African Safari Tracker: A new African safari wildlife app
IPhone and iPad owners have a new resource at their disposal: SafariTracker has recently released a mobile app to complement the safari experience. Curating Wikipedia and a variety of other sources, it details 200+ animals, with a special focus on the big five, including hundreds of photos and audio files. With this app, safari-goers can create a map of their animal sightings. Once they’ve spotted an animal, they simply drop a pin on a map of Africa and it keeps track of all sightings, except rhinos, which they move off map for protection reasons. With the optional GPS filter, users can choose to view info on only the animals found in the area.
It was created to expedite the searching process so that people spend less time researching animals and more time viewing them.
African Safari Tracker history
A 2012 trip to Africa was the genesis for this new app. African Safari Tracker app creator, Jason Smith, was on safari with his family in the Serengeti to catch the tail-end of the great migration. While their guide was dutifully answering their myriad questions on the fauna of the savannah, they found themselves wanting to learn more than they could glean from one person. And, while they were armed with guide books to supplement their safari guide’s input, it just wasn’t what they needed.
“The paper guidebook was awkward to juggle and dense with academic detail, and the app I tried made looking up the animal cumbersome and was basically a dump from Wikipedia. I found myself spending more time looking up information than looking at animals,” said Jason. “I wanted the app to know where I was and be smart enough to narrow my selection of animals to those in my area. I wanted the app to make it easy to distinguish between a Grant's Plains Zebra and a Grevy's Zebra so when we pulled up to a herd, I could identify what I was looking at and quickly pull up information. I was less interested in the Latin name as I was in knowing that the noise of Grant's Zebra resembles the bark of a dog rather than the neigh of a horse”.
Upon his return home, he set to work assembling copywriters, designers and developers to make his African safari wildlife app a reality. Jason estimates he and his team spent over 1000 hours sourcing, writing and designing the app from scratch, leveraging information from safari operators, guides, the WWF, African Wildlife Foundation, and Wikipedia. The result was worth the time. African Safari Tracker is an app that serves as a digital guidebook on African wildlife, providing easy-to-read facts and figures at a high level, with the ability to drill down further for those wishing for that second layer of knowledge.
There are future plans to launch an Android version of the app, but for the time being, the African Safari Tracker app is available for iPhone and iPads and is $14.99 US.
African Safari Tracker features include the following:
- 200+ animals from lions and rhinos to okapis and civets
- 500+ high quality photos and curated content from Wikipedia
- 500+ ‘Did You Know’ facts like, “Rhino’s horns are made from the same substance that makes human nails.”
- 150+ photos with hotspots that reveal an animal’s distinguishing features when clicked
- Actual sounds of the big five in the wild, as recorded by the BBC
- Detail on each animal including weight, speed, size, tracks, diet, predators, habitat, lifestyle, family composition, distribution and their IUCN rating
- The ability to filter animals by location and avoid sifting through animals not found in your park or region (GPS connection required)
- Photos can be taken directly within the app and automatically added to the animal profile and photo collection
- Sightings Checklist Map: Drop pins of every animal sighted and keep a running checklist of your sightings
- Collect IUCN (threatened species) badges with every sighting and know how many endangered/vulnerable/abundant animals seen while on safari
- Share sightings map with friends via email, Twitter and Facebook
- Overviews of 11 parks including the Serengeti, Okavango Delta, Ngorongoro Crater and Kruger National Park
- No internet connection needed: download the app once and be ready to hit the bush