This October we are celebrating 10 years of selling GPS maps in the retail market. We actually started with our first commercial maps back in 2005 but it was only until 2006 that we launched the first maps on a CD and then later migrated to SD card.
While designing the new cover I thought about the last decade and how things have changed. At the heart of T4A maps is community mapping but the technology made it possible to do so much more than what we used to ten years ago.
The basic idea
Tracks4Africa started out by sharing tracks and waypoints and from this data we later started building a map which grows organically as people travel and contribute data or comment on aspects of the maps which needs to be updated. Continue reading How we make maps→
We left Himeville at the foot of the Drakensberg after a peaceful night’s camping at Goxhill Trout Lodge, situated on a working dairy farm close-by. We were heading for the famous Sani Pass and then Lesotho. I was particularly excited as it would be my first visit to either and we were hoping to see the remains of snow that had fallen three weeks prior…
It was quick and easy to exit South Africa at the border control at the bottom of the 8km pass. The dry brown grass clad smooth, rounded foothills of the mountains and wooded valleys were spectacular as we ascended, more so because they contrasted with their white snow covered tops.
Signs at the bottom and the top of the pass indicate that only 4WD vehicles are allowed access, and one can imagine that it must be challenging even for these when it is wet or snowy. Indeed travellers have become snow bound as bad weather has suddenly encroached, only to recover their vehicles weeks later – so one should enter prepared with sufficient spares, food, water and warm clothing. Now the pass was dry, rough, rocky and slow, but not difficult to drive. Continue reading Lesotho: kingdom of snow→
Having a valid passport and the necessary visas are two of the foremost requirements for any traveller. Apart from the annoyance of applying for visas, it can also be costly and hence African overlanders will be happy to hear that an African Union passport which will give them access to 54 countries is under way.
The dream of having one passport that will allow African citizens to travel the continent visa-free is one step closer to realisation with the new electronic African Union passport that was presented to the incoming chairperson of the AU and the Rwandan president at the African Union (AU) Assembly held in Kigali in July 2016.
The aim of the AU is to allow African citizens visa-free travel within their own continent by 2020, which is in line with the African Development Bank’s (ADB) plans to abolish visa requirements for all Africans by 2018 – a move which would aid business and overall travel on the African continent. Continue reading Visa-free overlanding with African Union passport→