Let’s take Google Street View to Nkandla

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Google announced its plans to allow anyone from around the world to apply for the chance to use its Street View Trekker to record 360-degree panoramas of their favourite locations. As the company did for Dubai’s tallest building recently. We thought to ourselves “Wow, what a great opportunity to record all of our favourite places to be when we’re not in the office so that we can visit them while we’re in the office”. Here is our list of the 5 places we would apply to film for Google’s Street View.

street view trekker

1. Nkandla

24 km south of Nkandla town centre is the homestead of South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma. With an investigation currently ongoing over alleged overspending and misappropriation of tax payer’s money in the upgrade of the compound by the Department of Public Works the area is off limits to media and especially the head of South Africa’s official opposition Helen Zille who was denied access to the homestead in November of last year. We’d like to take Google Street View to Nkandla to demystify what R200 million can buy you but since the report on the spending was just declared top secret, we think we might need Larry Page’s help in getting permission. Or just classify all of Google Maps.

2. Robben Island

Infamous the world over, Robben Island is the site where the most high profile political prisoners including  Nelson Mandela were held during Apartheid. The  574 hectares of historically significant land has seen dwindling interest from tourists over the past 2 years and is out of reach for almost all South African’s because of the R150 per person price of admission. Street View would allow tourists of all ages anywhere across the world visit the UNESCO heritage site.

3. Sterkfontein Caves

As part of the Cradle of Humankind, the Sterkfontein caves is the site of over 500 hominid skeleton discoveries making it one of the richest known sites of our earliest ancestors. Most famously the most complete skull of an Australopithecus africanus ever found in South Africa, Mrs Ples was found in the Sterkfontein Caves. Features include an underground lake and a maze of tunnels that we hope a Street View Trekker could squeeze it’s way through.

4. Rietfontein Nature Reserve

A wild and untamed expanse of ridgeland right in the middle of Johannesburg that has passed many locals by. The 24 hectares of land is currently under threat of an 8-lane highway that could ruin the pristine natural environment for generations to come. Street View could preserve the memory of the land even after the potential destruction by raving lunatic road builders.

5. Sudwala Caves and The Sudwala Dinosaur Park

Who doesn’t like dinosaurs, we certainly do and the 240 million year old Sudwala Caves don’t hurt the Street View-ability of this site either. We can think of a few easter eggs we’d like to hide in the caves.


Got anywhere you think the Street View Trekker should go in South Africa? Leave us a comment below.



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