Beautiful pastel houses, cobblestone streets, old mosques, Cape Malay food and Muslim culture – you’ll find it all in the colorful neighborhood of Bo-Kaap in Cape Town. It’s one of the most distinctive neighborhoods in the city in an already very diverse city. We loved it!
Multicultural Bo-Kaap started out as a garrison for soldiers in the 18th century, built on the slopes of Signal Hill. Later freed slaves took residence here and it became the home of the Cape Malay Muslim community. The Auwal Mosque is the first and oldest mosque built in South Africa.
Primarily a residential area Bo-Kaap is an easy walk from Cape Town’s nearby busy city center, known as the City Bowl, and an oasis of relative peace and quiet. Since we love picturesque colored streets so much we visited Bo-Kaap in Cape Town twice.
Free Walking Tour
The first time was on one of the Cape Town Free Walking Tours. Like all the other free walking tours the Bo-Kaap tour started from Green Market Square. The tour lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes and leaves every day at 2 and 4.20 PM. We did de 4.20 PM tour.
Guide Rico was funny and informative, but we thought the group was too big with 36 people – it felt like being on a guided bus tour – and the light for taking pictures was not great. So we went back the next day. A little bit earlier in the afternoon conditions for photography proved to be much better.
We visited Bo-Kaap in Cape Town in November 2016