Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Wed June 17 2015

South African Tourism Launches Madiba's Journey Phone App

Destination & Tourism | David Cogswell | June 17, 2015

South African Tourism Launches Madiba's Journey Phone App

PHOTO: The Mandela Capture site, his last place of freedom before his 27-year incarceration. (Photo by David Cogswell)

No one person has ever been a greater boost to the tourism of his country than Nelson Mandela, and to capitalize on the power of attraction of South Africa’s revolutionary former president, South African Tourism launched a new smart phone app that can be used to follow in the footsteps of the life of Nelson Mandela.

The new app, called Madiba’s Journey, catalogues many of the principal geographical points that link to the major events of Mandela’s life. It uses GPS technology to access information about sites near the user

The charismatic leader has been a major draw for South Africa since the new republic was established in the early 1990s, but since his death in late 2013, interest in him has piqued even more.

South African Tourism collaborated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to develop a map of “Madiba inspired tourist attractions.” The map plots out points of interest in the four South African provinces that figure most prominently in Mandela’s life story.

The map caught the attention not only of tourists, but of tour operators seeing Madiba’s Journey as a surefire winnning theme for tour packages. The success of the map inspired the extension of it into a smart phone app.

Sites incorporated into the app include the UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island, where Mandela served 18 of his 27 years as a political prisoner; the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory at Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where Mandela maintained an office after his presidency and where he is buried; and Liliesleaf in Rivonia, which was a center of the liberation movement.

The Madiba’s Journey smart phone app is currently available in English, but other versions are being developed in alternative languages, including Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Dutch, French, German, Italian, simple Mandarin and Portuguese.

The app is available for download from the Apple iTunes store for iOS devices and the Google Play store for Android devices.

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