The Tourist Guide

A Tourist Guide is a person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area which person normally possesses an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognised by the appropriate authority. (World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations).

The Tourism Act, 2014 states that a 'Tourist guide' is  any person registered according to the act,  and who for reward accompanies any person who travels within or visits any place within the Republic and who furnishes such person with information or comments.

Guiding categories

portraitCulture guide 
portraitNature guide 
portraitAdventure guide 

Requirements to register as a guide with the National Department of Tourism (NDT)

doneA Declaration of Competence (DoC)
doneA Cathsseta Guiding Certificate - attend a course offered by an accredited provider 
doneA valid First Aid Level 1 Certificate
doneA certified copy of Identity document 
doneSigned copy of the Tourist Guide Code of COnduct and Ethics 
doneCompleted application form 
done4 colour ID photos of yourself
donePay R240 registration fee
doneIf the Tourist Guide is non South African a valid work permit is required

The role and function of the Tourist Guide

This will vary depending on various factors for example, the expectations of the employer, the purpose and setting for the tour:

portraitMain function is to interpret information.
portraitEnsures the safety and security of the group at all times. 
portraitOperates within the national and international legal framework.
portraitCompletes administrative tasks.
portraitPerforms a variety of other tasks that include managing the group, communicating, setting a good example, boosting the morale of the group and entertaining the visitors.

Sample title

What kind of tours would you like to do?

Choose the course that you are interested in ...

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I would like to take tourists around my area or property, township, small town, museum, or specific route, focusing on local culture and history.
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I am interested in cultural driving and walking tours in one or more provinces (overland tours), city centres, and other major tourism sites / overland tours. 


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I am focused on giving clients nature experiences in a reserve, or local area (in a limited geographical area). 

Combine your interests 

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Qualify to offer both cultural and natural experiences - add nature guiding to your main course
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Become a tourist guide enterpreneur: planning,  designing, and conducting your own tours - include tour operator course
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Offer adventure activities

Register and become legal

Get your tourist guide badge