Tour Guide vacancy at South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)

Job Summary

Applications are open for a Tour Guide job vacancy at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO).

Closing date: 31 March 2024

Location: Sutherland, Northern Cape

About South African Astronomical Observatory

SAAO invites applications from suitably qualified and experienced candidates for the position of Tour Guide at the Observatory near Sutherland.

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programmes to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.

The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa. It is a facility of the National Research Foundation under the Department of Science and Innovation.

Its prime function is to conduct fundamental research in astronomy and astrophysics by providing a world-class facility and by promoting astronomy and astrophysics in Southern Africa.

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SAAO is contracted to operate SALT (the Southern African Large Telescope), the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere which gives astronomers a state-of-the-art opportunity to expand human understanding of distant stars and galaxies. SAAO is at this time seeking the immediate appointment of a Tour Guide in Sutherland.

Key Responsibilities

  • Conduct day and stargazing tours as required;
  • Encourage sales of goods for sale on site and protect the reputation of the Visitor Centre and SAAO;
  • Manage tour administration and related functions;
  • Conduct research to add value to quality and content of tours;
  • Monitor exhibitions and report faults to management; and
  • Complete adhoc tasks

Minimum Qualification

  • Grade 12 / Senior Certificate / National Certificate / Vocational 4 /N3 N4 N5/ NQF 4

Minimum Experience

  • A minimum of 2 years experience in engaging the public / conducting tours
  • MatricA valid code 08 (B) South African Drivers licence
  • Excellent presentation skills;
  • High degree of working independently;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
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  • Strong computer literacy is essential (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet)
  • Must be bilingual (English & Any other SA Language)Additional Notes:

Other Requirements

  • Interest in outreach / education;
  • Interest and knowledge of astronomy and/or tourism will be considered an advantage;
  • Be able to work under pressure; and
  • Working days are Monday – Saturday.

Desired Skills

  • Knowledge to be relevant
  • trustworthy
  • Customer Focus
  • Presentation Skills
  • Guest Assistance
  • Communication skills

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by registering and apply online through the NRF Recruitment and Selection Portal.

Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant’s suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.


  • Katlego Malope

    Katlego is a final-year student at the University of Johannesburg. Apart from bouncing molecules against each other in the Chemistry lab, she loves curating job opportunites for fellow youth. Katlego is also quite a singer!

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