The best apps to download for a safari

By Ashworth Africa, January 27, 2019

Yes, there’s an app for everything! These are some of the most useful to download for a safari.

Phone
There’s an app for everything.

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa 

It’s not cheap, but the Robert Birds app is a great resource for birders in Southern Africa – it’s essentially a replacement for the Roberts birding book, but much easier to carry around. You can search for birds in your area and make lists of the species you’ve spotted. The field guide has illustrated images with detail about each variety.

Sunbird
Identify birds and record your findings.

iTrack Wildlife

This app holds 40 common mammal tracks, aiding identification of animal spoor. It also helps if you’re looking at tracks that aren’t too clear. iTrack has images of front and back paws/hooves, alongside details about the animal that might be useful to a tracker – for example, how a leopard might typically respond to an accidental confrontation if the animal happens to be nearby.

Lion prints
Identify animal prints with iTrack.

eTrees of Southern Africa 

eTrees has photographs, descriptions and distribution maps of over 840 tree species in Southern Africa. Learn to distinguish your leadwoods from your ironwoods with the ‘compare’ feature and quickly look up what species are in the area, should you need help with identification. For future reference, you can also make lists of what you’ve seen.

Trees
Learn to identify trees with the help of your app. Credit: Singita Ebony.

Map of Life

This free app tells you what’s in your immediate surroundings, breaking the list down into birds, mammals, amphibians, fish, butterflies and trees – and more, depending on the location. You can record your sightings, which can be shared with others, including researchers who may find the data useful.

Lizard
Discover all the creatures in your immediate area. Credit: Ray Rui, Unsplash.

Africa: Live

Africa: Live reveals real-time game sightings, so you can see exactly what animals are in your area, as opposed to what might be. The app shows sightings other users have reported in the past 24 hours, to which you can add your own sightings and photos with geo-data. The only exception to this is rhinos: due to the high risk of poaching across Africa, rhino sightings do not appear on the app.

Leopard
Share your sightings with others.

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