Outdoor Adventure Guide

With natural assets and biodiversity almost beyond compare, South Africa is world renowned for its diverse and extensive natural beauty and opportunities to explore and experience nature based and outdoor adventure activities. The tourism industry, attracting both local and international tourists contributes 3.7% to South Africa’s GDP. With much to offer the outdoor adventurer, outdoor activity guiding is an increasingly expanding industry, and offers opportunities to share South Africa’s natural beauty, sustainably.

Outdoor adventure guides direct, instruct and guide individuals or groups in outdoor recreational activities. They assemble the necessary equipment and demonstrate the essential skills and techniques to participants, providing individual support and instruction if needed. They enforce safety procedures, rules and regulations to ensure that activities are conducted in a manner that minimises risk to participants. They also provide information and answer questions about local interest points.

Outdoor adventure guides work with tourists, outdoor enthusiasts and other people interested in outdoor recreational activities. They spend the majority of their time in outdoor environments and can work irregular hours depending on the activity and the weather.

Skills

Outdoor adventure guides require extensive experience with an outdoor activity and knowledge of environment, health and safety procedures, with extensive experience in emergency procedures and first aid, coupled with:

  • Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Leadership competence in high-risk environments
  • Strong and clear instructional ability
  • Good physical stamina

Tasks

Demonstrate the concept and skills used in outdoor adventure activities

Explain and enforce safety procedures, rules and regulations

Instruct clients in the use of relevant outdoor adventure equipment

Evaluate and monitor clients as they participate in activities

Studies

Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Tourism Management at CPUT, CUT, DUT, TUT, UJ, UNISA and WSU

They can additionally benefit from a National Certificate in Tourism (Guiding) at National Qualifications Framework level 2 and 4 offered at the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa and the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa, accredited by Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority. However, most training takes place on the job with mentoring by an experienced guide.

Employers

Adventure tourism companies.

Holiday resorts, hotels and lodges.

Private game reserves.

Private guiding services.

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