Outdoor & Adventure Practice

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Your first and most important first step into the working world of the outdoor and adventure industry. From becoming a legally qualified adventure site guide, a wilderness first responder “lifesaver” to understanding the skill of transferring knowledge and experience in the outdoors. We take you on a discovery of your dominant brain thinking style, to the introduction to the exciting integration of knowledge and experience to facilitate growth experiences. Building your CV starts here!

1. Introduction to Holistic Outdoor and Adventure Practice

Date: 16 January

This course introduces the student to the exciting and multi-disciplinary outdoor and adventure industry. Lectures will cover all aspects of this industry and present the student with relevant research and practitioners to ensure excitement and inspiration about their career choice!  Preference will be given to the experiential and outdoor nature of this course and will be presented during outdoor excursions, small group workshops and lectures by industry leaders.

It will deal with all modules in an introductory fashion making it clear why they are part of this course, how they will benefit you and what to expect in each. Modules will include:

  • Ethical conduct
  • How and why this qualification is structured
  • Appreciation of adventure and the outdoors
  • Me, Community, the Task, The Environment
  • The Future of the Outdoors
  • Stewardship
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation

Process: Theory and practical

Assessment: This is a continuous assessment course, students need to show an understanding of the course intent

Facilitators: Dr Pieter L Snyman, Mr Francois Nel, Mr Boshoff Grobler

Accreditation received: Adventure Institute Qualification

Venue: Extreme Life Outdoor Learning Centre
Accommodation and catering included – going into the water safety course.

2. Water Safety, Awareness and Facilitation

Date: 17 – 19 January

This course introduces learners to water safety and awareness. How to be safe around and in water with various types of equipment. You will learn how to facilitate safe water experiences with commercial clients.

Topics include: how to brief clients on being safe around any body of water; drowning prevention; introduction to and safe usage of various life-saving equipment and other resources; emergency procedures (including CPR and emergency protocols); how to get yourself or your client to a safer spot – with or without the ability to swim; how to identify signals of someone in distress; facilitating a water activity, such as raft building, with clients using appropriate SOP’s (safety operating procedures) (including conducting a risk assessment and creating your own SOP); ethics and protocols around sites with access to water.

This training takes place both indoors and outdoors

Process: Theory and practical

Assessment: Done on the last day of this course – group activity simulations

Presenters: Dr Pieter L Snyman

Accreditation received: Adventure Institute Qualification

Venue: Extreme Life Outdoor Learning Centre
Accommodation and catering included.

3. Wilderness First Responder

Date: 21 – 29 January

Get the skill to save a life! The legal requirement for anyone working outdoors.

Learning facilitators whether regularly functioning in a hostile rugged terrain or in a more “tamed” environment medical skills are important. Participants will be equipped with the skills necessary to react in crisis situations and take care of those clients.

This training takes place both indoors and outdoors

Process: Theory will be taught while students are integrating theory to practice in an experiential manner

Assessment: Theoretical and Practical Assessment 

Presenters: Wild Medix

Accreditation received: Wilderness Medical Society Accreditation & NQF Level 2

Venue: To be confirmed
Accommodation and catering included for Level 1 students.

4. Mountain Walking Guide (MWG)

Date: 4 – 12 February

To qualify as a legal adventure guide, you will require various technical skills and be certified as competent in those skills. This training and certification go hand-in-hand with your foundation guiding qualification (the Generic Adventure Site Guide course) to give you a registered scope of practice.

The Mountain Walking Guide certification is the most popular adventure guide qualification course, and for good reason. Mountain Walking Guide skills form the foundation of all mountain guide training and are the most versatile skill set in adventure guiding.

Topics include: equipment; mountain leadership; group dynamics; mountain hazards; self-defence for mountain guides; advanced navigation; safety-on-steep-ground and rope work; basic self-rescue; and much more.

SAQA Unit Standard 9284Conduct a guided mountain walking experience in a limited geographical area.

Time: 9 days plus 4 assessments at end of the course – 20 hiking activities need to be completed before the assessment.

Process:  Theory will be taught while students are integrating theory to practice in an experiential manner.

