APA River Guide Course
(APA Accredited)


The objective of the course is to equip prospective guides with awareness, basic skills and a sense of professional duty.  The course is specifically designed for potential guides who are interested in becoming part of the industry.  Obtaining a River Guide qualification entitles you to work under a Trip Leader/part of a group.

The course covers practical and operational skills as well as legal duties of a guide.  The course is practical and active, with daytime exercises on the river and nighttime lectures and discussions.

The course is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about paddling and swiftwater safety and rescue and also prepares trainees for the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) accreditation.

Course duration: 3 days


– A reasonable fitness level as the course is extremely practical and physical.

– A competent swimmer (Candidates not efficient in swimming will get a certificate for land based activities if competent in that).

– Good health

– Persons under the age of 18 must contact us prior to the course so that your parents or guardian can sign the waiver form and sent back to us before the course.

Compulsory Course manual: Franco Ferrero’s Whitewater Safety & Rescue. Can be ordered through Kalahari.net. (Not included in the price)

Please download our indemnity form from the downloads page.

Course structure:

– Section A:  Boat control

– Section B:  Guiding

– Section C:  Swiftwater rescue

Key aspects of the course are:

– River features & hazards

– Boating

– The guide

– Guide skills

– River instruction to clients

– Principles of rescue

– Ropework

– Practical drills on rivers

– River environment

*  While not a mandatory prerequisite for the APA River Guide Course, a Whitewater Training Beginner Kayak School, greatly improves the learning curve of students attending the APA River Guide Course.

A Whitewater Training Beginner Kayak School can be taken in a kayak, a croc or a sit-on-top kayak – depending on the craft most likely to be used by the guide.

For more info on a Whitewater Training Beginner Kayak School visit our website – www.whitewatertraining.co.za

A student who completed both a Whitewater Training Beginner Kayak School and an APA River Guide Course has a better understanding of the client/guide relationship and an increased knowledge of reading rivers.

  • Refresher candidates welcome to keep APA qualification valid.  The cost for the course is half price(excluding equipment).

Course fees:

R3 500 per trainee with own equipment

R4 620 per trainee using Whitewater Training’s equipment

Price includes:

– Instruction

– Course materials including manual, APA letter of attendance, etc.

– Use of safety equipment

– Camping for 2 nights

– Meals for 3 days (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) (starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 3).

Course venue:

Parys, Vaal River, Free State.  The Vaal River below Parys is where the largest volume of commercial rafting in the northern part of the country takes place.  At normal levels, rapids are grade 1 – 3, making it ideal for instruction.  The training camp will be next to the river at a selected campsite that provides electricity, braai facilities and ablution.

We also offer courses in other provinces/venues.  Prices may vary, depending on location.  Please contact the office for more info.

APA (African Paddling Association)

APA is a voluntary association that represents the river industry in Southern Africa.  Members include guides, operators and other interested parties.  A national database is maintained and members receive a membership card and a cloth badge indicating their level of qualification.

After your course – Evaluation/Assessment:

After the course, you need to obtain 20 log days(your river guide course counts as 3 logged days) and get your First Aid level 1 up to date, in order for you to complete your River Guide Evaluation.  The River Guide Evaluation is a one day practical and theoretical assessment.

For a spot on our course or evaluation/assessment you can do the following:

  1. Email our Office Administrator at wwt@whitewatertraining.co.za
  2.  Pay your deposit of 50% to secure your booking and send your proof of payment back via email. Use your name as payment reference
  3. Wait for the date, pack your kit and come!
  4. Make sure that you pay the outstanding amount before the start of the course.
  5. We have a non-refundable cancellation policy.

Banking details:

H Du Preez



Go to the Calendar. Click here. Should you require other dates,please contact us