Meet Johnathan Muller, a smarTours guide from Cape Town, South Africa. Johnathan has been guiding travelers on our South Africa Highlights & Safari tour for several years sharing his love of his country with visitors from around the globe!
Johnathan participated in the World’s Best Tour Guide competition this summer where tour guides vied for best-in-class titles. Tour guides from all across the world applied to be contestants and submitted a self-created video representing them and their tours. Twelve semi-finalists were chosen to have their videos aired and voted on live by a panel of industry judges and we’re thrilled that Johnathan was selected as a semi-finalist! Enjoy his video below, an original song he wrote and performed about South Africa!
What tour do you lead?
South Africa Highlights & Safari
Where are you originally from?
Cape Town, South Africa
Where do you live now?
Cape Town, South Africa
What brought you into the travel and tourism industry?
Before I became a Tourist Guide I had the opportunity of taking some extended family around South Africa and discovered that we actually have a stunning show. I made some inquiries and discovered that as a consequence of the segregation laws being dropped at the time I could become a Tourist Guide.
What’s your favorite sight to see on your tour and why?
Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain. I love the many visual elements around you and the sense of awe one feels when admiring the beauty of the city below.
What’s your favorite activity to do on your tour and why?
Visiting the Bo Kaap is a highlight because it is an opportunity to engage with the local community. This is a key element of any travel experience. It is important that visitors connect with locals on many levels.
If you could recommend one food dish and drink on this tour what would they be and why?
I love sharing our local Koe’sister which can best be described as a doughnut that went to Private School, it’s a fun food.
What’s your favorite book and/or movie about this destination?
My favorite movie would be “The Gods Must Be Crazy”. Despite having a very simple storyline it contains an important lesson in life.
What are your favorite local hotspots on this tour?
Summer nights around the fire at Emdoneni Lodge and the Stellenbosch visit on the optional Winelands tour.
What historical, cultural, or political figures from here have inspired you?
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Justice Albie Sachs.
Where’s your favorite place to travel and why?
I love the Kalahari and the Karoo because of the people, their culture, the tranquility, and nature. I love the innocence and honesty of the people who live there.
How has travel impacted your life?
It has allowed me to see how others experience life. I meet people on my tour from different walks of life and I am able to draw from their wisdom as well. What an awesome opportunity!
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned leading tours?
Everyone around me knows something that I don’t. So people are important; it is important to live out your dreams because it is not important how long I live but how I live my life every day.
Why do you think it’s important for people to travel?
It is fun and educational to see how the rest of the world lives. Travel is about experiencing, seeing, tasting, and hearing new things. It gives you perspective for your own life. It helps to take one’s focus off your own problems when you realise that what you may be going through in life is not unique to you. Travel can inspire you and change your perspective on life, as mine has been. I’ve realized that everybody knows something that I don’t and travel has opened up a golden opportunity for me on this journey of life-long learning…and this is why I think it’s important for others to travel too.