Two people hiking, one person helping the other to climb up a mountain - Tifosi Sports

Here are the best apps for avid hikers

South Africa offers some of the most breathtaking trails in the world, with many hikers able to experience the great outdoors practically on their doorstep. Every hiker knows the feeling of dread, though, when it seems you’ve wandered off the trail, realising that it’ll add a good few hours to the hike to try and find your way again.

A GPS and hiking trail apps will help you confirm that you’re still on the right way with ease, with many even providing offline support for those instances when you are outside of a region with coverage. Here are some useful apps for people who love to go hiking.

Avenza Maps

Available to both iPhone and Android users, Avenza Maps uses the built-in GPS on your device to locate your position, even when you’re in an area with no mobile internet access.

The app utilises Geospatial PDFs, GeoTIFFs or GeoPDF, and import their own maps or find the map they’re looking for in the Avenza Map Store.

Other features include the ability to find coordinates, toggle between coordinate systems, navigating to a destination, stay in or out of map areas by creating geofences around certain locations (and receiving notifications when approaching or moving away from those areas).

Users can also mark points of interest, record their hikes, and discover details about their trip like total time, elevation changes and average speed. The app offers a number of other useful functionalities.


Wikiloc can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This outdoor trail app provides free GPS trails and waypoints to users, and the app includes the ability to discover millions of hiking trails all over the world.

More than 5 million users make use of Wikiloc to share and explore trails, and the premium version adds outdoor navigation, live tracking and a weather forecast to the mix, among many other practical functionalities.


Released earlier this year, Forge was developed by local hikers in an effort to making hiking along the Cape Peninsula is easier and safer. Using geographic information system technology, the app provides maps and GPS tracking, with additional information pertaining to the terrain, pet-friendliness and bike accessibility also available to users.

The app also lists trails according to their elevation, difficulty and other technical features. Download it on the App Store or on Google Play.

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