A number of wildlife iphone apps for travelling to Africa are becoming available, making it far easier to travel around instead of lugging a library with you. I would always recommend getting as much information before you go and remember that iphone surfing costs are incredibly expensive abroad and in many areas you won’t have coverage. And there’s nothing like having all the info at your fingertips just when you want to know what, say, are the breeding habits of the Greater Kudu.
The most comprehensive guide is the Audubon African Wildlife with in-depth information on more than 475 birds, mammals, and reptiles. Range maps, photographs, and species notes are included. The app also runs through the Africa’s best nature reserves and wildlife areas, along with notes on its physical geography, climate and habitat zones.
Much cheaper is the African-Safari Wildlife Guide which is “just” a complilation of all the relevant African wildlife articles on Wikipedia with photos included. This is actually incredibly useful source and well worth the price, if you feel you want lots of background reading while you’re out there. Download size is approx. 90 MB. the same people also offer an African Birds Guide. Alternatively/additionally, you might well want to think about downloading the complete wikipedia Encyclopedia app (no photos) which is my all-time favourite mobile application. Although it doesn’t have photos and is a bit clunky, it includes all the natural history together and also of course thousands of articles on African culture, history and politics – and on the rest of the world.
The Kingdon Guide to African Mammals is based on the classic book considered by many as an essential field guide to the continent’s mammals. The app is interaractive with images, distribution maps and text descriptions of over 460 species found throughout Africa, and you can narrow down searches to your region. A personal species list stores your mammal sightings saved to the device
Pick of the African bird guides (at least for the south) is Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa which offers the following fab features:
Images, distribution maps and text descriptions of over 950 bird species present in Southern Africa.
-Sound calls for over 630 bird species (Great feature)
-A “Smart Search” enabling easy and quick identification of a bird using beak shape, bird size, bird colour and habitat.
-Selection of area of Southern Africa, to whittle list down to just birds in your region.
-“Bird Compare” – compare 2 birds on the same screen (including calls).
-A personal bird list that stores your bird sightings
I’ve also put together a list of British wildlife apps here which I seem to be using most days of my life now.