Technology

The app that brings tourists closer to Mandela

Hannah Edensor

Following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela has never been so easy with a new app guiding you through his world.

Tourists and South Africans seeking out sites and attractions associated with the late South African President and global icon will now have all the information they need at their fingertips.

The new mobile phone app, developed by South African Tourism in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, was created in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the former President’s release from prison.

The app is based on the “Madiba-inspired tourist attractions” map launched in 2014 to encourage tourists from around the world and South Africa to travel the country, and walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela.

It features tourist sites as well as general places of interest in the four main provinces that defined Mandela’s life. These range from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island, where he was imprisoned; to his post-Presidential office at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he is laid to rest.

“This app is inspired by a true South African icon, and users now have the ability to find, experience and share some of the best attractions, places of interests and unique content we have ever been able to put together as part of this “Madiba-Inspired tourist attractions” offering,” Minister of Tourism in South Africa Derek Hanekom said.

“As we remember the historic year of Madiba’s release from prison, we encourage everyone to use the app to discover some of the stories behind the legend.”

Minister Derek Hanekom launched the new app at Liliesleaf in Rivonia, one of the places featured on the map, with guests invited to test out the app’s offering for themselves.

The GPS-enabled app uses location based services to establish which attraction the user is visiting and provides real-time information to enrich their experience. This includes written information on the attraction, audio describing the attraction and other relevant information including contact details, map previews and photo galleries.

The app also gives users their proximity from other attractions, and includes an itinerary builder, helping to make it as easy as possible for those wanting to visit numerous attractions to best plan their route.

It also makes it simple for visitors to share their experience on social media and features a rewards system linked to visitors’ social media activity. The rewards system will also encourage visitors to visit more than one Madiba site.

The app is now available for download in English from the Apple iTunes store (iOS devices) and the Google Play store (Android devices). It will soon be available in other languages including: Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Dutch, French, German, Italian, simple Mandarin and Portuguese.

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