I’m trying to find out a bit more about how mountain guiding works in South Africa and hoping someone here might have some knowledge on the subject. I’ve seen courses advertised such as through Venture Forth or Peak High Mountaineering. Does anyone have any experience with these or similar course?
If you want to lead people on hikes are you legally required to have a guide qualification? Does this only apply if you are charging people money, or also if leading groups voluntarily?
I did my guiding training with Venture Forth. They’re great. Super thorough and you can get qualified and accredited through them for pretty much any adventure guiding application, i.e. hiking, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, etc. They also offer wilderness first-responder first-aid training.
The unqualified/non-accredited volunteer guiding might be a grey area, but I’m pretty sure you’ll attract some negative attention if you advertise yourself as a non-accredited volunteer guide - I think this has all kinds of indemnity and insurance issues.
I it largely depends on how it’s marketed and what the expectation is. As soon as you receive money for guiding services, you have you have to be qualified. Leading some friends, or even a MCSA group on a hike or climb, is completely voluntary and everyone is made aware of the fact that they are entirely responsible for their own safety - non qualification needed in that situation.