DURBAN - Intercape will introduce an affordable way for Durban residents to visit Maputo in Mozambique from September 6 with a one-way ticket costing R280 per passenger in a luxury 60-seater bus.
“With the opening of the Maputo-Katembe bridge and the brand new road conditions, we believe that this service will allow everyone the opportunity to frequently visit all the attractions that the area has to offer for business and leisure,” Intercape’s chief commercial officer Shaun Smeda said.
The new KZN Northern Corridor, with the Maputo-Katembe bridge which, opened on November 10, 2018,. is expected to promote tourism between KwaZulu- Natall, eSwatini and Mozambique.
The Maputo-Katembe bridge forms part of the African Union’s strategy of making it easier to travel across Africa, so promoting tourism and commerce.
Although the flying time to Johannesburg from Durban is 65only 1 hour and five minutes and the flying time to Maputo from Johannesburg is 1one hour, there is a 90- minute layover in Johannesburg. If you then add in the fact that you have to be at2 hours before check-in 2 hours before for an international flight, and then 30 minutes travel for 30 minutes time from home to the airport, and a further 30 minutes from airport to hotel in Maputo, the total travel time is at least 6 and a half hours.
That compares with the Intercape schedule, including refreshment stop and border crossing time of only 9 and a half hours. Google Maps says the 600km journey from Durban to Maputo will take you 7 and a half hours, but that excludes refreshment / filling up stops and the border crossing.
“The border crossing will take some 40 minutes depending how quick customs process our passengers. All other stops are just a 5- minute pick-up and drop-off with Hluhluwe being the refreshment stop of 20 minutes,” Smeda said.
Popular stops included Katembe, Ponta do Ouro, Kosi Bay, Richards Bay and Empangeni to name a few when travelling from Maputo to Durban, he said.
Smeda said the new service would operate on a Friday, Monday, and Wednesday from Maputo at 8am08h00 with return journeys on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday from Durban at 7.15am07h15.
At the moment there is no direct scheduled airline service between Durban and Maputo, so if you want to fly to Maputo you have to go via Johannesburg.
The cost is more than 10ten times the Intercape bus ticket at R3 208.54 on SAA and R3 639 on LAM, the Mozambique airline.
Intercape buses will connect Durban to Maputo in Mozambique when the luxury liner begins operating a new route with a 60-seater bus from next monthhave lodged an urgent interdict against striking bus drivers intimidating their staff as the national bus strike continues, asking the courts to ensure they are protected.