1) GPS MAPS: CHOOSING A GPS FOR TRACKS4AFRICA MAPS
Our Tracks4Africa GPS maps are only compatible to Garmin GPS devices.
Requirements for your GPS to be compatible with our maps:
- Must be able to read Garmin maps
- Must be able to receive maps (a SD card slot is not a requirement)
- Should be able to receive automotive maps from PC /Mac
The choice of a GPS can be daunting and it is based on a couple of questions (ie. Compiled by T4A Directory, Johann Groenewald: 2015):
- Will you use it in the car only? Or, would you want to use it for hiking or MTB as well? If so, look for something with replaceable AA batteries and robustness. This is typically your Oregon and GPSMap62 ranges. If you would use it in the car only, look at the Nuvi range. The Nuvi500 is sold as an offroad GPS because it is waterproof, but it really is not necessary to have a waterproof GPS in your car. If the dash is under water you have far more serious problems than a GPS to worry about...
- Do you intend using the GPS on a motorbike? If so, you want something waterproof and purpose built. Look at the garmin Zumo range - Garmin Zumo range is the BMW bike range and comes with glove friendly interface, bluetooth connectivity etc. Our maps will work on these units. A lot of bikers use the Zumo 660, but there are newer models. See the website: http://www.garmin.co.za/motorcycle_gps.php
- Do you intend to record tracks with the GPS? All GPS can record waypoints, but only a few can record your tracks. This is handy if you want trace back on a route you have just driven, but only really necessary in extreme off the road driving. T4A maps are based only on such track recordings so we always encourage users to record their tracks and to submit these to us so we can update the maps with more or better data.
- Do you intend to do city navigation with GPS? i.e. would you be looking for addresses in South Africa cities (they don't exist outside of South Africa)? We call this 'pizza delivery' where a street address is the only thing to go by. If yes, then get (any) GPS loaded with a city map. All Garmin Nuvi's come with this type of map preloaded and it’s the most cost effective way to get such a map. If you buy an Oregon or GPSMap 62 it will not come with a city navigator map preloaded, in which case you have to factor the cost of such map in separately (normally R1000).
- Tracks4Africa will be more than adequate for navigation to places in the cities, i.e. to rerecorded points of interest on the maps. We cover camp sites, fuel, lodging and a very extensive range of other features related to travellers on our maps. The further away you from the cities the better our detail becomes.
The Garmin Nuvi range can be bought for a very good price. You would be looking at anything from R1200 to R4000 and to be honest, there is not much difference between the entry level units and the more advanced ones. The latest craze is things like lane assist, 3D buildings and other city features. These would hardly be of any use to the overland traveller.
Also note that the Oregon and GPS Map 62 does not give voice guidance. For some people this is not a problem because they mute the voice guidance in any case, but it could become a deciding factor. The Oregon and GPSMap62 is far superior GPS units for the wilderness navigator, so if you intend any hiking or related type of navigation, I would seriously look at these two units.
- Cost wise - Montana/Overlander/Drive: The Montana is less expensive than the Garmin Overlander, and is very nice GPS to use Tracks4Africa GPS maps on. If you want to go for a cheaper option then look at any entry level Drive unit with a bigger screen. The routing on all of these work the same and these days they all have track recording functions.
- The Garmin Overlander: Read here for more info.
Tracks4Africa Blog articles for more information: