Tour Guide

How to Become a Tourist Guide? 

What is a tourist guide?

A tourist guide is any person who, for monetary or other rewards, accompanies people who are travelling through or visiting any place within a country, and who furnishes those people with information or comments concerning a place or objects.
What are the Legal Prescripts?

There are three main prescripts that govern the Tourist Guiding sector and they are:

How to become a Tourist Guide?

  1. Be a South African citizen or be in possession of a valid work permit
  2. Attend a tourist guide course from an accredited service provider by Culture Arts Tourism Hospitality Sports Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA). 
  3. Attend first aid training from an accredited service provider.
  4. Once certificates from 2 & 3 above have been obtained, register with the provincial authority. The provincial authority for Eastern Cape Province is Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA). Your application form must be accompanied by:  
    • Certified copies of certificates as mentioned in 2 & 3
    •  A declaration of competence indicating the category/site/region that a guide was found competent for obtainable from the training provider
    • Certified copy of ID Document
    • Four Colour ID Photographs
    • Copy of proof of payment (A registration fee of R240 is payable to Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency)
    • Signed Tourist Guide Code of Conduct and Ethics
  5. ECPTA will process your application through the National Department of Tourism.
  6. If your application is successful, the National Department of Tourism will issue you a badge and card thorough ECPTA

What are the Categories of Tourist Guide?

There are three categories of tourist guides:

  1. Site Guides – these tourist guides have attained the minimum qualification in order to guide in a "limited geographical area” i.e. Hiking in Groendal Nature Reserve, undertaking a tour of New Brighton Township,  Site to Langa Massacre in Uitenhage;
  2. Provincial Guides – are qualified to take tourists around an entire province i.e. Eastern Cape
  3. 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.

What are the Classification of Tourist Guides?

  1. Adventure Guides – conduct a guided adventure experience e.g. rock climbing, paddling, abseiling, etc.
  2. Nature Guides – conduct a guided nature experience in areas such as Game Reserves, National Parks, nature conservation areas, trails, and the like.
  3. Cultural Guides – conduct a guided cultural experience in a limited geographical area such as a museum, community, wine farm, town or city.

Did you know?

  1. Registration for tour guide is valid for a period of three years and renewable thereafter.
  2. Guiding without a tourist badge and card is illegal. You may be liable for a fine or imprisonment of up to 12 months. 
  3. The Provincial Tourist Guide Registrar is empowered to open a case with South African Police Services if any tour guide contravenes the Tourism Act No. 3 of 2014. 

Where to register?

If you want to be a tour guide in Nelson Mandela Bay, for application forms, registration and more information, contact the Provincial Tour Guide Registrar, Mr. Mbulelo Siyo on 079 496 7900, or by email: 


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