Assessment date: 3 – 6 July
Assessment will only be in Day Hiking, on-trail. It includes written exams and a practical in-field assessment. Assessment is 4 days depending on the number of people. Assessment is done in conjunction with the Generic Adventure Site Guide course.

Presenters: AQN & Venture Forth

Accreditation received: SAQA Skills Programme on NQF Level 3, AQN certificate

Venue: Extreme Life Outdoor Learning Centre
Accommodation and catering included only for Level 1 students.

5. Generic Adventure Site Guide (GASG)

Date: 14 – 18 February

This accredited programme can be used as a foundation academic course for all adventure activities including hiking, paddling, bungee jumping, kiteboarding, surfing, 4×4 trails, canopy tours, mountain biking, etc. 

Obtaining this qualification, along with the mountain walking guide qualification, allows you (a competent guide) to register with the Department of Tourism and work as a legally registered adventure guide in South Africa. 

This qualification is the only programme that is ‘generic’ for adventure guides and allows you to guide multiple activities. Although termed a “site” guide, the guide is not restricted to a geographical site as the word “site” applies to his or her adventure speciality being practised in any place in South Africa. 

This course is at the core of the qualification. After completing this course you will be able to register as a legal tour guide within a specific activity or scope (mountain walking guide) and able to execute commercial hiking activities within the scope of the tourism environment.

The following SAQA registered National Qualifications unit standards fall part of this skills programme:

255914 – Minimise and manage safety and emergency incidents                                                          

246740 – Care for customers                          

335816 – Conduct a guided adventure experience

335803 – Research and design a guided experience at a prominent tourism site (Optional)                 

335801 – Conduct a tourist guiding activity           

262320 – Manage and organise groups             

262317 – Lead participants through an outdoor recreation and adventure activity 

262305 – Plan and implement minimum environmental impact practices (Optional)  

262246 – Set up and operate a camping site (Optional)  

Mode: Online and practical

Process: Adventurous and experiential integration of theoretical knowledge and practical application, will result in you being legally qualified to start working in the world of adventure.

Assessment date:  3 – 6 July
Assessment will only be in Day Hiking, on-trail. It includes written exams and a practical in-field assessment. Assessment is 4 days depending on the number of people. Assessment is done in conjunction with the Mountain Walking Guide assessment.

Presenters: AQN & Venture Forth

Accreditation received: SAQA Skills Programme on NQF Level 4

Venue: Extreme Life Outdoor Learning Centre
Accommodation and catering included only for Level 1 students.

6. Facilitation Certificate: Facilitation of Adventurous Experiential Learning (Stage 1)

Date: 20 – 25 February

This course is compiled from relevant South African and international research. 

This course will empower you with diverse skills necessary for understanding theoretical depth, but also a practical application on how to use the outdoors and adventure as mediums to facilitate thinking and behavioural change.

The material includes topics such as; 

  • Whole Brain Facilitation
  • Risk and Challenge 
  • Adventure Education
  • Challenge Education
  • Experiential Education 
  • Adventure Programme Characteristics 
  • Adventure applications: Recreation, Education, Development, Therapy (Trauma Facilitation)  
  • Instruction – teaching – presentation skills
  • The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept
  • The method and practice of teaching adult learners
  • Reflection
  • Ethics

After doing this qualification students will be empowered with the skills to lead groups through basic Adventure Related Experiential Learning experiences.

Inclusive of this course students will also qualify on:

  • Archery
  • Artificial Climbing Wall
  • Low Challenge Course 
  • Problem-Solving Activities  
  • Raft Building (done during our Water Safety course)
  • Music and Role Play
  • Technology

Mode: Practical

Time: One week

Process: It is a known fact that we learn outside of our comfort zones. Managing the fine line between adventure and misadventure with intention is the primary outcome of this course. Transferring knowledge, facilitating growth and learning in an adventurous setting is a critical skill and is considered science. This exciting theory will be taught while students are integrating theory to practice in an experiential manner. In some instances, they will also facilitate groups as part of the learning experience.

Assessment date: 5 – 7 June
Theoretical Assessment, Practical Assessment, and Portfolio of Evidence submission at the end of the course.

