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How to survive Johannesburg Bus and Train Station

SOUTH AFRICA | Tuesday, 11 October 2011 | Views [3959] | Comments [1]

Crowds are a magnet for vile opportunists and fortune hunters who have intentions of making quick cash by cheating and robbing clueless travelers. Bus stations, train stations and airports are full of such people. They thrive on the sensory overload of travelers as they rush about in fear of missing their transport. The screams of joy as family members are re-united and divided are a cloak under which they operate. Travel is therefore insanely dangerous for travelers who are visiting places for the first time.

Park station in Johannesburg is a major crowd puller for travelers and to be frank, the most congested station I have ever been into. It is the centre of public transport that takes you to all the different parts of South Africa. It houses coaches that go to the different parts of the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, North West and even international coaches that go to countries like Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The station is right in the middle of the city and depending on where you have been before, is one of the most hostile places in the Johannesburg CBD.

There are police officers all over the large Park station building but nevertheless, one can get robbed of their valuables point blank and in daylight. The worst thing is that though people might see what’s happening to you, they will not stop to help. You become a victim of both robbery and neglect.

The dangers of travel do not nevertheless deter us from travel. They teach us to take necessary care and skill while on the road. Here are some tips of surviving park station:

1.       Trust is more a weakness than a virtue- Do not trust anyone to carry your luggage for you, unless the person has a cart for carrying bags and is wearing a yellow policing vest that shows he is authorized to carry luggage in park station.

2.       Do not ask for directions from random people if you are lost. Look around for a police officer or an elderly woman to ask.

3.       Make sure you have enough money safely put in a bag and avoid the ATMs

4.       Keep your handbag underneath your armpit and hold tightly onto it with your other arm

5.       Travel light and avoid huge luggage

6.       Relax, walk with your head high and swiftly so that you blend in

7.       Wear flat shoes so that you can move about swiftly and freely’

8.       Avoid showing off your phone, laptop, mp3 and any other gadgets

9.       When arriving at the station, read the signs for the waiting area of your coach and show the attendants your ticket so that they can tell you what time it is leaving and where you should wait

10.   Listen carefully to the announcements so that you can hear when they announce when you should board  your coach or the train



Do not forget to enjoy the rustic old buildings and the noisy day of activity. It reminded me that I am alive....

  tshedi_ramos Oct 11, 2011 8:23 PM

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