T4A wants to be ultimate iPad guide to 4×4 and self-drive African bush and dune adventures

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A locally-developed app wants to help make travelling around Namibia and Botswana a lot easier, by giving you access to detailed maps that don’t require any sort of internet connection to deliver location information.

It’s called Tracks4Africa Guide App, and it’s out today for iPads. It won’t run on iPhones or anything that runs Android, though, it’s exclusive to Apple’s tablet for now.

The creators pitch it as perfect for self-driving African travellers, as internet connectivity is often a challenge when driving through the continent and paper maps don’t offer the same level of detail that the app does.

When you drill down into your location – obtained using the iPad’s GPS chip – the app will show you all kinds of landmarks like the nearest coffee shops, cafés, camp sites, hotels and shopping centres, and even tell you the nightly rates of local lodgings and provide contact numbers where it can.

The developers are quick to stress that this isn’t a navigation app, however – it won’t tell you how to get from Gaborone to Windhoek, it will just tell you where you are, and what’s around you. It answers questions like “Where’s the nearest petrol station?”, “Where do we go in an emergency?” and “What can we see and do in this area?”.

All data is stored on the iPad, so you won’t need an internet connection to give you a better overview of exactly where you are, but should you be connected you will be able to click through to the websites of the businesses displayed on the map, should they have an online presence.

The initial download is free, and grants you access to several demo areas that provide a sample of what you can expect in the full app, and owning it is but an in-app purchase away. The creators say the initial release offers Namibia and Botswana for purchase, with more countries planned for future releases.

Each map costs R199.99, which includes access to all of the detailed map data and points of interest for each coountry.

You can find the Tracks4Africa Guide App on the iTunes store here, and if you want more detail about it, the official Tracks4Africa blog can be found here.

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.