Guide Training

Itchyfeet SA offers APA (African Paddling Association) accredited River Guide courses. This course is designed for potential guides entering the industry and aims to equip them with the skills and techniques required to function as part of the guide team. The guide team is responsible for safety and rescue and group management on a swift water paddling trip.  “Swift water” refers to all rivers. It will also be of great benefit to those who have worked as a guide but have not yet received any formal training. The course runs over three days and two nights and comprises of practical exercises during the day and lectures and discussions in the evenings. The course is very practical and physical in nature. A reasonable level of fitness is required. The course prepares candidates to take the APA River Guide assessment, which is held separately at a later stage. The course is also suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about paddling, swift water safety and rescue as a whole.

Some of the aspects covered will be:

  1. Swimming in swift water.
  2. Rope work.
  3. Safety and rescue.
  4. Features and hazards of rivers.
  5. Paddling techniques (boating skills)
  6. Trip planning.
  7. Dealing with emergencies.
  8. River guiding and the law.

The course fees include instruction, catering and camping fees, APA checklists, course materials and boating equipment. You are also more than welcome to bring your own boating equipment (like a kayak, life jacket, etc.) if you have it.  Transport to the course venue is the trainee’s own responsibility. Contact us if you do not have any means of arranging transport. Refresher candidates are very welcome (i.e. they are accompanying the course to refresh their skills and keep their APA qualification valid). There is no cost beyond the logistics fee.


  • Course notes.
  • APA Course checklist.
  • An individual written assessment.
  • A letter of attendance (if you complete the course successfully)
  • APA accredited instructor


  • Sleeping bag and roll mat.
  • Tent.
  • Warm clothes for evenings.
  • Dry bag or bucket (for keeping your belongings dry whilst on river)
  • Some form of river shoes (like neoprene booties, the best is something that fastens around your feet)
  • PFD and helmet.
  • Boating kit (Croc, kayak, paddle, splash cover etc.). We do have gear available if you don’t have your own yet.

Bushmans River Camp

Ukuthula Bush Camp

Zingela Safari and River Company