Four Useful Mobile Apps for Africa Travel

When I think about going on vacation, I think about taking photographs of wild animals, sipping a cold Savanna at sunset, and enjoying the simple pleasures that spending time in nature entails. The last thing on my mind is using my smartphone, however, I've found traveling with my iPhone can often enhance my travel experience. Here are the top five apps I frequently refer to on the road.

Camera Apps

I once had a point-and-shoot camera stop working on the second day of a two week vacation. It was devastating. Thankfully, I had my smartphone as a back-up. I recommend trying Instagram (free) and  Adobe Photoshop Express (free) and Snapseed (free). Both offer photo filters and editing tools.


The stars in the Southern Hemisphere always take my breath away. When I'm camping and get curious about what constellations are above me, Star Walk ($2.99) tells me what I'm looking at.


Africa: Live (free) and Sasol Wildlife for Beginners (Lite is free) is a must-have for anyone traveling to Kruger National Park. On Africa: Live’s interactive map, you can report your animal sightings in real-time, as well as, see what others have spotted nearby. This is especially useful for self-drivers like myself who aren't qualified guides. The app also contains information about each animal, so study up if you want to impress your friends.


I struggle to find a reliable weather forecast app, though it's quite possible the weather changes too often for the forecast to be accurate (especially on the Cape!)  I also use weather apps to help decide what I should pack.  I like the user interface of Weather Cube (Free) and the visual aesthetics of Solar ($.99), but when I really just want the nitty gritty forecast details, I use AccuWeather (Free).

I hope it goes without saying but, these apps are intended to be used as guidelines. No mobile app can replace the real advice of parks officials, trained guides, local government, etc.

 What apps do you find useful when you travel?

Marie Frei

One Carry-On is a blog managed by Marie Frei, a travel expert and photographer with a passion for exploring off the beaten path locations. The blog covers honest and personal stories about living and traveling as an American abroad, shares her global appreciation for culture and design, and promotes traveling to far-flung destinations with a carry-on as fun, affordable, and easy.