South Africa’s Food Road Trip with the South African Baz Bus

Baz Bus Image source:

Baz Bus
Image source:

Just like Europe has the Eurorail, South Africa offers backpackers and those who have an adventurous spirit to try their Baz Bus. This is a hop on, hop off bus service with a one ticket system. All you need to do is buy one ticket to your destination. You can hop on and hop off at any point from the time you leave your point of origin to the time you reach your ticket destination. From end to end, there are 40 cities, villages, and towns. A ticket holder is not pressured to get to his or her destination because there is no time limit. Is this not the food trip, fully-packed adventure of a lifetime or not?

The best way to plan your trip on the Baz Bus is to indulge in your food cravings for local street cuisine. Some of the most popular street foods in South Africa are:

Biltong – This is dried meat you can buy at any convenience store, bus stop. It’s a salty snack and comes in chili or barbeque flavors. Read the packaging before you buy since different meat is used. Some are made from springbok, beef, or ostrich.

Gatsby – This sandwich is found in many streets in Cape Town. It looks like a typical deli sandwich but has hot chips, hot sauce, and a South African pickle called atchar served with meat on a baguette.

The Smiley – Be ready to grit your teeth when you bite into this barbequed sheep’s head usually sold with bread good enough for 4 people and a liter of soda. The eyeballs and brains are especially delicious. It’s a great meal on the road and is called so because of the toothy smile you see on the sheep when it comes off the braai.

The Bunny Chow – This meal is common in many places around the country but more so in Durban because of the large Indian community. It’s a fabulous curry meal served on a hollowed bread bun.

Samoosa – Found in Cape Town, the samoosa is a cheap pastry-filled fried snack that can contain meat and vegetables or just vegetables for those who can’t eat meat. It has Malay and Muslim influences and is convenient because you can easily tuck into your backpack to eat on the bus.

There are other South African street foods like the sausage sandwiches called the boerie roll, sosatie which is lamb or beef barbeque, and pap en vieis which is a corn meal with chicken. With pap, just make sure you buy from a vendor who has a lot of customers or is recommended by someone you can trust. There have been cases of poorly slaughtered chicken that have caused stomach and digestion problems.

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