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What3Words…. what?


Ever struggled to find a hotel, a restaurant or a fantastic viewpoint recommended by a friend? We all love to discover new places, but finding them can be a real challenge. Many places don’t have an easy to find street address, and all too often we find ourselves trying to locate them using scraps of paper with scribbled directions. Ideally when travelling, you want to make the most of every moment, to relax and enjoy the new sights, but instead you end up stressed, driving in frustrated circles as you search for your destination.

Bo Kaap What3Words address
Not any more. Innovative addressing system what3words has a smart and incredibly simple solution – 3 word addresses. What3words has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and given each square an address made from 3 random words. Everyone is keen to see the latest Tony Gum exhibition for example, but the Christopher Moller Gallery is not always easily found.  Happily, those bamboozled by Kloof Nek Road’s meanderings can use the words /// and be led gracefully to the gallery’s door.  The Cape Town City Ballet has recently moved from its longstanding home at The Baxter.  Where is it now?  ///interruptions.unruffled.posers will show you.

The popularity of what3words is growing fast around the world, with 3 word addresses being used for everything from pizza delivery to disaster response.  Restaurants are now able to specify their delivery entrance to suppliers, and Glastonbury-goers can at last find their tents.  Early next year, Mercedes-Benz will launch the world’s first car with what3words voice navigation, so drivers will be able to say “take me to rosters plots famous” and their car will give them directions right to the front gate of Samara Private Game reserve. With map versions in Afrikaans, isiZulu and isiXhosa launching early next year, what3words is set to make South Africa a much easier place to navigate.

Lions Head What3Words address
The what3words app is free to download on iOS or Android and can be used to navigate to any 3 word address using Google Maps, Waze or Citymapper. Very soon What’s on in Cape Town will be listing 3 word addresses for many of the great places we recommend on this site, so you’ll be able to find them all hassle-free with the what3words app. Watch this space.

Want to find out your 3 words? Simply type your address into and zoom in on the map until you see the grid squares. Be warned – it’s a surprising amount of fun.



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