Technology is making travelling easier than ever. And while purists will try their best to steer away from apps and electronic gadgets as they put their navigational noses in topographic maps, there are however a few nifty apps on the market to make life not just easier, but also a tad safer as it keeps us on our toes and well-informed.
*If you are travelling, please remember that COVID-19 is unfortunately still with us. Keep your distance, wear your mask, wash those hands and if you have been exposed to the virus it is your civil duty to self-isolate.
9 apps you can use on your next adventure
SA 4×4 Community Forum
If you are a seasoned off-road driver or a novice trying the dirt roads out, the South African 4×4 Community Forum is for you! It is a never-ending source of relevant information by like-minded and knowledgeable travellers about routes, gear, destinations, tips and more. Sign up and join the conversation.
Camping South Africa
Camping South Africa will come to your rescue whether you are planning your trip in advance or playing it by ear and making last-minute plans. You can get up to date information on caravan parks in Southern Africa, make bookings, rate campsites, buy and sell camping equipment and join in on the forum conversation if you’re seeking firsthand camping advice.
Geocaching is a massive, never-ending treasure hunt with the added benefit that it makes getting from point A to B a whole lot more fun and adventurous. Not only will you form part of the world’s largest community of Indiana Joneses, but it also adds to the family fun when you search for locations and landmarks together. Plus, being able to read a map and find coordinates is nothing short of handy.
While you might be able to call a spade a spade, the question is: can you call a snake a snake? If bundu bashing and nature adventures are your idea of relaxation, especially in summer in a drought-stricken country like South Africa, a snake app such as ASI Snakes can help you to identify snakes in Southern Africa, assist with first aid for snake bites and provide information on where to find a trained snake remover in your area.
If you are an avid birder with binoculars permanently attached to your neck or take a keen interest in birding, an app might help you to identify a few feathered friends. Beginners can get the Sasol Birds for Beginners app (free) that provides quick facts, photos, and videos of 46 common southern African birds while the bird fundi of the family might be interested in the advanced version, Sasol eBirds, with 950 species, audible calls, and a smart search function.
Safety is key when travelling and in the unfortunate event of a medical emergency, it is good to know that an app such as mySOS can possibly be your saving grace. The mySOS Emergency app offers emergency assistance when you don’t know who to call or where you are, it gives you access to contact details and addresses for doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, vets, and police stations in South Africa and can connect you to your mySOS contacts about your situation and location.
TripAdvisor and travel go together like salt and pepper, when you purchase a new phone it comes preinstalled on most devices and this popular app has been making holidays easier for more than a decade. You can book and review accommodation from travellers just like you, get suggestions for activities and restaurants, learn more about a destination, and even book flights through TripAdvisor.
They say that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer and that’s where 22seven comes in handy. 22seven is a free budgeting and investing app that helps you to track and manage your moola, whether you are at home or on the road on an adventure; don’t worry about overspending and cutting your trip short, now you can create a budget and get a clear view of whether you can afford a night in a 5-star hotel, or if you should rather pitch your tent and have a gourmet meal of 2-minute noodles.
Voicemap brings the guide straight to your ear with a nifty app featuring inexpensive tours all over the world. These audio tours allow you to experience a city, town, or attraction from a local’s perspective and voice and you can enjoy GPS audio walks, cycles, drives, and even boat rides, any time and any day.