Guiding tours in Cape Town
This page is here to help give you a starting point to find out about some of the obligations that may apply to you if you decide to host Trips or Experiences on Airbnb. It’s for your information only and includes summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to official resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*When am I likely to be considered a tourist guide?
The definition of “Tourist Guide" under the Tourism Act 3 of 2014 (the Tourism Act) is wide, and includes any person who accompanies people who are travelling within or visiting any place within South Africa, and who provides “information or comments" to those people, in return for money. In summary, if you accompany and commentary and information to paying guests which they are travelling in or visiting South Africa, you are acting as a Tourist Guide.Do I need to register or get a licence to be a tour guide? How do I get the licence ?
Yes. All tourist guides must register as a Tourist Guide and obtain a registration certificate.
To be considered for registration as a Tourist Guide, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
- Have proof of competence through an accredited training provider recognised by SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) for the category of Tourist Guide for which they wish to be registered;
- Have a valid First Aid Certificate issued by an institution recognised by the Department of Labour;
- Sign and agree to comply with the code of conduct and ethics for tourist guides;
- Have proof of South African citizenship or in the case of a non-South African citizen, a valid working permit granting permission to work as a tourist guide;
- Complete a Tourist Guide Registration Form, provide four ID-size photos and pay a registration fee (currently R.240 per person).
If you comply with these requirements, you can apply to register with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in your province (which for Cape Town, is the Western Cape Government DEAT). You can find more information about how to become a Tourist Guide here and here.Is there anything else I should think about?
You should be aware of potential criminal offences for failure to register as a Tourist Guide and to comply with the requirements of the Tourism Act, which may include financial penalties and the possibility of a custodial sentence.
Depending on the activity you will be providing or organising, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply to that activity. Our section on activity specific licensing covers some of the typical activities, but is not intended to be comprehensive. You should always check the position with your local authority (the City of Cape Town) or seek advice from a legal professional.
We recommend you also read our other information pages on What if I am a business?. If you’re in any doubt, we recommend you get in touch with your accountant or legal advisor to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
You should also check what tax and accounting rules apply to you, and make sure you have the right insurance cover in place to cover all the activities you will be providing.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).