Great safari apps for enhancing your widelife experience

With the digital world overflowing with an extensive variety of apps, at times it is difficult to filter through the ones which are going to add some value to our busy lives, and those that we delete immediately and wonder why we ever wasted time and data on downloading them.

There are plenty of apps designed for when you are away from work and need to unwind, and even those you can use out in the wild. A good safari app can make game viewing that much more fun and interesting, and we have taken a look at a few which you may be interested in trying during your next visit to the bush. Many people prefer to completely switch off from technology when they are on safari, which is fantastic, but if you are unable to press that off button have a look at these apps.

Here are three which we recommend:

Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa

This is a must have for any bird enthusiast. From the creators of the best selling book -- Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, this e-version has everything that the book has, but all in your phone/tablet with added audio and some fantastic visuals.

The app features a list of nearly 1000 bird species found around the Southern African region, and a map feature which shows you where you are likely to find each species.

Another fun feature of this app is the sound effects. You can easily identify a bird call by going through the app, which features over 650 different bird species calls.

You can also create lists of birds you have spotted, want to spot and then share with your friends and family.

It is a bit more expensive than most apps, but it is a reference app that you will use over and over again, even if you aren't on a safari!

It is available from the iTunes store for iOS devices, Blackberry App world and Google play store for Android devices.

Price: Around R239.99

The African Safari Tracker

The African Safari Tracker, a new and fairly simply to use app, has features that allow you to identify certain animals, learn a few interesting facts and keep track of what you have seen. The best thing about this app is that it works without requiring an internet connection, which is ideal for when you are out in non-reception areas (such as in the middle of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve)!

With over 200 animals and 500 photos of a wide variety of African animals, from cheetahs and lions, to snakes and antelope, everything is stored in the app, so you dont need an internet connection to download the photos. When GPS is available, the animal lists are automatically filtered showing you animals that you can find in your area -- very smart!

An added feature to this app which makes it fun and interesting is its intensive collection of "Did you know" facts which gives info on animals diets, habitat and predators, as well as actual sounds.

The app is available for iOS devices and costs $14.99 from the iTunes App Store.

Park Spotter Africa

Fairly similar to African Safari Tracker, this is a great little app that you can download for free, gratis, niks (but to access other features you will need to pay).

The app allows you to identify animals and share your wildlife sightings on social media, but also photograph, identify, save and share various sightings with date, time, geo-location, and categories to create your own personal record of sightings. This is great for when you want to look back at your safari trip years from now.

As with African Safari Tracker, the data is stored on your phone so wifi is not needed, except for sharing your sightings.

Other features of Park Spotter Africa include park-specific fauna and flora checklists, detailed maps, info on species and fantastic imagery.

At the moment the app is focused on five Southern Africa parks which include: Kruger National Park (North), Kruger National Park (South), Etosha National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Addo Elephant National Park, with many more parks to be released soon. Hopefully the Timbavati will feature in coming months!

This app is also free to download from iTunes for the demo version where you can view some of its content as well as upload up to 10 sightings. To gain access to all the content and maps, each park is available as separate in-app purchases at $ 4.99 each (Kgalagadi, Etosha and Addo) and $ 6.99 each (Kruger North and Kruger South).

For more information and to watch the preview video of the app, visit www.parkspotterafrica.com

Let us know if you have come across any other apps which are fantastic to use while on safari!

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