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How to Travel between Windhoek, Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa by Bus

Traveling between Windhoek, Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa by bus is pretty straightforward. One bus takes you all the way. No transfers are required. This journey is easy and stress-free, but long. This guide outlines the trip step-by-step. I talk about ticket pricing, station locations, the border crossing procedure when entering South Africa, luggage, safety, and more. I recently made this trip while traveling from Ethiopia to Cape Town overland. In this guide, I’ll share my experience.

The Cape of Good Hope
The Beautiful Cape of Good Hope
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Buying Bus Tickets Between Windhoek and Cape Town

I recommend you buy your tickets at least a day in advance as the buses do fill up. A company called Intercape operates this route. They are based in South Africa and offer coach service all over Southern Africa. The service is safe, professional, and reliable. Two ways to book your ticket are:

  • Online- The easiest way to buy bus tickets between Windhoek and Cape Town is online on the Intercape website. You can pay for your ticket in South African Rand by card.
  • In person- You can also go down to the ticketing office in Windhoek or Cape Town to buy tickets. Bring your passport to the ticketing office as it will be required for booking. They accept cash and cards. You can pay with Namibian dollars or South African Rand.

Ticketing Office Locations

The buses depart and arrive from the following stations:

  • Windhoek ticket office- The office is located at C3QJ+VQ Windhoek, Namibia on Banhof Street.
  • Cape Town ticket office- The office is located at 3CHH+6F Cape Town, South Africa on Old Marine Drive. This office is conveniently located right in downtown Cape Town near the main train station. It is within walking distance to many hostels and hotels.

Bus Departure and Arrival Times

  • Windhoek to Cape Town Bus- The bus leaves Windhoek every day at 16:30 and arrives in Cape Town the following day at 14:05.
  • Cape Town to Windhoek Bus- The bus leaves Cape Town every day at 10:00 and arrives in Windhoek the following day at 08:35.

Bus Ticket Prices

Prices vary depending on how far in advance you book and the season. Flexible date tickets are available at a slightly higher rate.

  • Windhoek to Cape Town ticket- A ticket cost between 850 and 1200 Rand (about $60-$90)
  • Cape Town to Windhoek ticket- A ticket costs between 850 and 1400 Rand (about $60-$100)

Luggage

Your ticket includes a luggage allowance of one large item like a backpack or suitcase and one smaller personal item to bring onto the bus. The larger item is stored below the bus.

For an extra fee, you can bring more luggage. These buses drag a small luggage trailer behind them to accommodate extra cargo. This is something that I had never seen before.

The Bus Ride

This is a 22-hour long ride. Luckily the buses are pretty new and comfortable. The seats recline. There is a bathroom on the bus. Each seat is equipped with outlets for charging your electronics. Smooth roads and good infrastructure make the ride more pleasant.

Tip: If you can, I recommend you request seats in the front row. The Intercape coaches are the double-decker style which offer a panoramic view high-up over the road. The scenery through South Africa is stunning.

The view of Table Mountain while entering Cape Town
The view of Table Mountain while entering Cape Town

Food and Drinks During the Journey

The bus only stops 3 times during the whole journey. Twice for meals and once at the border. Meal stops are just gas station convenience stores. Food options are limited to snacks like chips and candy. You can also find some precooked ready-to-eat meals. Water, sodas, tea, and coffee are all available at each stop.

I purchased some food at a grocery store in Windhoek before I left. I brought a couple of cans of tuna, a loaf of bread, and some cookies. This was enough to make myself a decent meal along the way.

Crossing the Border

Namibia to South Africa- Visas are available for free at the border for most nationalities. This border crossing is smooth and efficient but also pretty thorough. Everyone must collect their luggage from under the bus. Customs officials make random baggage inspections.

South Africa to Namibia- Visas are available for free at the border for most nationalities. This crossing is also pretty painless and efficient.

For more information on visas and border crossings, check out my African Visa Guide.

Central Cape Town
Central Cape Town

Money

If you are traveling from Namibia to South Africa, you will want to use up or exchange your Namibian Dollars before you leave. Even though Namibian Dollars are pegged to the South African Rand, they are not accepted in South Africa. Many currency exchange booths will change them over for no charge.

South African Rand are accepted in Namibia.

Final Thoughts

Intercape offers a decent service. It’s a long ride but the savings over the flight is so great that it’s worth the hassle if you’re on a budget. Try to get a window seat as the views of Table Mountain while coming into Cape Town are excellent.

Have you made the trip from Namibia to South Africa? Share your experience in the comments below!

Check out my Ultimate African Bus Guide for more step-by-step guides to the most popular bus routes through Africa!

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