Visit the Bo Kaap in Cape Town

Bo Kaap In Cape Town

Savour the diverse culture & colourful environs
Tourism in Cape Town

Rated 4.3/5 (based on 88 reviews )

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Quick Information

Best time to visit
Nov - Mar
Ideal Duration
6-7 Days
Visa
On Arrival
Starting from
Rs. 1
  • Ideal for friends
  • Beach
  • Castles

Bo Kaap, Cape Town (South Africa)

Stranding the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre of Cape Town, Bo Kaap in Cape Town is known for its culturally diverse demography, and lines of bright and colourful houses, shops and cafes. Bo Kaap in the Afrikaans language means ‘above the cape’, which is the actual position where the neighborhood is located – just above the Western Cape region looking over the water.

History of Bo Kaap

Bo Kaap was formerly called the Malay Quarter, which gives away its traditionally multicultural and multiracial nature. The neighbourhood was established when Jan de Waal purchased a small block of land at the foot of Signal Hill between Dorp and Wale streets, and built several small rental houses to lease to his slaves. Because the local residents here were constantly fighting the Dutch colonizers, slaves were imported from Malaysia, Indonesia and other such countries where they had their colonies, which gave the place the name ‘Malay Quarter’. Though the history of Bo Kaap, South Africa is not a proud one, but it is important to know to understand its significance. Later on, Muslim immigrants and political exiles were also deported here. Together all these families built up a diverse and dynamic culture in the heart of Cape Town.

Attractions of Bo Kaap

The main attraction of Bo Kaap walking tours is the cobbled streets dotted with the famous Bo Kaap colourful houses. When the houses were built for lease, they were white in colour and they were later painted bright by homeowners as an expression of freedom from slavery and oppression. Do visit the oldest building here on your Bo Kaap tour in Wale Street, which currently houses the Bo Kaap Museum. Read about the real history of the area here from the exhibits of the museum. The first established Muslim mosque of South Africa, the Auwal Mosque, is also located here. There is a host of craft stalls, small Islamic kramats or shrines and delicious Malay food stalls to explore as well.

Things to Do in Bo Kaap

Enjoy Bo Kaap Free Walking Tour: This is a great way to get an insight into Bo Kaap’s culture, traditions, and history. One can take a free walking tour to Bo Kaap which is organized by the Nielson Tours. This is an informative tour wherein visitors gets to know about the Bo Kaap attractions, best places to shop, historical places to visit, and best restaurants and cafes to eat in.

Visit Bo Kaap Museum: This museum is an extended version of the South African Cultural History Museum and was established in the year 1976. The museum is designed in a way that it looks like its a home to a family. The museum tells about the lifestyle of a 19th-century traditional Muslim family.

Relish the taste of Cape Malay Cuisine: When visiting Bo Kaap make sure to savor to your taste buds with the Cape Malay cuisine that involves fragrant curries samosas and rotis with loads of fruits and spices. You can visit Bo-Kaap Kombuis and Biesmiellah restaurants to try some of the best Cape Malay cuisines.

Visit Marco’s African Place: This is an amalgamation of culture, art, music, and food. It is a popular restaurant in Bo Kaap which is frequently visited by many travelers as well as locals. The ambiance of the restaurant is lit and is based on African culture and style.

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    SETU SUNIL

    Mumbai

    Setu's 11 days trip to Cape Town

    SA was one great destination and we really took many great memories back with us!The stays and few guides were really nice, except few.. but overall good experience, good place and fun! Travel agent tried his best and gave everything as per our requirements.. sometimes due to miscommunication or mismanagement things got off track a little but then Manoj helps out for everything and tried to give better be it stay or tour or anything.. Only Communication sometimes was missing! Otherwise overall it was very good and good experience booking travel through MK holidays..!! Manoj helps out every which way he can to make your trip memorable! He will somehow get the deal done!

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    Sharad Srk

    Bengaluru

    Sharad's 9 days trip to Cape Town

    Overall the trip was good...but can be made more enjoyable such as hotel in Capetown can be provided near beaches or on mountains ,in kynsna cruise can be made private that could have been great. Flight tickets name should be correct.

