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HomeCourse CategoriesHospitality and Tourism02: Nature [Marine] Site Guide: Level 2 (Cathsseta Accredited)

ET-102 - Marine (Nature) Site Guide - L2

Duration: ±400 (notional) Hours (± 60 days) | Course Code: ET-102 | Cost From: R 7,500 per person* (please carefully read section below on costs)

This is an Accredited Course, accredited by CATHSSETA, and covers the requirements for learners to become qualified and eligible for Registration as a Nature Site Guide (Level 2)

The course covers the requirements of the Skills Program as determined by SAQA, and training in the range of outcomes defined in the following Unit Standards:

  • Unit Standard 8440 "Conduct a guided nature experience in a limited geographical area" Level 2, 21 Credits
  • Unit Standard 8478 "Create a guided experience for customers" Level 2, 20 credits

 The Course covers Marine and Coastal Guiding or normal Nature Site Guiding for Inland operations. Those interested, thus must specify on application, where they will be guiding so they do the correct Modules.

To achieve the Credits for each Unit Standard, 1 credit translates into 10 notional hours of learning. Thus the Skills Program requires 41 Credits which means approximately 410 notional hours of learning (theory and practical)

Of course different people learn at different rates, and experience in the subject matter can speed up the process, so the Modules are based on the assumption that it will take someone with normal learning abilities, but no experience or prior knowledge, the expected hours stated to complete the theory satisfactorily.

The rest is the Practical component requiring research and further work by the Learner outside of the formal modules, which is expected to take the balance of the time for completion.

The course consists of approximately 20 Modules that cover the above Unit Standards outcomes, as well as detailed information on the flag-ship species in the area. The Modules are generic covering species and locations in general terms, while the Learner applies specific information on local areas and conditions via the use of Practical Assignments.

Each Module consists of a Presentation with Course Notes covering the subject matter, and requires the completion of a multi-choice Quiz to test the knowledge of the Learner.

Some modules are accompanied by Video material, and some have Assignments that also need to be completed and submitted for scoring.

The Assignments are important as they add to the Practical component of the learning by getting the Learner to conduct further research and even carry out some practical exercises. SAQA requires the learning process for outcome-based learning to be on approximately a 60:40 ratio of Practical to Knowledge to help the Learner achieve the specified "goals" or outcomes, as laid down in the required Unit Standard mentioned above. 

The Course does not cover the mandatory First Aid Course that Tour Guides are required to achieve before registration with the Tour Guides registrar.



  • To enable the enhancement of services provided to clients during the general conducting of an excursion or experience for local and international tourists.
  • To ensure the excursion or experience is carried out in a professional and sustainable manner, with minimal impact on the species, ecosystems and environment.
  • To ensure all excursions are carried out under the control of a suitably qualified and registered Tour Guide as envisaged and required by the Tourism Act

Target Audience

All persons wishing to take or guide a group of people for a quality experience in the natural environment (Tour or Excursion) in a specific marine or coastal geographical area.

This includes businesses operating under authority of Permits to take tourists and members of the general public on excursions to view animals, plants, birds and other species, or to experience a specific activity as a tourist. Please note that this is a minimum requirement for all tours, including shark diving, scuba diving, boat trips, whale watching, fishing , canoeing, hiking, cycling, walking, game viewing, driving and any other excursion.

Those wishing to later on broaden their area of guiding, may do so at any time by attending the Level 4, Regional and National Tour Guide Courses, and will receive credits for this course that will count towards such further learning.

Learning Outcomes

 On completion of this Course, the learner shall be able to register as a Nature Site Guide - Level 2, and will be able to:

  • create and conduct a local guided tourist experience based on local natural and cultural marine resources that entertains and informs visitors
  • identify the major living and non-living features of the natural marine environment in which he/she operates and interpret them based mainly on observation
  • provide quality experiences to tourists to enhance the profession of guiding and tourism in general
  • competently practice as a tourist guide as envisaged in the Tourism Act, in situations that require this level of competency and in a specific geographical area

Scope & Requirements

Learners should be competent in:

  • Communication literacy English 

This is an e-learning course, and Learners need:

  • Use of a computer (or notebook, laptop, tablet, smartphone);
  • Access to the Internet
  • Their own e-mail address
  • Printer and sound (speakers/earphone) listening equipment
  • Use of a smartphone or video camera where Summative Assessment is completed in this manner*

*For the Final or Summative Assessment, the Learner needs access to an operation where he/she can demonstrate competency to handle a group of tourists in a certain geographical area and where the species (flora and fauna) will be available for identification and discussion


*R 7,500 per person

This cost excludes:

  • the accommodation costs of the mandatory Final Assessment (see below);
  • the First Aid Course which is the Tourist Guide Registrar's requirements; and
  • the Tour Guide Registration Fees

On enrollment to the Course, each Learner will be registered onto the Cathsseta database, pending satisfactory completion of the course - it is a requirement to complete the necessary forms for this.

*The Final or Summative assessment can be done physically by an Assessor visiting the location, whereupon all accommodation fees will be charged extra, as well as some travel depending on location.

The initial fee includes the cost of remote assessment using video evidence that the Learner must submit (details will be provided at the time). However, if this is not satisfactory, an additional R 750 will be charged for each re-submission of video evidence the Assessor may require.


All Material is subject to Copyright.

A Certificate of Completion will be sent to those who satisfactorily complete the course, as well as the CATHSSETA Certificate necessary to register as a qualified Nature Site Guide.

Duration: ±400 (notional) Hours (± 60 days)
Course Code: ET-102

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About Comet Training

Comet Training is a trading name for The Penny Ferry (Pty) Ltd, a limited liability company established in 1996. The Penny Ferry has been involved in hands-on training and e-learning for many years, specializing in the Marine, Environmental, Tourism, Industrial, Health and Technical markets. Through close associations with other organizations, Comet Training was established to better promote a suite of e-learning applications to the global markets.