Must-have Apps for travellers to South Africa

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Travelling and touring is constantly reaching new heights, as mobile phone apps make moving around easier, safer, more efficient, and diverse with the array of activities you can become exposed to.

At Curiocity, we have a passion for encouraging the curious traveller. In this article, we would like to share with you a few awesome, must have apps for you to download to make the most of your trip to the dynamic, colourful South Africa.

Data and airtime in South Africa

Before downloading any apps, it’s a good idea to become familiar with connectivity in South Africa. While overall WiFi presence is on the rise here, it is still not as abundant as in some other countries. We recommend that you have some preloaded data and airtime on your phone for moments in public places where WiFi is not readily available.

‘Airtime’, also known as talk time, is a credit balance on your phone with which you can send text messages and make phone calls. In South Africa, you can purchase airtime via cash or card at most grocery shops, corner stores, and petrol stations. Airtime can be converted into data, which gives you access to the internet, allowing you to surf the web and use any apps or features that require an internet connection (including all social media apps). The price of data bundles varies, depending on the service provider.

If your phone can take a South African SIM card, you will easily be able to buy one at any South African airport and get data and airtime at the same time. Some smartphones are not compatible with South African SIM’s. In this case, it’s best to have data and minutes loaded in your own country before your trip.

Get prepped with these friendly apps for travellers

There some really helpful apps available for navigating South Africa, each aimed at making your tour as rich as possible:



One of the easiest and safest ways to travel in South Africa is by using Uber. Ubers are perfect for occasional trips around the city, allowing you to enjoy it without having to worry about taking care of a rental.

You confirm a pick-up point and destination, and the app links you to a driver currently in the area. The app will provide you with information about the driver, including their name, car make and registration, phone number, and user-rating. (Note: Always double-check these details before getting into a vehicle).

Download Uber on Google Play and the iOS App Store.

Gautrain App

The Gautrain is an incredible, rapid transit railway system, which travels across 80 km between Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni and OR Tambo International Airport. It offers the perfect alternative to travelling by car, and gives you a chance to do some sight-seeing without the stress of finding parking, or getting stuck in a jam.

The Gautrain App, available on Google Play and the iOS App Store, provides you with information on all arrival and departure times, the nearest Gautrain stops, peak and off-peak timetables, as well as travel costs.

MyCiTi App

If you find yourself in Cape Town, a reliable, public means of transport is the MyCiTi bus service. MyCiTi has routes all over the Cape and offers rides at affordable prices. To use it, you just need to buy a MyCiTi card and preload it with cash.

Download the app to plan your journeys, by receiving information about timetables (with real-time updates), the nearest bus-stops, including directions for how to get there, your card balance, and any promotions. The app can also be used to contact MyCiTi in case of an emergency.

Navigation Apps


One of South Africa’s favourites, Waze is an app quite literally driven by people. It uses real-time data to create comprehensive maps and navigation information, alerting drivers to traffic, accidents, police presence, and construction.

This makes Waze quite spot-on in terms of an ETA, directing you to take the quickest and safest routes possible. Download it at the iOS App Store and Google Play.


To explore a city through the eyes of locals, we encourage using VoiceMap. This is a creative and insightful touring app that uses GPS to guide you along walks, cycles, and drives through cities around the world.

As you move, the app picks up on your location and begins to tell you stories and facts about what you see. The app is designed to be functional offline too – all you need to do is download a tour before starting and off you go! For safety, VoiceMap alerts you when you have taken a wrong turn and gives you directions for getting back on track. Collated by journalists, filmmakers, novelists, podcasters and experienced tour guides, VoiceMap gives you a truly unique look into different city spaces and allows you to move at your own pace.

In South Africa, the app covers Overberg, Hermanus, Johannesburg, the Cape Winelands, and Cape Town to date. We highly recommend it for those eager to learn more about South Africa. Download it either at the iOS App Store or on Google Play.

Entertainment Apps


For getting an inside scoop on what’s happening where and how to best get around a city in South Africa, GuideWithMe is the ideal buddy. Similar to VoiceMap, it uses GPS data to track your location, giving you detailed articles about the places you are in.

These articles include interesting information, warnings about health and safety, restaurant and hotel recommendations, road rules, local costs and much more. It’s a cool way of finding out about things to do and places to eat and hang out. The app even allows you to make lists of favourite new places, so you can document your trip along the way! Make sure you have this one downloaded before you arrive.

The Entertainer

The Entertainer, well-known in the Middle East and Asia, was recently launched in South Africa and has made touring our country just that extra bit more fun! After paying a once-off fee, you have access to a large variety of deals and promotions available in the country, perfect for doing a lot, for less.

Using GPS, The Entertainer lets you know what specials are available near you and ensures that you never run out of things to do.



Like in many other countries, it is important to be vigilant in South Africa and stay safe while you travel. To help you with this, Secura offers armed response on the go. The app provides you with a panic button, that when pressed, activates a call for an armed response vehicle near you.

Secura has partnered with a host of security companies, which together covers all nine provinces and almost 900 suburbs, ensuring that you get help as quickly as possible. This is the perfect way to feel safe throughout your adventure, knowing help is around the corner.

Prey Anti-theft

While it is possible to tour South Africa quite safely, in some cases you may be the victim of crimes like theft. Losing your mobile phone can be scary and unsettling, especially because these devices have become our phone books, maps, banks, and photo albums.

If your phone has been stolen (or lost), Prey Anti-theft provides useful GPS data to track it down, helping the police to make finding your device quicker and easier. The app is compatible with a variety of platforms including iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, Ubuntu, and MAC. Download it here.


Technology has advanced in a way that can make travel more efficient, convenient, and enjoyable. Take advantage of what’s out there, and feed your curious soul as you get to know South Africa!