You can now use an app to identify any tree in Southern Africa

discoverafrica 20 November 2017
Part of the South Africa Safari Collection
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Technology continues to embed itself in all aspects of our lives in ways we never thought possible. It comes as no surprise then that a passionate team headed by Val Thomas have compiled an impressive mobile app that makes it easy for users to identify both indigenous and alien plant species at the touch of a screen.   


TheTreeApp was launched in South Africa in September 2017

Forget scouring through botanical books and dictionaries, TheTreeApp is a useful and easy-to-use guide to South Africa’s abundant flora.

How does it work?

The App gives the user the ability to identify any tree via an interactive Smart Search procedure Intuitive and interactive technology is compatible with GPS functionality, which makes the search for a specific tree easier, even in the bush. TheTreeApp also comes with a wealth of educational information, maps, and images enabling you to engage with the environment during your safari adventure.

The TreeApp also comes with a wide variety of features such as satellite-interactive distribution maps. You can identify more than 1100 trees using these maps which help propel the App’s GPS function by interacting with GPS satellites. As such, locating certain trees is easier as opposed to the traditional referral or guessing methods. TheTreeApp also comes with over 2200 images both displayed in pen and watercolour ink drawings painstakingly and lovingly illustrated by Joan Van Gogh and Penny Moraites.

An App for everyone

All information is stored inside TheTreeApp and as such no Wi-Fi is required for identification. It also uses plain English as well as 11 vernacular languages to describe various plant species. While TheTreeApp comes in handy for recreational purposes, it has also been well appreciated along professional circles to identify and locate multiple species of trees in South Africa within a radius of 12.5 kilometers.

MyTreeApp features beautiful illustrations

Out of the 1,100 tree species listed on TheTreeApp, 990 are indigenous while 136 are either invasive or noninvasive. They also come with distribution maps and a lot of comprehensive data The designers also added Info Hotspots to help you navigate and understand the information inside the App better.

Your favourites

You can also add your favorite trees and their GPS location using the My Tree feature. What's more, you don’t have to be well versed in scientific tree terminology to understand specific names thanks to a 700-word glossary embedded in TheTreeApp. You can also change the language (English/Botanical/Afrikaans) and grouping methods (Genera/Families) in the App’s settings.

TheTreeApp is a valuable piece of technology that has nature lovers excited about the future for plant identification in the country. At just under $35, the app is incredibly useful for safari enthusiasts looking for learn a little bit more about South Africa’s unique and valuable flora. TheTreeApp is available for Android and Apple users.  


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day 1 to 3

Welcome to Cape Town
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day 4 to 6

Track the Big Five at Thornybush Game Reserve
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day 7 to 9

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day 10 to 12

Explore Chobe River Front
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day 13

Goodbye - for now!

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