My Maps.me waypoints
Technology has come a long way since our forefathers used stars to navigate. Overlanding the whole continent of Africa, I needed to find my way through the least documented areas in the world.
Here are my top apps and programs that help find the best roads, accommodations, and services essential to traveling long distance on a motorbike.
1. A paper map
Ok, it is not an app but if you can get a hold of one go for it. To be honest, it’s hard to find maps for Africa, many countries simply don’t have accessible maps. But when they do, often they highlight the best tourist spots and the most usable roads, I would often find this road, then take the road adjacent to it. This would give the best and most beautiful routes 8/10.
Offline maps are your friend. It takes some time to get a sim card to access online maps like Google Maps. Maps.me is a free app that lets you download areas that are reasonably up-to-date. It also gives you different data than other maps. The search function is not good but it beats other maps in certain parts of the world. Download the app here: https://maps.me/
An app made for travel. This app is focused on providing information to travelers about accommodation (Bike and vehicle friendly), wild camping, gas, and places to get visas, border crossings and much more. Currently, you can’t view offline maps but you can estimate the location and open the waypoint in Maps.me for accurate coordinates.
4. Free worldwide maps for GPS units
That’s right, free GPS maps. Anywhere in the world, you can download any roadmaps and they are often up to date. Simply go here, and select your area, then download the data and add it to your GPs device. Gold!
5. Tracks 4 Africa
The Tracks 4 Africa system is a paid product. Its name is T4A but is most useful in the southern parts of Africa. Worth the money? Well yes if you spend a lot of time in southern Africa. Not really if you are in West or northern Africa.
6. CX Currency exchanger
As you probably guessed from the title, a currency conversion app. Not much to say here apart from this app offers multiple currencies so when you do have an internet connection you can save the next country you pass through. Also, it loads fast which makes it easy to haggle on the spot.
Most of the other apps I used in Africa are common knowledge so not worth mentioning here. All I can say is, make sure you cross check your waypoints with other apps, sometimes they take a strange route that is impossible to pass or will not compute things like border crossings. Check twice, ride once.
Please let me know in the comments below what you are using to travel so we can all benefit from your experiences.