Full Time Tourist Guide Training Courses

Course dates for 2024

Tour Operator Course: see details under Training Courses

Cost : R 3 000

Tourist Guide Courses:

4 x Full time courses: 08:30 – 17:00

22 Jan – 2 Feb 2024
6 – 17 May 2024    FULL
22 July – 2 August 2024
30 Sept – 11 Oct 2024

Cost : R7 600

Online Courses:

Start date – anytime

Face to face practicals:
Practicals during office hours 08:30 – 17:00

26 Jan – 2 Feb 2024
10 – 17 May 2024
26 July – 2 Aug 2024
4 – 11 Oct 2024

Cost : R7 600

A tour guide's role is vital as often it's the tourist's first impression with the people and culture of the place they're visiting.

Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa, capital of the Western Cape and the most beautiful city by the sea, is on everyone's 'bucket list'.

'Fynbos' part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the richest in the world with more than  8 500 different species and only found in the Western Cape.

Bontebok only found in South Africa and Lesotho, with the Western Cape home to the largest numbers.

Our 9 different Wine Regions offer tourists more than 500 different wine estates to visit and sample cultivars such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz and even our own exclusive Pinotage.

Tourist will love South Africa's sunshine and exquisite scenery. We offer many outdoor activities such as hiking in the Cedarberg Mountains. "Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." - Gustave Flaubert

Hermanus, only 1,5 hours from Cape Town, rated the best 'whale sighting' destination in the world. Join us for the Whale festival in September.

The spring flowers along the West Coast cover the land with a colourful carpet each year from July to September.

Coastal towns along the Cape coastline offer tourists scenic beauty, tranquility and rest.

Share your love for Cape Town and South Africa with others by becoming a tourist guide. "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tourist Guide Institute has been accredited by Cathsseta as a National Service Provider to offer courses to train tourist guides. (Cathsseta Accreditation Number: 613/P/000010/2004) The course co-ordinators and assessors are Scott and Julie Womack with Yvette van Zyl as Cathsseta accredited moderator.

Tourist Guide Institute offers 3 full time courses throughout the year for 2023 and online courses.

Full time courses: Monday – Fridays 08:30 – 17:00 for 2 weeks of contact time (and then 5 weeks of self study and research)

Culture Site Guide: LEVEL 4 (SAQA ID: Tg/CultSiteGd/4/0031) (Western Cape Province Regional Guide)

To qualify for this certificate, competence in the prescribed unit standards must be achieved and embedded knowledge of the various areas must be demonstrated. Certification will entitle you to guide in the following geographical areas:

First Phase for CT courses:

a. The Cape Metropole
b. The Winelands
c. The Overberg
d. West Coast, the Swartland & the Sandveld
e. The Breede River Valley

Second Phase for CT courses:

f. The Garden Route
g. The Little Karoo & Great Karoo
h. Olifants River Valley
i. Port Elizabeth & environs
j. Namaqualand

After the two week course of contact time and then a further 5 weeks of self study and research with the FIRST written examination, you will qualify as a Culture Site Guide and will be able to guide in the first five sub-regions as set out above. To be able to guide throughout the Western Cape Province you have to write a SECOND examination – knowledge of visiting sites only. If this exam is done within a month of doing the course, the exam cost is included in the initial course cost with just R250 extra for the manual. If this phase is done at a later stage, the study material is available from our office at a cost of R850 (The examination cost is included).

Course Fee for 2023: 

R7,300 with a non-refundable deposit of R3,500.00 for full time courses and online courses with practicals in Cape Town.

Course Content for Cape Town courses:

The course comprises two Modules:

Module 1:

  • Introduction and Course Outline
  • Unit Standards and Outcomes Based Education
  • Planning an itinerary
  • How to do research
  • Guiding techniques: –  Expectations of the Tourist Guide; Role of a Tourist Guide; Communication; Responsibilities; Meet and greet at the airport; Problem handling; Care of the customer, Coping in an Emergency; Code of Guiding Practice; Professionalism; Guiding people with special needs; Route Planning; Guide-lines for a successful tour; Code of Ethics as a tour guide
  • Marketing yourself as a guide
  • History of South Africa
  • Geography of SA and Western Cape
  • Demographics of South Africa (Population)
  • Architecture of Cape Town
  • Fauna and Flora of South Africa
  • Common birds of the Western Cape
  • South Africa’s Cultural Heritage
  • South Africa’s Government Institutions and Social Services
  • Table Mountain National Park
  • Cape Town City Tour
  • Cape Peninsula Tour
  • Cape Winelands Tour
  • Full day intermediate wine course with a wine maker
  • Overberg including whales
  • West Coast
  • Breede River Valley

Module 2:

Conducting a practical tour. Five day tours are done under the guidance of experienced tourist guides.

