Travelling has been made a lot easier and more informative with the integration of applications (apps) by countries, cities and attractions into their offerings. Tourists now have, in their hands, a personal guide, travelling companion, map and advisor, and a wealth of insight.
This is enhancing the experience of travelling southern and East Africa, and Tourism Update has put together a list of some useful and practical apps to make a traveller’s experience of this beautiful belt of Africa far more rewarding.
Kicking off the adventure
There are a few apps that make travelling into Africa a lot easier, when considering currency exchanges, language, and time differences. These apps help tourists stay on track before and during their trip with a few overall essentials.
This currency exchange app not only provides live exchange rates and charts, but can provide alerts to monitor your client’s currencies of choice.
Safeture is personal safety app that provides real-time status on localised security information, as well as delivering warnings, alerts and local SOS emergency numbers. Family members can follow the progress the traveller’s journey at any time, and the app offers local news in-destination, as well as country-specific safety and travel information. Automatic translation is available in 90 languages.
VoiceMap takes tourists on immersive GPS audio walks, cycles, drives and even boat rides across 100 cities worldwide. It gives travellers the background stories, put together by local storytellers including journalists, filmmakers, novelists, podcasters and tour guides.
Explore the world heritage site with this interactive visitor app, which offers numerous experiences to choose from in the area, navigation, pre-booking and itinerary development. If visitors are more adventurous, cycling and hiking routes are provided.
Inspired by the global icon, Nelson Mandela, this app walks tourists in the footsteps of the great man. Featuring 100 tourist attractions in the life of Madiba, the app also offers attractions on a map, allows visitors to build their own itineraries, and also offers audio, text and image galleries at each location. Real-time weather information is available as well.
The Constitution Hill Guide is a Bluetooth-enabled app that takes visitors on a guided virtual tour of the historic precinct. It offers essential information on the diverse museums, such as The Old Fort, the Women’s Jail, Number Four, and The Awaiting Trial Block. Visitors can also see what attractions are available in the precinct, and the app offers general visitor information, and guidance on exhibitions, tours available and ticket prices.
Explore over 1 000 cities worldwide with thousands of self-guided walking tours. This app turns a mobile device into a personal tour guide using built-in GPS functions. Taking tourists through landmarks, historical sites, museums, restaurants, nightlife venues and other interesting locations, the app can operate offline as well, saving on roaming data costs.
The Africa: Live app allows users to view and share wildlife sightings across Africa, including photos, and find out where the game sighting hotspots are. Offline maps are available, contributed by park experts. A new addition to the app, the Phone Ranger field guide, includes a 90-minute audio by a leading ranger.
Birding is a booming activity for tourists. This interactive app enables birders to identify bird species through clear photographs, distribution maps and descriptions. It shares audible calls for most bird species and a smart search facility allows users to identify a birds by size, colour, beak shape and habitat.
Travelling deeper into Africa, and out of the cities, the night skies become brilliantly clear. Star Walk has thousands of stars and constellations at your fingertips, allowing a gazer to make an effortless journey through the night skies of Africa. An extra benefit is the augmented reality stargazing.
Cycling is growing in leaps and bounds, and MTB Trails SA connects travellers with some of the most inspiring mountain biking trails across South Africa. Select trails by distance, difficulty, type of terrain and facilities available. Contact information on trail owners is available for more information.