go! South Africa Launches Travel App

The go! South Africa travel app, that launched yesterday, is Google-map-based and includes travel articles and stunning photographs by go! travel magazine‘s award-winning photojournalists; restaurant reviews from South Africa’s biggest and most respected restaurant guide, Eat Out; and destination information from SA Venues, a comprehensive guide for travellers in South Africa.
It contains 25 000+ points of interest, including landmarks, nature reserves, restaurants, accommodation options, great drives, hiking trails, wine estates, tourist information, shops, services and even adventure activities. The app, is a one-stop resource for finding out everything you want to know about travelling in South Africa. The app also offers free suggested trips that include the best that each of the nine provinces has to offer, plus offline maps so you can find your way around.
The go! South Africa travel app is a product of Touchlab, which specialises in applications and publishing for touch devices. The app‘s creators have big plans for the app and intend to make go! South Africa the app that travellers use to research, plan and book their trips to and around South Africa. The app’s overall aim is to be the all-in-one solution that renders the use of a traditional travel agent an activity of the past.
Touchlab Divisional Head, Leo Redelinghuys, says that “œWhile this first version of the app allows travellers to explore South Africa in great detail, we are planning on providing an end to end integrated booking solution that will enable travellers to plan and book their itinerary from accommodation and activities, right through to transport“.

Ilze Dreyer, Operations Manager for Touchlab, explains that the “œTravel app started as an idea to map go! magazine’s content, add tools, awesome functionality and give their older travel articles, from the last 4 years, a new life“.  The team soon realized the potential to use the tablet platform to offer a unique experience to explore South Africa, and so they set about brainstorming the functionality that would be included.
Dreyer says that “œIn the end we wanted an app that could show the content in the best possible way, but also allow the user to have fun with it. One of the ways we did this was by allowing them to build their own trips, view trips created by the content team which showcase the best of South Africa’s provinces, and share their trips with the app community“.
Touchlab also believed that because of the patchy Wi-Fi coverage in South Africa, it was important to allow users to download their trips into an offline mode on their tablet. Says Dreyer, “œWe’re extremely chuffed to be offering users offline maps with street level zoom ““ something that’s really a first for any travel app of this scale“.
While the app is initially only available to iPad users, the company plans to have an iPhone and Android release available in early 2012.
With recent app launches including Landbou, Die Burger, and ABC Safari, Touchlab is one of the foremost development houses working on tablet applications in the country. Their team of over 40 developers and graphic designers is working hard to ensure that South Africa leads the way in bringing offline publishing into the digital tablet era.
To download the app from the iTunes app store click here.