Practical guiding sessions:

a. Historical Cape Town City Tour
b. Peninsula Tour
c. 2 x Winelands Tour
d. Overberg Tour

A further two tours are done as assessment:

a. Breede River Tour
b. West Coast Tour.

Sample Programme:

Week 1:

Monday : Registration and Induction, Informal Assessment, Guiding Techniques
Tuesday : History (and architecture), Communication Skills, Geography
Wednesday : Wine Course theory, Cultures of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park
Thursday : Drawing up an Itinerary and other 3 Unit Standards
Friday : City Tour of Cape Town
Saturday : Wine practical (morning only)

Week 2:

Monday : Overberg Tour and a practice for students
Tuesday : Peninsula Tour formative assessment
Wednesday : Winelands Tour 1 as summative assessment
Thursday : Winelands Tour 2 as summative assessment
Friday : Unit Standards and Final Exam

Duration of lectures & practicals:

Starting daily at 08:30 till approximately 17:00

Wine Industry Course:

The intermediary certificate course on the wine industry is presented as part of the course syllabus.

Course Material:

A comprehensive set of notes in the form of two manuals, covering all aspects of the course, will be issued at the commencement of the course.


Free parking is available on the days of the theoretical work done in the classroom. MyCiti bus runs 200m from the venue.


  • The completed registration form (p. 3-4 of Prospectus).
  • A non-refundable deposit of R3,500 for 2023
  • A short CV containing information pertaining to your education and employment history.
  • Proof of highest qualification
  • A recently certified copy of your RSA I.D. OR
  • A recently certified copy of Alternate ID (if applicable): Work Permit (TOURISM RELATED) / Passport / Refugee Status Document / (Permanent) Residency Document etc.
  • A PASSPORT Number is very important if you have an Alternate ID.
  • A recently certified copy of your highest qualification
  • If you speak a language other than ENGLISH and AFRIKAANS or any of the other 9 official languages of South Africa, you are required to hand in proof of fluency for the relevant language(s). A letter from an official body such as a university or embassy shall suffice.

For your convenience please deposit the required amount directly into the account of Tourist Guide Institute. See the bank account details on registration form.
If payment has been made via EFT or bank deposit then the deposit slip and completed registration form must be emailed to the office. See details on the Registration Form.

First Aid Training:

It is a prerequisite to obtain a basic First Aid Certificate to qualify for registration as a tourist guide.
It can be done through any accredited First Aid Training Institution e.g. St. Johns Ambulance; Frontline Emergency Care, Edumed or Dynamikos Training Network. The contact details are available under the First Aid tab/page of this website.

Register here.

Or download registration form here.

Phase Three for culture guides

After registration guides can extend their area of operation by self-study of other provinces. Once the candidate is ready, the knowledge of the Site (province) is tested in an examination paper set by the Tourist Guide Institute. The Tourist Guide Institute has been accredited to evaluate tourist guides (for all areas) who want to qualify for additional areas.

Eastern Cape Province
Free State Province
Gauteng Province
Kwa Zulu Natal Province
Limpopo Province
Mpumalanga Province
Northern Cape Province
North West Province
Western Cape Province (for those who trained as guides in other provinces)

Once a tourist guide feels that he/she is ready to be tested on an additional site/region/province an appointment is made with TGI for an online written exam. If successful TGI will issue him/her with a certificate for the new qualification. The cost for these exams are R600.00 per site/region/province.

Guiding nationally
To qualify as a ‘National Tourist Guide’, a candidate needs to have completed the 134+ credit, National Certificate: Tourism: Guiding. However, if you completed the 34 credit Skills Programme then you can still qualify for all provinces and guide nationally. A candidate has to (after completing Phase 2) also complete Phase 3 for all the regions/sites/provinces.