at a time!) and under-maintain them. That said, you can get anywhere in South Africa using the network.
Tip: Take minibus taxis on simple routes only – and have a local go with you the first time. The best, safest, simplest minibus taxi routes are in Cape Town:
- Adderly St. – Kloof St. – Long St. R3.50 per trip. Patrols up and down the city center’s main tourist hub.
- Strand St. – Sea Point Main Road. R3.50 per trip. Takes you out of the city centre, following the Main Road all the way to the end of Sea Point, at Queens Road. During summer, this route is often extended to include Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay.
- Rikkis. Rikkis is a hybrid transport service that’s like a cross between metered and minibus taxis. Semi-convenient, and very inexpensive, it’s a Cape Town favorite. Click here to read about Cape Town’s cheapest ride.
These are like metered taxis in other countries: bookable, private, door-to-door. Unlike in other countries, though, metered taxis don’t generally patrol the streets searching for fares. You have to call for one to get a ride, or find the area where they park.
Tip: Carry a card in your wallet/purse with the numbers of a few taxi services on it. Find them via the Yellow Pages, or use SA Blog’s favorites:
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Tip: Metered taxis can be very expensive: take them in groups, and save your trips for evenings out.
Tip:Don’t take a taxi to or from the airport; use a shuttle service instead. A metered taxi will likely cost you hundreds of rands.