Are you planning your first visit to South Africa and want to ensure a stress-free journey? Then, this list of the best travel apps for South Africa is just what you need!
Whether you need help navigating South Africa’s beautiful landscapes and lively cities, looking for the best tours and places to stay, or want to keep on top of load-shedding schedules, these travel apps will help you make the most of your adventure in South Africa.
Here’s my list of the top must-have travel apps for South Africa.
Disclaimer: This post probably contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through one of these links, I might receive a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
The Best Travel Apps for South Africa
Let’s kickstart this list of the best SA travel apps with the most obvious option: Google Maps.
Whether self-driving the Kruger, exploring the Garden Route, or finding your way through Jozi, Google Maps will help you navigate the country easily.
The application features comprehensive maps with real-time traffic updates, public transport information, voice-guided navigation, ensuring you never lose your way.
Uber probably needs no introduction, and chances are it’s already one of your most-used ride-sharing apps.
The Uber app allows you to book a taxi anytime without worrying about language barriers or haggling with drivers over fares. Moreover, upfront cost estimates, the ability to link your card and ride cashless (a huge must in SA), and the option to share your ride with a friend are all added benefits.
Whether you’re exploring lively neighborhoods, heading out for a night out, or catching a ride to/ from OR Tambo, Uber offers a safe mode of transportation right at your fingertips.
Top tip: If you need a cheaper alternative, try Bolt – another popular ride-sharing app in SA.
Load Shedding Notifier
Unfortunately, load-shedding is a real hassle in South Africa, and if it’s your first time visiting the country, you’ll need to prepare yourself for it mentally. Load-shedding is when the country’s largest energy distributor, Eskom, cuts off the energy supply to certain regions for a few hours each day.
Unless your accommodation has a generator or solar power, it will be wise to plan your day around the load-shedding schedule so that you don’t get caught in a cold shower or can’t charge your devices. The easiest way to stay on top of power outages in your area is with the help of the Load Shedding Notifier app. The app tracks Eskom’s load-shedding status in your region and tells you exactly when a blackout is expected.
Top tip: Another handy app to track load-shedding is ESP-Loadshedding.
Get Your Guide
If you’re looking to book sightseeing tours and must-do activities while exploring South Africa, Get Your Guide is the go-to app.
Get Your Guide is a platform that conveniently connects you to local tour and activity providers across South Africa without spending hours researching on the internet. The app features loads of tours and activities, including everything from Soweto tours and safari expeditions in Kruger National Park to shark cage diving in Gansbaai and skip-the-line tickets for the Table Mountian cable car, to name just a few.
The best part? By booking on the app, you’ll receive a mobile ticket, so you don’t need to print a thing. Added to that, you can easily keep track of your bookings in one place! Before booking, though, read the full tour description so that you know what you are getting and remember to read the reviews to see whether the tour meets all your needs.
Booking.com, Agoda, and Airbnb are some of the most popular booking platforms in the world. When traveling to South Africa, you can easily find oodles of accommodation options on any of them. However, if you’re looking for a unique app focusing on the best secret spots to stay in South Africa, download the LekkerSlaap app.
The app features oodles of accommodation options to match any budget, from trendy apartments to cozy cottages to luxurious houses. The app also has a user-friendly interface and a secure booking system.
Waze is another super handy navigation app to download on your phone when traveling in South Africa.
Unlike Google Maps, Waze is a community-based app that relies on user input to provide real-time info on accidents, roadblocks, speed cameras, roadworks, and other traffic-related issues. A great added benefit is that the app features instant route changes to avoid traffic congestion and reach your end destination faster.
The MyCiTi app has a user-friendly interface that lets you check fares, find the nearest bus stop, plan your journey, check routes, access timetables, and get updates on bus delays.
You’ll need a myconnect card preloaded with money to use the MyCiTi buses. The card comes with a unique pin and costs R35. You can purchase it from MyCiTi station kiosks and top up the funds at the same place or selected ABSA ATMs. Just make sure not to lose your pin, as you’ll need it to add funds to the card.
The Gautrain is Gauteng’s high-speed train system that links Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport. If you’re spending a few days in Johannesburg or traveling to or from the airport, taking the Gautrain will not only be cheaper than taking an Uber but also help you avoid heavy traffic.
With the help of the Gautrain app, you can easily check routes and schedules and get estimated trip costs. The app also features info about connecting buses and parking facilities and peak- and off-peak timetables to help you plan your journey. If you already have a Gautrain card, you can also reload it on the app.
To fully experience the diverse wildlife and plant species of South Africa’s largest wildlife park, you’ll want to download the KrugerExplorer app. It features up-to-date maps and routes to help you navigate the park’s 3,500 km road network with updates on latest sightings, detailed information on the animals and their habitats, and extra info on rest camps within the park. Another great thing about this app is that it works offline, which is especially useful when exploring off the grid.
Although this travel app for South Africa is not free, it’s a small price to pay to have all the app’s features at your fingertips.
If you want to immerse yourself in South Africa’s cultural and historical landmarks through audio-guided tours, the VoiceMap app is for you.
This app features GPS-based walking tours that offer a fascinating glimpse into different neighborhoods, regions, and landmarks nationwide. As you walk along easy-to-follow trails, narrators provide fascinating info, including everything from history to stories and perspectives you would simply not have access to when exploring the area on your own.
While Cape Town and the Cape Winelands have the most diverse selection of walking tours on VoiceMap, there are also a handful of tours in other cities like Joburg, Durban, and Hermanus. Note that some of the audio guides are not free.
Messaging apps are abundant these days, but in South Africa, the most popular one is WhatsApp.
This app offers various communication features, such as voice and video calls, voice notes, and text messages.
Make sure you download it before your trip, as many tour operators, Airbnb hosts, and guesthouses use it as their primary mode of communication.
XE Currency Converter
Keeping track of your finances in a foreign country is always challenging. However, having a currency converter app on your phone can easily help you make buying decisions on the go.
XE Currency Converter is a user-friendly app that eliminates the guesswork and calculations of converting currencies. With over 130 currencies listed on the app, it is a great tool for anyone visiting South Africa.
Travel Apps South Africa in Conclusion
South Africa is a stunning and multifaceted country, and with the help of these travel apps, you can get so much more out of your trip!
So there you have it – 12 of the best travel apps for South Africa to guarantee a seamless trip! Did I miss any of your favorite SA travel apps? Let me know in the comments below so that I can try them out.
Liked this post? Don’t forget to pin the best apps for South Africa for your future trip!