How Start a Tour Guiding Service in south africa

tourist guide is a person who provides assistance, information on cultural, historical and contemporary heritage to people on organized tours and individual clients at educational establishments, religious and historical sites, museums, and at venues of other significant interest. The are 3 categories of tour guiding service you can offer:

  • In-bound tourist guide: In this category you will be providing services mainly to foreign visitors to South Africa.
  • Out-bound tourist guide: In this category you will be providing services to clients in South Africa wishing to travel to destinations outside of the country.
  • Local tourist guide: In this category you will be  provide services to domestic clients for tours within South Africa.

Under the Tourist Guide Act there are categories of registration for tourist guides, and requirements to operate legally. For full information you need to contact your Provincial Registrar of Guides, Anne Barnes at 021 483 8734.

Tourist Guide Categories :

  • Local or Regional Adventure Guide (e.g. river rafting, mountaineering, diving etc.)
  • Local or Regional Site Guide
  • Local or Regional Cultural Guide
  • Local or Regional Nature Guide


To start a Tour Guiding Service in South Africa,  you also require training . Get training from any accredited trainer. In order to make sure you’re able to register as a Tourist Guide, you are responsible for making sure that you train through an accredited trainer. A full list of Trainers and Assessors can be obtained on the CATHSSETA (Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority) website or you may enquire with the Tourist Guide Registration Office.

QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF: Do you have the required transport and driving permits? If you are going to transport tourists, as well as be a guide, then you need to have a road transportation permit, as well as a public driving permit.

Why apply for a  National Tourist Guide licence: It will allow you  to operate in all provinces.

To apply for registration as a legal guide in your Province you will need the following:

  1. The prescribed fee of R240
  2. a certified copy of you ID or passport
  3. a signed copy of a code of conduct (obtainable from the Provincial Registrar).
  4. 4 colour photographs – passport size
  5. current registration details (if with SATOUR or other Associations)
  6. certified copies of your qualifications
  7. a copy of your work permit if you are not a South Africa citizen

Making a Plan

You need a business plan in order to make your business idea a reality. How to write a business plan

How to fund your business?

You can finance your business by any or all of the following ways:

  1. Fund your startup yourself.
  2. Pitch your needs to friends and family.
  3. Applying for a Business loan
  4. Finding your business through crowdfunding
  5. Apply to local angel investor

Register Your Business Name

Your business name plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Once you have chosen a name for your business, you need to register it. Click here for a step by step guide on how to register your business

Insuring your business 

From the day an entrepreneur starts a business, he exposes himself to certain risks, find out how you can insure your business.