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Becoming a tour guide

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


GirlTourist.jpgIf you're quite knowledgable and are passionate about South Africa or the area in which you live, perhaps you'd be interested in becoming a tour guide. If so, there are processes to follow and organisations to contact to improve your chances of having a success career.

Tourist guiding is a very specialised field that requires in depth study and assessment of a particular area. In South Africa, guides are registered with the provincial tourism department and may operate only in the area in which they've been trained and registered.

If you give a commentary to paying clients (i.e. you guide tourists) you will need to register as a tourist guide with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Contact the Registrar of Tourist Guides at DEAT for detailed information and requirements.

Registration as a Tourist Guide

The tourist guide first successfully completes training and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL) with an accredited institution. Then the guide registers with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) through the provincial tourism authorities.

Tourist guides in South Africa fall into three broad categories comprising nature, culture and adventure guides. These categories in turn have three levels, reflecting the complexity and amount of learning required: site or specialist, regional or provincial and national levels.

Tourist guides can only guide within the scope of the categories and levels for which they have qualified. In South Africa it is illegal to conduct guided tours without the proper qualification.

After registration, the tourist guide receives an identity card and a badge which must be displayed at all times when conducting guided tours. Tourist guides have to renew their registration every two years.

Other contacts:

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