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If you are interested in becoming a Tourist Guide then we are sure you are already aware of all the legal issues involved.  The tourist guide regulations ask for the following (more details on these issues are given during the course):

  1. Training by a THETA accredited trainer provider.
  2. When full competence, via assessment, is achieved for the various required Unit Standards, the relevant THETA Certificate is issued.
  3. Then and only then can this THETA Certificate be taken to Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) for registration as a legal guide – a much more lengthy process for ‘newcomers/learners’ than registrations prior to the present regulations.

The problem the overland industry has (along with much of the adventure sector in RSA) is that the Elective Unit Standard(s) for this sector has not been registered.  This leads to various problems with respect to the legal system described above:

  1. NO trainer provider can achieve full THETA Accreditation… because there is no Elective Unit Standard… no minimum standard against which THETA can compare and therefore provide THETA accreditation as a trainer provider…
  2. Therefore a THETA Certificate cannot be issued…
  3. Therefore no-one can be registered under the present legal system as a legal Overland Adventure Tourist Guide…

After a long battle, we came to an agreement with DEAT and THETA – the entire overland adventure industry CANNOT be penalised for an incomplete system.  Masazane Expeditions (amongst other adventure trainer providers) have been issued a letter from the Head Registrar at DEAT saying that candidates attending our course will be registered provisionally directly by DEAT so that they can work legally under the laws and regulations of RSA as a Trails and Overland (Adventure) Tourist Guide – further details are given during the course.  The re-registration of guides (every two (2) years) that have previously attended our course will also therefore be renewed accordingly.

Masazane Expeditions obtained SATOUR accreditation as a training institution in June 2000 to present the Professional 4×4 Trails and Overland (Adventure) Tourist Guide Course.  We obtained THETA Accreditation (Interim) in July 2001.  Masazane Expeditions have been fighting this battle since August 2001.  We eventually initialised the founding of the Four Wheel Drive Guides Association (4WDGA) in hope that they would have the voice in numbers to get the Unit Standard registered.  Jacqui attended a SGB Workshop on 21 June 2006 where this Unit Standard was discussed.  Many hours, money and sweat have been utilised to get the Unit Standard registered but presently, to no avail…  The 4WDGA seems to be reaching a turning point so we are hopeful that the Unit Standard will be on the SAQA website for public comment soon…

Masazane Expeditions presents the course on a regular basis in Louis Trichardt as well as in the Cape Town area.  However we have, on occasion, presented the course in other areas, e.g. Nelspruit, Kleinzee, Cato Manor, etc.  We require a minimum of six (6) confirmed bookings.  A confirmed booking is considered to be a verified 50% deposit fee paid into the Masazane Tours cc bank account.  Bookings close for confirmed minimum bookings three (3) weeks before each starting date.  If we have these confirmed bookings then Masazane Expeditions is able to present the course basically anywhere in RSA.

The entire course is held at a 4×4 Trail or venue where camping and roughing it form part of the training/assessment!!  The cost for the Trails and Overland Adventure Tourist Guide Course includes the following:

  1. Terminology for 4×4 Driver Training and Vehicle Recovery.
  2. Camping fees for the entire period.
  3. Use of the trail.
  4. Three (3) meals per day.
  5. Comprehensive Training Manuals to keep for future reference.
  6. Coffee/tea.
  7. Sharing of knowledge.
  8. Registration and the first two (2) year membership fee with DEAT.

The cost does not include the following:

  1. ALL camping equipment – tent, bed, chair, cutlery, crockery, etc.
  2. All liquid refreshments.

The training course is comprehensive and subscribes to the highest guide and industry ethics and codes of conduct.  The course is designed to accommodate any level of experience.  Every person that completes this training course successfully SHOULD BE a better Trails and Overland Tourist Guide and a benefit to the RSA tourism industry.  The Trails and Overland Tourist Guide Course covers all aspects of being a Trail and Overland Adventure Tourist Guide:

  • 4×4 Driver Training Terminologies;
  • 4×4 Vehicle Recovery Terminologies;
  • Environmental Aspects;
  • General Guiding Aspects;
  • Expedition Planning and Organisation;
  • Border Post Formalities,
  • Navigation;
  • Communications;
  • First Aid (African diseases are covered);
  • Basic Survival Skills;
  • Bush Cooking, Safety and Hygiene;
  • …, etc.

Wherever possible, Masazane Expeditions also include various lectures from various specialists in their fields on subjects of interest to us as Trails and Overland Tourist Guides – Tyres, Snakes; Scorpions; Insurance; Marketing; etc.

We try our best to update the course manual as regularly as possible to incorporate changes in border post formalities and/or comments from individuals who attend the course.  All participants have to complete a written examination and nine (9) ‘homework’ assignment questions (presently).

Please bear in mind that this course is not a 4×4 driver training course but a tourist guide course.  The course is designed around the assumption that you already can drive a 4×4 vehicle and/or are familiar with 4×4 terminologies.  Since the 4×4 Driver Training Unit Standards (US) were registered in November 2008, all persons wishing to attend the Trails and Overland Tourist Guide Course must be able to provide certified copies of a Level I and a Level II 4×4 Driving Training Certificate, i.e. basic as well as advanced 4×4 driver training, from a reputable driving school/organisation.  Please contact Tinus Botha of African Offroad Academy for more details on the driver training US.

Please remember that one of the prerequisites to registration with the DEAT is a VALID First Aid Certificate.  The minimum requirement by law is Level I but we recommend at least Level II due to the environment that most of the guiding takes place.  You may attend any First Aid Course that is registered by the Department of Labour (DoL) – their DoL registration number must appear on the certificate.

For planned course dates see our year planner.