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Best Planning Map


avalpert
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Hi, I am starting to plan my first self-drive trip in Southern Africa for next year (planning 3 months in SA, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia at least initially and I may end up doing a shorter self-drive trip in Malawi or Mozambique this year before that). I was wondering what people recommend as the best map/atlas for planning and navigating purposes.

 

Thanks,

Avi

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I'd go for the Illustrated Atlas of South, Central, East Africa from MapStudio.

ISBN 1-86809-431-6

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I cannot help you with atlas-style maps, I just use Google Maps and Google Earth - but when you do get to do the detailed planning nothing beats Tracks4Africa (tracks4africa.co.za) - there are all the park roads and locations of campsites etc, the majority of them will not be in any traditional map or Google map. You can plot your routes using garmin software (Mapsource or Basecamp) and then load the waypoints and routes on your GPS. They can also be exported to Google Earth and Google Maps. They also have paper maps available for Botswana and Namibia.

 

For Botswana you might also find the Veronica Roodt maps helpful.

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  • 4 weeks later...

T4A (tracks 4 Africa) is probably the only resource you will need. Its so easy to use and in the main is very accurate as they update regularly and it is based on actual travellers data which people send in. The great thing about it is that you can plan your trip on basecamp and then overlay the T4A software and programme it into your GPS. The software comes on an SD card which you just plug straight into your Gramin

 

They also do paper maps as well which again are very detailed and helpful.

 

Enjoy

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you want to use Tracks for Africa for route planning, do so on your laptop or PC. Also it is usefull to check the routes on Google Earth.

 

If you try to do route planning directly on the GPS, you are quite likely to rip off your own arm and beat yourself to death with it...

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Avi, don't know if this information is still relevant, but I am also using the Bradt guides for planning trips as well as tracks4Africa. They have many more detailed maps of cities, campgrounds etc and useful road and lodging information. I found all of them on Amazon. Have fun and be safe on your trip. Those countries are awesome and game is fantastic, but you need to prepare well and have a top 4x4 vehicle with new tires. Good luck!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Avi, don't know if this information is still relevant, but I am also using the Bradt guides for planning trips as well as tracks4Africa. They have many more detailed maps of cities, campgrounds etc and useful road and lodging information. I found all of them on Amazon. Have fun and be safe on your trip. Those countries are awesome and game is fantastic, but you need to prepare well and have a top 4x4 vehicle with new tires. Good luck!

Thanks, I am still in the planning stage (though leave in about 3 months so the itinerary is pretty well formed). I have been using Bradt guides and the Rough Guide for South Africa, tracks4africa has been invaluable as a planning tool - it will be nice to see how accurate the time estimates turn out to be. I also have the City Navigator maps for South Africa on the Garmin planning tool which has more complete coverage in the cities than tracks4africa.

 

Hope my vehicle hire company comes through and then I'm sure we will work through whatever challenges pop up.

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Hi Avi, don't know if this information is still relevant, but I am also using the Bradt guides for planning trips as well as tracks4Africa. They have many more detailed maps of cities, campgrounds etc and useful road and lodging information. I found all of them on Amazon. Have fun and be safe on your trip. Those countries are awesome and game is fantastic, but you need to prepare well and have a top 4x4 vehicle with new tires. Good luck!

Thanks, I am still in the planning stage (though leave in about 3 months so the itinerary is pretty well formed). I have been using Bradt guides and the Rough Guide for South Africa, tracks4africa has been invaluable as a planning tool - it will be nice to see how accurate the time estimates turn out to be. I also have the City Navigator maps for South Africa on the Garmin planning tool which has more complete coverage in the cities than tracks4africa.

 

Hope my vehicle hire company comes through and then I'm sure we will work through whatever challenges pop up.

 

 

The time estimates are generally not bad. There are a few glitches (to be expected) so don't take the routes as gospel. For example the track to our lodge sends my GPS mad and it then wants to re-route me via Lusaka if I am 5kms from the lodge. Pontoon crossings sometimes also throw it wild. All in all though it is a fabulous resource and (apart from my fridge) is likely my most valuable self drive bit of kit!

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  • 10 months later...
  • 10 months later...

How do people rate the Tracks for Africa app for use on Android phones? I have used the standard PC version a few times and happy, but I'd rather not take the laptop next time.

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How do people rate the Tracks for Africa app for use on Android phones? I have used the standard PC version a few times and happy, but I'd rather not take the laptop next time.

 

I found it really frustrating to be honest. That was when it was first released. I actually gave up on it and prefer to just use my GPS. Things like National Parks boundaries not being shown, not showing surrounding POIs etc. It was clunky and that is putting it mildly. But I do know from 4x4community.co.za that they were responding to the threads of complaint that were unleashed and promising big upgrades!

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