Presenters: Adventure Institute

Accreditation received: Adventure Institute certificate and you are registered with the Department of Education & Adventure Recreation Association (ARA).

Venue: SedibaKwele
Accommodation & catering are included.

7. Introduction to Strategic Negotiations

Date: 10 March

Learn basic skills to hold successful complex negotiations and drive mutually beneficial outcomes.

Topics include:

  • Understanding personas and deal dynamics
  • Establishing trust, building teams, and communicating effectively
  • Planning and implementing a negotiation strategy
  • Understanding decision-making frameworks in negotiations
  • Defining bottom lines and deal targets
  • Setting expectations for negotiation outcomes
  • Understanding the effect of culture on M&A negotiation
  • Trust and ethics in negotiation

View testimonials here

Presenter: Mike Nel 

Venue: Lynnwood Bridge
Catering included. 

8. Photography and Videography

Date: 11 March

Bring your world into focus through the exciting medium of photography and videography.

This course is an introduction to taking better pictures and videos. Tell great visual stories by using the gear you currently have available to you.

Presenters: Emile van Rooyen

Venue: Lynnwood Bridge
Catering included. 

9. Entrepreneurship in a Digital Age

Date: 14 – 17 March

Mode: Lectures, immersive business experiences and action learning projects.

Process: Nothing is more important in the new world of work than identifying and capitalising on new and existing market opportunities. During the Entrepreneurship in a Digital Age course, we form an interactive learning community in which we explore, discuss and apply pertinent concepts over four days. Top experts join as guest speakers, enhancing this process, as we cover inspiring case studies and engage in immersive business experiences to optimise learning. 

Use the bouquet of useful qualifications acquired during the completion of Level 1 to launch your own enterprise or venture in you chosen field of fascination and apply your passion.

This course covers the following:

International trends and shifts in the nature of economic activity

South Africa. Putting our challenges and many opportunities into perspective: problems=solutions=opportunities.

Introducing entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship as powerful solutions to turn your career (and life) into an adventure.
Dispelling the myth that business innovation is the domain of only a “special” few, by providing you with tools and strategies to innovate. We introduce you to valuable processes and theories like Value Chain Analysis and the Design Thinking methodology applied in the process of innovation.

Arming you with theoretical knowledge and practical experience of personal and business branding.

Imparting and applying the theory of brand storytelling, which is critical in finding your personal and professional voice.

Demystify the world of personal finances. We highlight the critical and often overlooked link between emotions and finances. You will feel relief as financial planning, budgets and investment processes are simplified. We leave you with a well-researched map and the belief that small steps can lead to big results.

Provide you with a compass to carefully navigate the complex relationship with stakeholders in your business.

Lastly, training you in the ever-changing world of social media marketing for you to truly connect with the customer you seek to delight.

Assessment: 24 March
Small group and individual assessments, presentation.

Presenters: Adventure Institute & Roarrr Consulting

Accreditation received: Adventure Institute Certificate

Venue: City Lodge, Lynnwood Bridge
Accommodation not included. Catering is included.

10. Trauma Informed Practice

Date: 27 – 31 March

We live in challenging times, we have all experienced trauma to some degree, some more than others. This course will empower us to understand and identify what motivates trauma, and how to be sensitive to that when considering our client’s perceptions and reactions to outdoor and adventure experiences. This course will examine how the brain works in relation to trauma and how to reprogram it for positive application in daily life. 

This course will be followed by a next-stage module in Level 2 presented by the University of Cumbria.

  • The brain and nervous system
  • Impactful events in life
  • Neuroplasticity and re-programming
  • Adventure and nature as vehicles to facilitate change

Mode: Practical

Process: This course will be introduced with theoretical class presentations, this will be followed by practical exercises to test and amplify the theory. Students will then have to further test theories and personal experiences while making observations with groups they are working with during the course.

Assessment: Theoretical Assessment, Practical Assessment, Portfolio of Evidence submission

Presenters: Designed to Connect

Accreditation received: Adventure Institute certificate and certificate from Designed to Connect.

Venue: City Lodge, Lynnwood Bridge.
Accommodation not included. Catering included. 

