Legal Guide

Adventure as a career

Adventure is one of the three legally defined forms of tour guiding in South Africa, namely Adventure / Nature / Culture. Each requires a set of qualifications with some overlap between them.  The ONLY way to qualify as a legal adventure guide in South Africa is to get the Generic Adventure Site Guide (GASG) certificate. 

Legal definition of a Tour Guide

Any person who, for monetary or other reward, accompanies people who are traveling through or visiting any place within a country, and who furnishes those people with information or comments concerning a place or objects visited is defined as Tourist Guide. Many tourist guides may also wish to run their own tour operations in which they are both tour guide and tour operator. – Tourism Act, South Africa

Registration as a guide

Tour Guiding is governed by the Tourism Act no.72 of 1993. This act states that any person or body who
wishes to operate as a tourist guide for reward, whether monetary or otherwise, must:

1. Register as a Tourist Guide with the relevant Provincial Registrar

2. Be in possession of a certificate of competency issued by the South African Qualifications Authority

3. Sign and adhere to the code of conduct and ethics provided by the Provincial registrar.

Basic requirements

  • All candidates must have Wilderness First Aid Level 3 with Casualty Evacuation. Go here.
  • The Technical Certificate is proof of personal competence in a particular skills set such as hiking, rafting or ziplining. Go here.
  • All candidates must submit a logbook of experience for the particular skills set.  Go here.
  • The AQN Interim Certificate is issued when a candidate has proved competent in GASG requirements. Go here.
  • Cathsseta and Guide registration are explained on the page you are reading.

GASG programme

Read about the process of qualifying here.  Adventure Standards Africa is one of the very few service providers that administers this programme and does training and guide assessments to qualify candidates. We are based near Parys on the Vaal River but do travel to other well-equipped venues.

Through our Assessors we are affiliated to the Adventure Qualifications Network (AQN), our school,  which is registered and accredited as a training provider for adventure tour guides.  Submissions go through AQN and the Interim Certificate is issued by AQN.

Official status

The GASG programme and qualification are recognised by Cathsseta – the culture, arts, tourism, hospitality and sports education and training authority. Changes are under way in the system and we will keep trainees informed, but the process described here will remain in place for the forseeable future.

  • Once you have your Cathsseta certificate, take it to the Tourist Guide Registrar in your Province to obtain the Badge and Card. This may be asked for at any time to prove you are a legal guide.

Step by step

Do not over-think or worry about how the process will unfold. All steps towards qualifying are shown in this simple diagram: