Year at Guide School 

  Stay a while, an adventure career in a box.. 

The South African adventure tourism industry is one of the main growth industries in the country. Tourist guiding, including adventure guiding, is a legally protected profession meaning that anyone who wants to register as a guide in South Africa must have an appropriate qualification and then guide only within the scope of that qualification.


Qualified adventure tourist guide is currently listed on the “critical skills shortage list” by the South African government. 


The only way to become an accredited adventure guide is by completing a suitable CATHSSETA accredited training and assessment programme. If the course you are attending is not a National Qualification and accredited by CATHSSETA then you cannot register as a legal guide.

  Why a year-long programme?  

We at Venture Forth have been on the forefront of training and assessment in the adventure guide industry since 1994 and have trained more accredited adventure guides than anyone else in Africa. Over the many years we have tried to adapt to market requirements and student needs with our training products.


A number of issues face especially younger people entering the adventure industry. These include:


  1. The confusing number of short courses, training programmes, gap-year programmes, diplomas and degrees available on the market. Many of these are not CATHSSETA accredited or are offered by institutions or instructors who have no real adventure guiding experience.

  2. The need for personal activity experience required by each qualification. You cannot be a guide if you do not have a high level of personal skill and experience in the activity. Opportunities to gain this experience under qualified, mature supervision and in an organised cost-effective method is not available.

  3. Little available guidance from anyone experienced in the industry and often the available “guidance” and “advice” is just plain wrong or misinformed.

  4. No planned career path or career advice is easily available.

  5. It is difficult to contact employers in the industry and make a real career out of adventure.

  6. There is confusion about what an adventure guide is as opposed to an adventure-based learning facilitator (youth camp councillor).

  7. There are some theory-based adventure tourism programmes on the market that offer very limited hard skills and no guide accreditation after completion.

  8. Obtaining practical real-world work experience is difficult to arrange.

  9. The incorrect assumption that adventure guiding is “not a real job” and has limited earning potential.


We designed the Year@GuideSchool Programme to overcome the above problems. Although it is primarily aimed at younger students (18 – 25 year olds) it is suitable for anyone wanting to enter the industry.

  What do I get for my time and money?  

  • The most experienced instructors in the industry with a combined experience of over 100 years in the South African and international adventure guiding world.

  • The most comprehensive and highest quality programme of its sort on the market both locally and internationally.

  • The widest range of adventure guiding skills and scope of practice in a single programme.

  • A career-in-a-box training solution.

  • You will see and experience the best in South African adventure activities and tourism.

  • Direct personal exposure to some of the best employers and adventure companies in South Africa with the opportunity to experience working for them and gaining possible employment prospects for the future.

  • Advice on international qualifications and opportunities.

  • Extensive personal activity experience.

  • Additional, optional add-on training and assessment opportunities.

  • Opportunity to purchase personal outdoor clothing and equipment for your new career at professional wholesale prices.

  • Personal career development advice, career-path planning and support.

  • Access to our advanced SecondYear@GuideSchool Programme for further study and development.

  • Exclusive opportunity to be one of the select few to complete this programme. We have a limited intake of only 16 persons per year as we want to give our students extensive personal attention and assistance.


“The personal and individual training scheme you provided was exactly what I was looking for. I found the experiences very rewarding and your instructors were so professional and knowledgeable.”


                              Adrian Bennett, Kenya

“Hi Walther. I’ve tremendously enjoyed the Advanced Mountain Leader course and the skills learned. I can’t really explain either to myself or others why the mountains hold such a fascination with me, nor do I know exactly where this passion may take me. Your enthusiasm and experience have been an inspiration.”

                                             Alan Weber, RSA

“Walt, I really enjoyed the course and can’t believe it’s already over! I thought it was very thorough and much more in depth than I was expecting so that is a bonus.”

                         Lauren Kaminskas, USA