Tour Guides South Africa exists to showcase South African Registered Tour Guides.
We do this by offering Free South African Tour Guide Listings as well as on and offline marketing of the site.
Tourists making use of South African Registered Tour Guides need to know the following important information:
In order to be registered as a tourist guide in South Africa, a person must meet the following minimum requirements:
- be a South African citizen or be in possession of a valid work permit;
- must have undergone training with a CATHSSETA-accredited training provider or any other accredited institution which offers programmes recognized by SAQA;
- be in possession of a valid first aid certificate from an institution recognized by the Department of Labour;
- pay a registration fee of R240 (Renewable every 3 years)
- submit 4 passport-size photos;
- must submit a completed and signed a registration form and the code of conduct and ethics upon registration.
Registered tourist guides are now identified by new ID cards which all tourist guides are required to have in their possession whilst guiding. In addition the official tourist guide badges must also be worn whilst guiding.
See examples below:
Tourist Guide Code of Ethics
A Professional Tourist Guide must conform to the Tourist Guide Code of Ethics.
The code states that a guide:
- Shall be welcoming and demonstrate an enthusiasm for South Africa.
- Shall at all times show a willingness to provide optimum support and quality service to all tourists, and will give tourists an opportunity to enjoy or visit the desired destination.
- Shall in no way discriminate in rendering service to any tourist on any basis, e.g. race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, physical challenge, age, etc.
- Shall be impartial, unbiased and positive, and represent South Africa objectively.
- Shall be suitably dressed and presentable at all times.
- Shall be punctual, reliable, honest, conscientious and tactful at all times.
- Shall be a responsible driver, when driving as a guide.
- Shall carry out the programme/itinerary of a tour to his/her best abilities and be loyal to the company/organization that he/she is representing.
- Shall deal with conflict in a sensitive and responsible manner.
- Shall report any incident of injury or death to a nearby tourist authority or a police station.
- Shall be knowledgeable and shall assist tourists and not provide them with misleading information.
- Shall in the event of not being familiar with, or being unable to provide the information requested by a tourist, consult with the appropriate authorities for assistance.
- Shall at no time be under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic substance while on duty and shall refrain from administering any medication to a client without proper medical consultation.
- Shall never solicit for clients or gratuities.
- Shall be concerned at all times for the safety of the tourist.
- Shall wear the appropriate tourist guide badge and will carry his/her registration card.
- Shall treat all people, cultures and the environment with respect.
Tourist guides are the ambassadors of South Africa’s tourism industry. They are often the first, and invariably the last, person that tourists come into contact with and are therefore responsible for creating lasting impressions and fond memories of the country.
This being the case, are tourist guides remunerated in accordance with their importance in the tourism value chain? Many tourist guides say that they are not, but some Tour Operators argue that a tourist guide’s remuneration should be in proportion to his or her experience, qualifications and aptitude.
Choose from Registered Tour Guides in the following Provinces:
- Eastern Cape
- Free State
- KwaZulu Natal
- North West Province
- Northern Cape
- South Africa
- Western Cape
Registered South African Tour Guides provide personal attention and the experience and knowledge of South Africa that only a native can offer. See well-known South African tourist attractions or opt to see “off the beaten track” locations, which will allow you to experience the “real” South Africa while sampling local hospitality and avoiding a lot of the tourists.
Many of South Africa’s attractions can be seen on day excursions with the added benefit of the experience and knowledge of a registered guide. Our select group of professional guides will also arrange various adventure, leisure and sporting activities, including Sardine Run tours, Whale and Dolphin Watching, diving with great white sharks, game viewing… the options are endless and can be tailored to your personal interests and budget.
There are three categories of tourist guides:
- Site Guides – these tourist guides have attained the minimum qualification in order to guide in a “limited geographical area” i.e. Hiking in the Drakensberg, visiting the Natal Battlefields, taking a day tour of Cape Town, visiting Soweto;
- Provincial Guides – are qualified to take tourists around an entire province i.e. Limpopo or Gauteng;
- National Guides – are permitted to conduct tours around South Africa, crossing all provincial boundaries. These guides would accompany people taking a comprehensive tour of South Africa, say, by coach.
Classification of Tourist Guides
- Adventure Guides – conduct a guided adventure experience e.g. rock climbing, paddling, abseiling, etc.
- Nature Guides – conduct a guided nature experience in areas such as Game Reserves, National Parks, nature conservation areas, trails, and the like.
- Cultural Guides – conduct a guided cultural experience in a limited geographical area such as a museum, community, wine farm, town or city.
In South Africa, tour guides require a ‘National Certificate in Tourism: Guiding (NQF2)’ qualification, but provincial and national tour guides who travel extensively with tourists require a NQF4 qualification. The qualifications are only valid from training providers accredited by the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA). They list accredited providers on their website.
Unregistered tour guides with lots of previous experience can still register if they are assessed by a CATHSSETA-accredited assessor.
When searching for a decent tour guide in South Africa – be it site specific, provincial or national – there are a few questions you can ask beforehand to make sure that you are dealing with the right person.
In South Africa a tour guide is required by law to be registered with the relevant Provincial Registrars of Tourist Guides, which is different for each province, and in order to be registered, they need a valid certificate from an accredited training provider.
Being a part of an association however isn’t compulsory according to the Department of Tourism, although professional bodies must be accredited by the South African Qualification Authority.
A good tour guide can make or break your holiday, and in South Africa it’s the backbone of the tourism industry.
Once a candidate tour guide completes his/her training, the guide must register with the relevant Provincial Tourist Guide Registration Office where he/she will be issued with a unique tourist guide number, tourist guide badge and ID card.
All tourist guides need to register as a Tourist Guide (Tourism Act 3, 2014).
In order to register candidates tour guides are required to supply the following information:
- Completed and signed application form, specifying the type of registration.
- Signed original of the Code of Conduct and Ethics.
- Certified copy of Proof of Assessment from the CATHSSETA accredited Assessor/Training Provider
- Certified copy of a Training Certificate from the CATHSSETA accredited Training Provider/Assessor.
- Certified copy of a CATHSSETA certificate (this will be provided to you by CATHSSETA ).
- Certified copy of your South African ID/passport/a Permanent Residence or a valid Work Permit allowing you to work as a Tourist Guide.
- Certified copies of all tourist guiding and related qualifications.
- A valid and certified First Aid Certificate (trainers should be registered with the Department of Labour).
- Certified copy of proof of language proficiency for each foreign language in which tours will be conducted (ie. a letter from an authority stating that you can speak a language and/or that you are able to guide in a particular language).
- Four ID size colour photos (print name at the back of the photos).
- The registration fee of R240.00 per person, (all cheques payable to the Department of Economic Development).
Only once registered as a tourist guide with the Tourist Guide Registration Office of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism may the candidate begin contracting as a tourist guide or working for a tour operator.