The Bo Kaap, on the shadow of Signal Hill, is definitely the heart of the Cape Malay inhabitants in Cape Town. Scents of scrumptious foods fill up the air and also the call to prayer rings out 5 times each day in the beautiful tune of penance. The first people of the ethnic group recognized now as Cape Malay came as slaves and were taken to Cape Town coming from Southeast Asia by Dutch. Future generations such as Indonesian Muslim leaders ended up sent into exile and pushed to resettle around South Africa. Cape Malays have also a South Asian or Indian historical past, and it had been their influence which introduced Islam to South Africa. As time passes, their cultural and culinary modifications started to be ingrained to their everyday life in South Africa, mainly the food and particularly in Cape Town.

The vibrant colors which are now emblematic of the neighborhood is a newer trend, beginning on the 90s right after the ending of apartheid. Ideas for painting the houses in vivid, cheerful colors was a method to show joy and happiness and it has progressed into a tradition through the entire neighborhood. Owners could color their houses when they wish to, so long as there’s an assortment of colors on the street.

Regardless if you are based close by, or just passing across the city, we suggest taking a little while to discover this local gem.

Bo Kaap hosts numerous art galleries, lots of which are found around Rose and Wale Streets, like Brundyn+, that is modern art gallery featuring artists work coming from all over the world, such as Nigeria, Angola as well as the USA.

Explore Local Galleries

Search the Spice Market

Atlas Trading Company is really a must-visit for anybody having a love for heavenly spices. Located in Wale Street, this spice market provides a wide range of fresh and ground spices coming from all over the world, such as Cape Malay spices – a well known spice utilized in local cuisine.

Indulge in a Cape Malay dish

Located on August Street, there is a Bo Kaap Kombuisrestaurant, a veritable establishment in the community which not just provides a variety of renowned Cape Malay food to satisfy everyone, and also have magnificent views looking over the city. No matter if you go to for lunch or dinner, it’s the best spot to savor traditional dishes, like sosati, bobotie, dhal, butter chicken, roti as well as malva pudding.

Know the Historical Past

In Wale Street, there is a Bo Kaap Museum that offers an amazing peek into the history of the place as well as its people. Although there’s a little entry fee, beginning from R20 each adult and R10 each pensioner or child, it’s a little investment for a glimpse into a time of history.

See the Renowned Cottages

No trip to the Bo Kaap is complete if you don’t explore the streets which are layered with their renowned, vibrantly colored cottages. Placed on steeply sloped, cobble-stone streets, those cottages are available in every single color you could think of – purple, pink, blue, green, yellow, red and even neon shades. Not surprisingly, such cottages make for several amazing travel photos.



Constructed around the 1760s by Dutch Colonialist Jan de Waal as homes for the Cape Malay slaves, the terraced Cape Dutch homes of the Bo Kaap are a few of the oldest around Cape Town. The fact is, these streets are the place to find the biggest amount of pre-1850 South African architecture, and also the suburb is the earliest residential community still living these days.


It is still a primarily Muslim area, and thus, all visitors must dress conservatively when visiting. For both women and men, it’s advisable to keep the chest, legs, as well as shoulders covered pleasantly, specifically if you intend to go to some of the Mosques. For females, bring a headscarf on your bag in case you want to go into the Mosque, as well.


Sure, the street is incredibly vibrant and also a real photography playground… however although the facades are becoming a major attraction for tourists these days, please keep in mind that it’s still a living community having a complicated past as well as a wealthy Muslim culture. It’s certainly not only a background for your next Instagram post! They’re people’s homes and livelihoods, so consider that whenever you are exploring.