Rugged by name Rugged by nature. Ruggedwear, clothing sponsor of SGOTY 2021

"We are PROUD and EXCITED to be a part of this event, dressing the guiding industry’s best, together with the legendary panel of judges and everyone involved with our industry leading range of bush-wear". Howard Rogerson. MD of Ruggedwear.



Listen up, I have some very important news to share with you… Safari Guide of the Year 2021 has a new clothing sponsor!



“Will it enhance our appearance while on a bushwalk? If not we are REALLY not interested”…



This is what Howard Rogerson, the Managing Director of Ruggedwear® shared with Travel & Things about their brand and their involvement in Safari Guide of the Year 2021.

Ruggedwear® was born out of the need to create employment for women in the Lowveld and a need to manufacture uniforms for the safari hospitality industry in the Lowveld. Employing South Africans and creating functional durable garments of the best quality was and remains integral to our company vision.

This is our first year as a sponsor and I feel extremely honoured and privileged to be involved with the 10th SGOTY event. Sadly the 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19, so much like the Toyko Olympics, we had to wait until 2021 to launch our involvement and our new clothing range for women.

Ruggedwear® has been associated with FGASA as one of their retail partners for a while now and when the opportunity arose to be a sponsor of this premier event in the industry, we just could not say no. Michelle and her team at FGASA are working hard to lift the standards in the industry and to encourage excellence and professionalism, something which we as Ruggedwear® felt comfortable aligning ourselves with. It also provided us with an opportunity to give back to an industry that has been severely hurt during this pandemic.

Ruggedwear® will be providing a range of apparal to all the finalists, the judges and the media contingency featuring our new and exciting men’s and ladies ranges.



These were the five finalists kitted out in their Ruggedwear® outfits.

Front row, L to R: Shaun, Wayne and TJ. Back row: Mike and Civilized.



If I was were in any doubt as to what the event was or which company was the clothing sponsor, all I had to do was look at the cap! All guides have their favourite piece of clothing, be it a jacket or a cap, however it was interesting to note that all 5 wore the Ruggedwear® products rather than the clothing that they had brought with them. The comments ranged from ‘best ever’ to ‘do I have to give it back at the end of the event”? Of course, they did not and finalist Wayne who had flown up from Port Elizabeth had some difficult decisions to make regarding the excess baggage that he would be travelling home with. Turns out that he chose to leave a camera bag behind rather than any of the clothing. A wise choice indeed.



The Safari Guide of the Year was also used to launch the new Tayla Jane Range for female guides. For too long women in the field have had to put up with either wearing ill-fitting outfits or adapting men’s clothing to suit their needs. NO MORE!

Designed in conjunction with Tayla, this range has been specifically designed with the female guides’ different needs. Whether it is more pockets or better fitting shorts, this range will address that need.

Visit to see what the range has to offer. Well done to Ruggedwear for not only hearing what female guides want but also addressing those needs appropriately.

The women who were the first recipients of this range at the beginning of the event could not stop raving about the comfort and the fit.



“Do these pants make my butt look big”? The eternal question that has strong men heading for the hills. I think guides would rather face a charging elephant than being forced to answer that. That being said, Ruggedwear® not only looks good, but the fit and the design obviate the necessity for that remark.



Looking good on the shooting range. The shooting exercises were just one of the categories that the finalists had to compete in. Personally, I do believe that looking good added to their levels of confidence while on the range.



Subtly branded, and worn with pride. Made to the highest standards in South Africa, by South Africans. Real People, Real clothing, Real Solutions.



One of the assessors has, for as long as I have known him, carried a sidearm while on a trail walk. This is not for show or to prove how macho he is. It is there as ‘Plan B’ should anything go wrong with his rifle. And, of course, Ruggedwear® seems to fit into this image.



It makes no difference whether you are large…



Or petite…Ruggedwear® have the outfit for you. If you have a specific need for YOUR particular lodge, drop them a mail at to make an enquiry…





The aims of FGASA.
  • Provide educational opportunities to promote the conservation and rehabilitation of the cultural and natural heritage of southern Africa.
  • To maintain and serve a professional association of highly-trained tourist guides, tour operators and hospitality institutes.
  • To promote a culture of professional guiding based on a strong ethical, well-informed, safety conscious approach that provides the visitor to southern Africa with a pleasant and memorable experience.
  • To fully commit to the development and implementation of the national qualifications, promoting the development of all tourist guides including historically disadvantaged individuals, as a part of the South African transformation process.
  • To promote the development of guides through the use of training programmes that conform to high standards of learner development.
  • To promote the highest standards of guide assessment by appointing fully qualified and experienced assessors.



“Cherish times like these. They are very special and the opportunity for guides to compete for themselves does not come around very often. Make this a week to remember and one that you can look back on in years to come as a very special time where knowledge was shared and bonds were formed. Just be you.” Mike Karantonis, Co-Owner at Africa Direct and founder of Safari Guide of the Year.





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