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How To Recognize a Registered Tourist Guide in South Africa

How To Recognize a Registered Tourist Guide in South Africa

Registered tourist guides can be recognised by their unique badge and identification card (ID). The ID cards will indicate the category of guiding, the site(s) region(s) in which the tourist guide was found competent to guide as well as any specialities that the guide may possess.

How to be a South Africa Tourist Guide

Individuals considering pursuing a career in tourist guiding must first complete the required training and assessment with accredited institutions before proceeding to register with the relevant Provincial Registrar.

What are the qualification requirements for tourist guides?

CATHSSETA is the Sector Education and Training Authority responsible for training and education in the fields of Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport.
Amongst other portfolios, they perform the function of an Education, Training and Quality Assurance (ETQA) body which accredits training providers, quality assures the programmes that are offered by such providers and ensures that learners are certified once they have been deemed competent against a particular qualification.
Once a person has completed an assessment as a tourist guide, the person will receive a formal, recognized qualification in tourist guiding that can be measured as a profession against the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) for tourist guiding. The Act reinforces the need for tourist guides to be in possession of a South African Qualification Authority
(SAQA) recognised/registered competency. This can be achieved through a CATHSSETA-accredited training provider, or with institutions of higher education whose programmes are accredited by SAQA.

There are (3) categories of tourist guides :

nature, culture and adventure
Nature guides are knowledgeable about the natural environment including in-depth knowledge about the flora and fauna of a particular area. A nature guide
may specialise in certain fields i.e. conservation area, national parks, nature trails etc.
Culture guides conduct tours with emphasis on cultural heritage. A culture guide may specialize in certain fields i.e art, township history, cultural experiences in rural villages, museums, historic buildings etc. Adventure guides conduct guided outdoor recreation leisure activities with an element of risk involved eg. Abseiling, hiking, mountain climbing etc.
Tourist guides are further categorised according to the areas in which they operate e.g. site or provincial guides.
A site guide is a person who usually guides within a site e.g. at Cango Caves, Shakaland etc. A provincial guide is a person who guides in one or more provinces e.g. Gauteng and/or Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal etc.
A provincial tourist guide who is competent to guide in all nine provinces is typically referred to as a national guide.

What will the Accessors be accessing ?

The current guiding qualifications are made up of a collection of unit standards or building blocks. Each unit standard represents knowledge that a person must have,
specific to his/her profession. These unit standards were devised in close consultation with tourist guides and other stakeholders.

Requirements to be a registered tourist guide

Provincial Registrars are appointed in each of the nine provinces to register tourist guides. Applicants must satisfy the following requirements before they are considered for registration.

  • Proof of competence recognised by SAQA.
  • A valid first aid certificate issued by an institution recognised by the Department of Labour.
  • A completed and signed application form accompanied by the prescribed fee.
  • A signed copy of the code of conduct and ethics for tourist guides.
  • Proof of South African citizenship or in the case of a non-South African citizen, a valid working visa granting permission to work as a tourist guide.
  • Four (4) passport size photos.

How To Renew License As a Registered South African Tourist Guide

As a registered tourist guide, how do I renew my license? Renewal is every 3 years. There are Provincial Registrars based in each of the nine provinces that are responsible for the registration of tourist guides. Guides must contact their Provincial Registrar and complete the relevant renewal forms, pay the prescribed registration fee of R240. Also Read : How to be a South Africa Tourist Guide

  • Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism. Tel: +27 (0)15 293 8510  . Email: [email protected]
  • Mpumalanga Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency .Tel: +27 (0)13 759 5487 .Email: [email protected]
  • Gauteng Department of Economic Development .Tel: +27 (0)11 085 2500 .Email: [email protected]
  • KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs
    Tel: +27 (0)33 264 9314 .Email: [email protected]
  • North West Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism
    Tel: +27 (0)18 387 7801 Email: [email protected]
  • Eastern Cape Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency .Tel: +27 (0)41 492 1150 .Email: [email protected]
  • Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism .Tel: +27 (0)21 483 9442 .Email: [email protected]
  • Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism .Tel: +27 (0)53 830 4875 .Email: [email protected]
  • Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. Tel: +27 (0)51 400 9598 .Email: [email protected]

For information on accredited training providers and programmes, contact CATHSSETA on 011 217 0600 or visit To verify qualifications recognised by SAQA, please contact 086 010 3188 or visit
For enquiries or to lodge appeals to the National Registrar of Tourist Guide, please contact: The Department of Tourism on 0860-TOURISM or 0860 868 747 or via email at [email protected] or visit

Israel Wellington Jeremiah
Israel Wellington Jeremiah
I work to provide access to global experiences to all through educational opportunities like scholarships, training and conferences, fellowships, grants and awards, jobs, internships , learnerships and volunteer programs.