How to Become a Tour Guide in South Africa

South Africa is a country with so much tourism relevance making it one of the most preferred destinations for tourists in the African continent.

A good reason for this is the abundance of wildlife parks, museums, and other places of historical relevance which tell the story of the African origin/way of life both in the pre/post-colonial era.

When tourists arrive at their preferred destination, there is a need for people who have more knowledge about the history or other relevant information of such locations to guide these people for a wholesome experience.

These people are referred to as tour guides. In this article, we’ll take you through the process of becoming a tour guide in South Africa.

How to Become a Tour Guide in South Africa

According to Wikipedia, a tour guide is a person who provides assistance, information on cultural, historical, and contemporary heritage to people on organized sightseeing and individual clients at educational establishments, religious and historical sites such as; museums, and various venues of tourist attraction resorts.

The nature of their job brings them in contact with people of different ethnic backgrounds thus, they are required to exhibit professionalism, have excellent communication and organizational skills when interacting with tourists.

Tourist guides are expected to have a good knowledge of their geographical location, the historical knowledge of the area they would be exploring and if possible the number of police stations closest to them should an important need arise.

Now that you have an idea of what a tour guide does here are some steps you should take in realizing your dreams of becoming a one.

Acquire A Qualification

If you would like to become a tourist guide, then you would be required to get either a national certificate in tourism NQF2 or NQF4 as governed by the national qualifications framework (NQF).

Depending on what area you would like to specialize in, the course work required by you and the school you decide to attend for training must be approved by the CATHSSETA as indicated on their website

Register for a License

In South Africa, it is illegal to work as a guide without the appropriate license of means of identification. If caught you may be subjected to paying a fine of up to R1000 or more.

In being recognized as an official tourist guide, you would be required to send in applications to the provincial registrar closest to your area. For consideration, you would need to meet the following requirements;

  • be at least 21 years of age
  • be a South African citizen or have a valid work permit
  • should have undergone training with a CATHSSETA-accredited training provider;
  • have valid first aid certificate
  • submit 4 passport size photos;
  • registration fee of R240
  • submit a completed registration form alongside a code of conducts and ethics
  • copy of proof of language proficiency for each foreign language in which tours will be conducted

Once you are considered eligible for a license you would be issued one carrying your job description and additional skillset that you might have. You can carry out renewals by making a payment of R240 at the provincial registrar’s office before the said expiration date.

Find a Job in Relevant places

Completing the steps above gives you the necessary documents needed for your job search process, you can work either in reserve parks, museums, wildlife centers, and other historical centers in South Africa. In some cases, you can offer your service as a private tour guide with total control of how much you charge and how many hours you would be willing to work for.






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