A stroll in Bo-Kaap Cape Town – The Colourful Neighborhood

Research is important while you travel. Because, if you don’t have time and the budget is limited you might miss some important landmarks. And going back to the same place again is not a 100% thing. You might not even go there again. And when returning home, you will discover that you missed one hell of the place. Even if it was not on the to do list.

I knew I had few To Do Things in Cape Town. One of the Wine Tours. I did not regret doing it. The shark diving was more as a to do with spot think. But visiting Bo-Kaap neighborhood was not even on my list. When you travel around the world, or try to do it, the time is limited. And you have some many things on your mind and sometimes you forget doing stuff.

Bo-Kaap Cape Town

So reading, travel blogs and get connected to the travel world is important. I think I first find out about Bo-Kaap on a travel blog. I really liked her photos and I said its a must to do thing in Cape Town. Of course, another source of finding what places to visit is the airport flyers. I think every airport should have one. Not sure if Bucharest has one.

I was a bit disappointed of Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Maybe I did not make the complete tour and found the hidden places inside the hidden and colorful house. Maybe it was do cold and was not in the mood of walking. Later in the afternoon I discovered a interesting 3 in one restaurant; I will talk about it in a separate post. Now when I am trying to find out more info about it, I discovered a lot of the missed things. Disappointed in terms of food. I was looking for a place to eat. And knowing it was a Malay-Indo area I was expecting to find a lot of places.

I saw only one place and it was more Chinese. In the end I eat a local south-African restaurant. Bo-Kaap in a Unesco Heritage Site. Today in the Colorado house is living about 60.000 souls. The ethnic and color segregation is still very high in South Africa. Just to be short, rich white people are living in the same area; white poor people are living in different areas. Colored, Africans and Indians are living separate and rarely do live tougher. Mix marriage? Well, can happen, but very rarely.

The  Bo-Kaap was formerly known, as the Malay Quarter. It has been the traditional home of Cape Town’s Muslim population since the second half of the eighteenth century. The Bo-Kaap’s inhabitants are a blend of cultures that descend from slaves imported by the Dutch in the 1700s. They came from Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the Indonesian Archipelago. Not only were these people incorrectly branded as ‘Cape Malays’ but the Bo-Kaap became known, and remains so today, as the Malay Quarter.


There is a strong Muslim influence – more than 90% of the inhabitants. Its a interesting view to see young girls coming back from the school, dressed in the traditional clothes.

I was not in the mood of the museum or to put it in other terms, spending quite a lot in the previous days, I was not willing to pay 100 rands for the Muslim Museum. There is always a second time.

Except from the colored houses I liked the quiet of the place. Few cars on the street, a few people walking. 500 down the hill the vibrant Long Street was full of people and tourist. I think the area still has a lot to offer. But being close to the city center, often gets forgotten by the tourists and the local community is too poor to open bars, shops or restaurants. Just across the street, many of those said before can be found. As I was saying; even the business is segregated. White people or black people do not open a business in Muslim areas.

by Sorin

Sorin is a freelance travel writer. He is an experienced travel writer and traveller. Since 2012 he explored more than 60 countries on 4 continents: Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Currently is based in Romania after spending the last 7 years in Myanmar.