Tour South Africa virtually with Google Maps

Walking along the edge of Table Mountain to birdsong and fragrant fynbos has just become attainable to more people.

Have you been up Table Mountain? No? Well now you can, just ask Google.

Google South Africa launched the Mzansi Experience on Maps this week and is set to take you on a journey to explore the country’s natural beauty through Google Maps from your couch, the train or bus, or your office.

On Tuesday Google South Africa launched a collection of Google Street Views that will provide local and international tourists with the opportunity to go on virtual tours of some of South Africa’s top natural attractions.

Using images collected by the Street View Tripod and Trekker, Google has created 360-degree imagery of some of this country’s most beautiful locations.

Such as walking across Table Mountain, the Boomslang at Kirstenbosch, the funicular at Cape Point, a prison cell on Robben Island or visit a family of elephants at Kruger National Park. Places that many local people only dream of ever seeing but now made possible by viewing imagery through any android phone, tablet or computer.

Wearing cardboard goggles to view 360-degree, panoramic imagery, Table Mountain National Park manager, Paddy Gordon, said they have partnered with Google to make use of its technology to improve accessibility to South Africa’s natural heritage.

“Over the past few months, Google Maps has been collecting imagery in a number of national parks in order to bring a broad spectrum of the public closer to exciting wilderness features than they have ever been before,” he said at the launch.

“Technology is changing, if people can see what we have on a screen in places like Beijing, Moscow, Rwanda or Khayelitsha, it will open their eyes so they can experience it, care for it and ultimately visit it.”