So you want to become a Tour Guide in South Africa?

Tourism jobs offer interesting career opportunities in South Africa and internationally. If you are passionate about your country and you enjoy interacting with tourists, this may be the job for you. When it comes to tourism jobs, tour guide positions are some of the numerous employment opportunities in the industry. The sector plays a significant role in the South African economy. Cities such as Cape Town thrive from the support of both local and international visitors. Travel and tourism jobs provide lucrative opportunities to people who have the right skills. Browse jobs, register your CV and apply for tour guide jobs on Job Mail.


Before you commit to a training program, find out more about becoming a tour guide. If you are considering tourism careers, here is useful information to help you make up your mind.

One of the first steps to finding employment is to know what type of companies will need your services. Guides can find employment in the tourism industry. Jobs are available in big tour companies or with safari operators. Another option is to find freelance work when companies need extra staff in their busy months. This is a great way to develop your skills and to gain relevant work experience. Freelance work can help you to build up an impressive CV which will contribute to securing long-term employment opportunities. There are opportunities to be self-employed if you want to start your own tour operating company. You will need in-depth knowledge of the industry and extensive experience before you open your own business. It is advisable to work in the industry for a few years and develop your capabilities before you set off on your own.


If you want to work as a guide within tourism jobs, you can choose to specialise in nature, culture or adventure. You can enrol for work experience programs or internships to find out more about the different areas of specialisation. Another good way to make up your mind is through researching each option online. Talk to people in the field who can offer you a first-hand account of their experiences. Once you have decided what area you are most interested in you can start building up your knowledge in your chosen specialisation. Although you should focus on one subject, it is advisable to read some information on other topics so that you can offer tourists a broad overview of South Africa.

To be a successful tour guide you will need to be passionate about your field of work. The job requires in-depth knowledge of the field that you have chosen to specialise in. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are also necessary. Prospective employers will be looking to see if you are confident about your knowledge in your chosen field. As this type of employment can be physically demanding, you will need to be in excellent physical health to perform your duties.


A primary responsibility of a tour guide is to ensure that the company’s clients are comfortable. Protecting guests from potential threats is also crucial. Tasks that are associated with this position include welcoming guests, co-ordinating transport and organizing accommodation. Tour guides are responsible for providing visitors with practical information which relates to the local currency, drinking water and nearby eating establishments. Communication with visitors is essential and guides must respond to enquiries and resolve complaints. This includes resolving minor issues such as delayed arrivals as well as emergencies. Knowledge of first aid is pertinent to this position.

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One of the challenges of tour guide jobs is that the working conditions may involve extended periods away from home. You will also have to offer your guests assistance at any time, day or night. This means that while you are with your group you will be on duty at all times. These particular types of tourism jobs involve continuous learning and keeping up-to-date with local news, which can be a demanding requirement.


The requirements for this position include a minimum age of 21 years as well as a professional demeanour. Other characteristics that are important are patience, a friendly manner and good organizational skills. Suitable candidates will be able to remain calm in difficult situations. Leadership skills and a polite attitude are also crucial. Tour guides need to have an extensive understanding of South Africa as well as in-depth knowledge of local cultures and wildlife.


To enter the industry you will need to have a Tour Guide qualification. Once you have finished training you will are required to register with CATHSSETA. Once this process is complete, you will be given an ID card as well as a badge. Your card and badge must be visible while you are on duty. The renewal period for registration is every two years. To be eligible for training you will need to have studied English. It is also advisable to study History and Geography as well as additional languages. Training is available at Drumbeat Academy. You could also choose to study at the Field Guides Association of South Africa. According to PayScale Tour Guide jobs have an average income of R108, 000 per annum.

Ready to find tour guide jobs in your area? Register your CV on Job Mail and start applying for exciting travel and tourism jobs now.

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13 Responses

  1. maurice says:

    I need company that hire tour guide trainee

  2. Ntokozo says:

    I like to travel and a tour guid

  3. khanyi says:

    Ime khanyi 28 years of age, I’m interested in a job in a job in toursim, retail in high end fashion! I’m a sociable self starter with people and problem solving skills. I can work in independently as well as in a group environment! I poses experience in guest relations and I have a dinamic attitude and a willingness to learn new things.

  4. Mike says:

    I would like to join the industry, I have massive passion for it, please help.

  5. sylvester says:

    Greetings,I’ve just red an interesting story obout tour guide jobs. Its been so long since I fell inlove with this job but I did not know where to start for training. What I want to know is that is there any some kind of bursaries or internship offered by the tourism companies?an if are there how to apply for them?

  6. Zingisa says:

    My name is Zingisa and I am 28yrs old,im looking for a job on Retail or General work

  7. Goodness says:

    Im Goodness Cele I would like to be a tour guide i have travel and tourism level 2,3 and 4

  8. edwell says:

    good organisation

  9. Stephen Esterhuysen says:

    Hi, my name is Stephen, 55, and I would like to join the field as a Historical Guide. I have a passion for History and l have been travelling to various places in this lovely and beautiful country of SA.I have a good knowledge of the History of SA and are still accumulating knowledge. I have without a doubt the gift of a speaker and will therefore be able to be a guide. I can also be a Tourist Guide.
    My previous career was that of Administration until my retrenchment in May 2016 but now I wish to fulfill my second calling which is my passion.

  10. Shehnaz says:

    Hi, I am Shehnaz Ahmad. I live in Gauteng.
    I have been doing “tour guide”on my own using my database of clients.
    Have no qualifications at all. But, now after 3 years doing it on my own using my own car. I realised in order to grow my clientele it is important to have qualification.
    I have qualifications in many other fields and worked
    Property Agent

    I was in retails as shop assistant in clothing & shoes and grocery stores, Corporate as accountant, I also done lots trading on “my own”.

    I found myself retrenched in February 2009 since then I have been trading in 2016 business went little down decided to start hire cars that I had already and at the same time I started to “tour guide”.

    Now I really want to be qualified in order to search more jobs as freelance as tour guide.

    Please, I will appreciate in advance ideas where to start… college courses.

    WhatsApp me please 072 899 0010

    • Jani Grey says:

      Hi Shehnaz,

      We’d like to suggest that you get in touch with the colleges and universities in your area to find out which courses they have to offer.

      Kind regards,
      The Job Mail Team

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