The Ultimate List of Safari Travel Apps For 2022
Planning a safari in South Africa can be daunting. Luckily for you, there are numerous applications which won’t only make your trip easier, but more enjoyable and informative and seamless. We’ve narrowed down our favourite apps for anyone traveling to South Africa, so that you’re fully prepared for that much-awaited vacation with your loved ones.
An app to avoid jet lag: TIMESHIFTER
Travel is back, but jet lag doesn’t have to be. The Timeshifter app helps resynchronize your circadian clock for your new time zone through a calculated sleep, light and caffeine schedule. To create a custom travel plan, you simply need to answer a few questions about your trip and
your natural sleep cycle.
You then get an up-to-date timeline of when you should sleep, when to seek light and when to drink or avoid caffeine. The app sends you notifications so you can stay on track without needing to check your schedule. This is a game changer, not just for vacations, but also for business trips.
An app for your flights: FLIGHTAWARE
When it comes to flights, it’s better to stay on top of things like delays, last-minute gate changes, and emergency announcements. With FlightAware you can track the real-time status of flights thanks to the integrated tracking map. You will also receive status alerts for flights that you are either traveling on. This app is especially helpful if you have a tight connection or want to pick friends and family up at the airport.
An app to be organised: TRIPIT
It’s 2022, you can now use an AI personal assistant to declutter your travel itineraries and documents by keeping them organized in one place. Welcome to TripIt. Simply set your reservations to be sent to TripIt and then you can view travel confirmations, flight itineraries, tickets, hotel and booking info, rental car reservations and driving directions without leaving the app.
You can upgrade to TripIt Pro for added extras like real-time flight alerts, security wait times, baggage claim info and updates on your loyalty reward programs. It is also great for business travel and allows you to keep friends and family updated.
An app for directions: GOOGLE MAPS
Long gone are the days where we need to carry large physical maps with us to find the roads to our destination. This one should be a no-brainer. Google Maps is essential when trying to get somewhere you’ve never been – whether you’re walking, biking, cabbing or driving.
You can save locations, get directions, share your trip progress and get pre- or live- estimated times of arrival – based on historical and/or live data. You can also make restaurant reservations, save your favorite spots and write reviews.
Top tip: Make sure to download specific city or area maps ahead of time for offline access if you know you’ll be without internet at your destination. Once on the app, simply click on your Google profile picture, look for “Offline Maps” and select the areas that you would like to store.
An app for getting around: UBER
In Africa, getting around safely is a top concern for many visitors from overseas. Luckily, in South Africa, you don’t need to learn the local language or negotiate a fare when wanting to go from A to B. Uber operates in all nine Provinces of South Africa, mainly in the major cities and offers a safe and convenient alternative to public transport and taxis.
With Uber, you simply create a profile, enter your pickup and drop-off locations and select your ride option. You’ll be matched with a driver who will pick you up where you request and drive you to your destination. You can opt to pay by cash or card and the rating system is designed to be an important measure of quality, helping keep the rider and driver experience safe, comfortable and enjoyable.
An app for the weather: ACCUWEATHER
Don’t know what to expect in terms of weather? AccuWeather is a great application for short and long term weather forecasts and is perfect if you are planning to travel, go outside, run or go on a game drive. It shows a long, 15-day forecast plus a 4-hour, minute-by-minute forecast. It also tells you when the sun will rise and set and if allergies like tree pollen are of a high risk.
An app for roadtripping: ROADTRIPPERS
Would you like to go on a roadtrip or self-drive safari around South Africa? With so many places to see, Roadtrippers not only plans out your driving route but also lets you book accommodation and activities along the way. The app will help you learn about interesting and off-the-beaten-path roadside attractions as well as cool restaurants and can’t-miss landmarks that you can bookmark.
An app for hiking & biking: ALLTRAILS
Are you planning to go hiking, running or biking off-road? AllTrails is our number one recommendation for you! It’s super convenient and has some great safety features too. You can select trails based on air quality, pollen and more, download maps ahead of time and receive off-route notifications so that you don’t miss a turn. You also have the option of printing detailed maps so that you can pack your phone away.
An app for exploring the outdoors: GEOCACHING
Have you got a sense for adventure? Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt. Over three million active geocaches exist worldwide in 191 different countries. It’s a great activity to do with family and friends who like to explore parks, trails and urban areas with an added bonus of finding a little prize.
It’s simple, use your app or GPS to find the cache. Keep an eye out because it’s usually camouflaged or in a very good hiding spot. Once you find the cache, sign the logbook, exchange one item and put everything back the way you found it.
An apps for entertainment: NETFLIX
Have you downloaded the Neflix app on your phone? The Netflix app is great for watching movies, series and/or documentaries during a long flight, unexpected delay or layover. It is also a great alternative to cinemas during times of covid. You can even download shows onto your device while in Wifi to watch offline. This is recommended for safaris, just make sure to check that your downloads haven’t expired before leaving Wifi.
An app for language difficulties: GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Say goodbye to pocket dictionaries. The Google Translate app can translate more than 100 languages either through text, images or voice. Type, write, speak into the app, or point your smartphone at a sign or menu written in a foreign language to view a live translation. This will be a great help if you are struggling to understand any language in any country. Speaking English should allow you to get by in South Africa but this is a great help when traveling to any country.
An app for exchange rates: XE CURRENCY CONVERTER
If you’d like to check the exchange rate, send an international money transfer or research the currency markets, we’ve got just the app for you. The XE Currency and money transfers app gives you currency rates and allows you to save and view them later when you might be offline.
An app for the metric system: METRIC CONVERSIONS
Are you aware of the metric system? In South Africa, we don’t only have “robots” for “traffic lights” and “tomato sauce” for “ketchup”, we also use the metric system. If you have a difficult time dealing in kilograms, centimeters, degrees celsius or liters we suggest getting the Metric Conversions app. It will help a ton, which, according to metric conversions is 907.185kg.
An app for birding: ROBERTS BIRD GUIDE 2
Roberts Bird Guide 2 on iOS or Android is a very comprehensive bird guide with direct functions to play sounds, add sightings, check distributions, view photos, maps and illustrations or consume information by text. It features helpful guides for specific birding sites including what ‘specials’ to seek out and it shows you similar birds to the species entry you’re on, which lets you rule out similar birds.
An app for viewing the stars: STAR WALK
After sunset, in the open veld, you will be spoiled with some of the best star gazing opportunities in the world. We suggest you have the Star Walk app ready to locate and identify some of the over 200,000 stars, planets, constellations and satellites that could be in your view. This is a wonderful app to have on hand when sitting around a campfire. It even has past and future views of the night sky.
An app for game viewing: THE KINGDOM GUIDE TO AFRICAN MAMMALS
The Kingdom Guide to African Mammals on Android or iOS is an essential field guide for those interested in Africa’s wildlife. It offers interactive access to plenty of information such as images, distribution maps and text descriptions of over 460 species of the continent’s large land mammals and smaller mammal groups. You can filter the information by country or region and you save your sightings to your device.
If you’d like to explore South Africa on safari, please head over to our accommodation page to check out our beautiful lodge. Alternatively, view our rates and specials here or get in touch with our reservations team to chat about your travel options. We look forward to welcoming you.
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Cal Butler | Leopard Hills