View testimonials here

11. Practical application, integration, assessment

Date: To be confirmed

After all courses within Level 1 have been completed, students will be empowered with a multitude of diverse skills. During this phase is when we integrate all the learning from the individual modules to ensure relevance and to creatively unlock opportunities in the world of work. During this course, students will integrate and cross-reference all modules whilst transferring the knowledge to practical real-life situations.

Mode: Practical

Process:  This process will be hands-on and practical, students will listen to industry leaders, apply knowledge in presentations, construct business strategies, “escape” real-life challenges, and innovate new approaches. Students will be assessed on an ongoing basis during this real-life incubator of good practice.

Assessment: Theoretical and Practical Assessment. Simulations, presentation, assignments, Interviews (integration of various technologies).

Presenters: Adventure Institute

Venue and accommodation: To be confirmed

Work Integrated Learning

Date: April & May

Students will be expected to complete experiential hours as part of their academic pathway – academic courses. Students will be required to gain experience at partner sites.

These can include:

  • Group facilitation at Team Building providers
  • Group facilitation at Campsites
  • Guest support services
  • Retail
  • Community development initiatives on their own (groups of trainees working together)
  • Placement for a certain period of time at Partner Sites/ Services (La Wiida, Extreme Life, Inspired Life)

The above will be structured as part of their academic process. Students will be expected to submit a plan of how they will “assist” with programmes/ groups at partner sites. Available dates of partner sites will be published on the Adventure Institute Calendar. We will assist with this on Orientation day and ensure success throughout the full duration of the course.

Students will be scheduling time as they are available, ensuring the necessary time was logged during the first six months of the year. Some of these work experiences will also include remuneration. 

A student will not be allowed to work in one place for the entire duration, they will be moved around according to availability and the partners’ schedule.

Transport is not provided unless previously arranged at a possible additional cost.

Accommodation and catering options are available. Please inquire about options if needed.

What can I expect after completing the course?

Recognition by the Outdoor and Adventure Industry as equipped with diverse relevant skills. You will be able to register with your local tourism registrar as a legal mountain walking adventure tour guide. Your skills will allow you to work in other related industries also. After completing the qualifications you will have access to resources and support due to your affiliations, you will have access to practice and business coaching and support, and you will have automatic access (some free, some at a small cost) to workshops and initiatives run by the Adventure Institute and affiliates.

Qualification information

Duration: 6 months

Location: Gauteng

Cost: R55,000 for the full qualification
(instalment options are available)

By completing this level you will be able to apply for the following career options:

  • Activity instructor, leader or facilitator
  • Recreation leader
  • Lodge/campsite/site/park/farm/event coordinator or manager
  • Adventure tourism site guide
  • Learning facilitator – assisting schools, churches, community centres or groups
  • School camp facilitator/counselor/manager
  • Human resource programme coordinator
  • Entrepreneur 
  • Team building facilitator or entrepreneur

Accommodation and meals
The price includes catering and accommodation for the majority of the courses.

Courses are run at various venues. Transport is not provided but can be arranged.


  • Own laptop and cell phone
  • Access to wi-fi
  • A good pair of hiking shoes
  • A warm winter jacket
  • Swimming costume
  • Sun hat
  • Outdoor apparel (a knife, binoculars, water bottle, sunglasses etc.)

How do I enroll?

Student assessment / engagement

After initial inquiry and registration, an analysis is done on the student, who they are, where they work, dreams and aspirations for the future, preferences etc.


The Institute engages with students and course suggestions are made based on the analysis.

Finalise academic path

Final Registration based on course and module selection is made and a student number is allocated.

Scheduling core & compulsory modules

Partner providers are activated, a process scheduled and timetables are allocated.

Certain Elective modules are also scheduled.

Academic process commences

Continuous consultation, mentoring & reporting with regular follow-up (12 to 24 months to complete the process).

Final experiential excursion and assessment

Final break away to an outdoor and adventure venue for integration of all modules – this is followed by activation in industry.


Sign me up!

Our training caters for individual needs and is never “a once size fits all”. Let’s start the conversation so that you can begin your learning journey.