bo-kaap cape town


If you’re the kind of expat who’s totally over whipping out your camera like a tourist, don’t visit Bo-Kaap. Forget it. You’ll get sucked back into touristing it up, camera and all.

bo-kaap cape town

Bo-Kaap is historically the Malay Quarter of Cape Town and nestled right on the slope up Signal Hill on the outskirts of the city center. The neighborhood was settled by the Cape Malay–slaves from Southeast Asia brought to South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th and 18th centuries.

bo-kaap cape town

bo-kaap cape town

The majority of the Cape Malay were Muslim or converted to Islam when they were brought to Africa, and Auwal, the first official Mosque of South Africa, is also in Bo-Kaap.

bo-kaap cape town

Not Auwul, but pretty.

bo-kaap cape town

bo-kaap cape town

With its brightly painted houses, Georgian architecture, and cobblestone streets, Bo-Kaap is a seriously picturesque part of Cape Town to walk around. Each little street is colorful and surprising.

And, for the record, I don’t mind looking like a tourist with my camera. I live in Cape Town. I can’t be expected to keep my camera in my bag. Are you kidding? That’d be impossible. And silly.

Bo-kaap cape town


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