After a few weeks travelling through Africa someone asked us if we knew the iOverlander app. I’m seldom really enthusiastic about an app but this his free overland travel app is definitely something you should download when going on an ‘overlanding’ trip. Even if you’re just on a road trip for a couple of weeks it comes in handy.
So what’s iOverlander?
The overland travel app iOverlander is a project originally started by two travellers who aimed to make an overview of the best spots when overlanding. Think of campsites, mechanics, restaurants, point to refill your water tanks etc. Over the years a lot of volunteers have donated time and/or money so that iOverlander could develop itself to this point. Next to this site it’s the apps on both iOS and Android that are particularly useful to download before you hit the road.
How do I use the overland travel app?
As soon as you open up the iOverlander app you get the main screen of the app. When clicking on the ‘Map’ you’ll see your location and the different point of interests around you. All these icons mean something else. For a complete overview of all the categories just press the ‘Filter’ button.
Depending on where you are and your particular needs at that time some icons are more important than others. In South Africa for example, there are plenty of mechanics that can help you out. If you’re in the middle of nowhere in Zambia however it is really convenient to know that there is a proper mechanic 10 kilometers down the road. The overland travel app distinguishes itself due to the quality and accuracy of the data in the app. Every user can add new places or edit existing ones.
As soon as you tap on an icon you’ll see a short description of the place and immediately know what facilities the place has to offer. Is there any power? How’s the wifi? Can you drink water from the tap? Then you’ll get to the reviews by other guests that visited this campsite. If you swipe all the way down you can open up this location in other apps such as Maps.me or Google Maps so that you can navigate to this location.
Integration with other apps
Since the iOverlander maps require an internet connection it might be handy to download Maps.me for offline navigation. Another option is to go to the iOverlander site and download a ‘GPX’ file which you can add to your navigation system or app you like. This way you’ll have all the points of interest in the system of your liking.
Using iOverlander we ended up at the most unique places, found some amazing mechanics for our car and found some particular good cheese along the road in Tanzania. The great thing about this app that you can use it all over the world so you can use it on any trip!