    SM

    Santosh Majumdar

    Bangalore

    Santosh's 14 days trip to Cape Town

    Hotels were very nice but Hotels staff were not. It seems they are not very happy with Indians around. Cab Driver were extremely good. Extremely happy with their services. Travel Agent was good. But there was multiple miscommunications. Due to that we missed out on few things like - Blyde River Canyon tour, Vineyard Tour, We couldn't spend much time on Franchoek aswell. Many memorable memories. Right from the start. Kruger was amazing spotted big 5 multiple times, amazing experience. Beautiful landscapes of Johannesburg & amazing small towns. Knysna was again amazingly beautiful, Waterfront as beautiful, Congo caves, Ostrich farm was amazing. Bungee Jumping was a thrilling experience. Beautiful Town of Franchoek was amazing. Another thrilling experience of Shark Cage dive, exiting one. Then trip to capetown & amazing 12 apostles were great. Beautiful landscapes & sea & food. Loved every bit of this country. Beautiful & Thrilling South Africa

    H

    Hikritijain

    Delhi

    Hikritijain's 11 days trip to Cape Town

    One of the best travel planners I came across. Perfect plans as per customized requirement. Had a wonderful South Africa trip planned by them. Definitely recommended for any kind of tour you are planning for.!!

    JS

    Jimit Shah

    Mumbai

    Jimit's 10 days trip to Cape Town

    The trip was amazing. Our tour co-ordinator Besten Tours had everything arranged for us and all of it was arranged at the right spot and at right time. Not only Manoj from MK Holiday was available 24*7 for us. Thanks to him and Travel Triangle Team. Our trip was memorable.

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    Abhinav Dhawan

    Mumbai

    Abhinav's 9 days trip to Cape Town

    we booked our south africa trip from Mk holiday , thinking that it's got most of the bookings for SA from Travel triangle only later to find out how wrong we were. there is a serious lack in the pro activeness from the agent/TT , i had to personally follow up on each & every thing from them, despite the follow there we so many goof ups that happened from their end. Be assured that if you book from him it's not going to be a pleasant experience & be prepared to follow up every day for tickets & vouchers to be send to you, which by the way you've already paid for in advance. below i'll list down the good & the bad for the trip in detail Good 1. Good deal which would fit in your budget & probably offering the best rates. 2. the drivers that take you around are decent, but not that knowledgeable, they would be more like just drivers & not exactly tour guides, so be really sure of what you wanna do & research properly if booking with them Bad 1. Hotel & voucher are shared only like 2-3 days before your trip - we had booked our trip well in advance i.e. 6 months, but still all our bookings happened at the last minute just two days before our departure 2. On arrival at Joburg we were supposed to do a city tour as per the itinerary, but the same was not booked in advance & arrangements were made after we arrived at the hotel, a total mess of a welcome to the trip!! 3. All the rooms booked will be the cheapest ones, & very small, horrible was the room booked for us in cape town, it was a room which had a toilet inside it, without any partition & extremely small - we eventually had to request the hotel to upgrade us to a better room, which they were able to do the next day as they had vacant rooms available, else we might have had to change our hotels by paying extra 4. doesn't suggest a proper itinerary for e.g. Tsitsikamma National Park is really beautiful & one can take one night stay in the park to experience it better, but nothing of such was ever suggested by him. another such eg. we could have ideally stayed back in George while returning from outdshoorn/cango rather than going to knysna all the way & travel to capetown the next day while again passing from george on the way 5. probably the biggest goof up of the trip was that he forgot to book our hotel in capetown for the entire duration of our stay i.e. out of the 4 nights we had in capetown, hotel stay was only done for 3 nights & despite frantically calling him about it, he assured that he'll do the stay for the 4 night , to which he obviously couldn't as the hotel was completely booked for that night. 6. Lastly, the entire was filled with uncertainty about tours, driver details, & most importantly the room booking for the last day. i would really suggest not to book your trip with them as it's really not worth it that you being on vacation are being stressed about things & eventually end up spoiling your trip.

    SP

    Sindhu P

    Bengaluru

    Sindhu's 13 days trip to Cape Town

    We had a honeymoon Tour of South Africa and Seychelles . It was a nice experience overall. Services were offered as committed. Definitely going to book with travel triangle again. Thanks to Mr Manoj Kumar for making our tour memorable and for managing our tour perfectly .

    DM

    DrAmber Mathur

    New delhi

    Dr Amber's 9 days trip to Cape Town

    The trip to south africa was planned and customized very well according to my needs by mr inderjot, our travel agent from flyocity. He was in contact the whole time, was up to date on our check ins in hotels and all transfers. Our all events went as planned hassle free. The only one little thing that was okay and not the best were the hotels which were around 10kms minimum far away from the main city. That caused a little bit of problems. But rest all was bang on and everything was well executed by our travel agent. Sterkfointan caves,Paraglyding, scenic beauty of SA on garden route, Suspension Bridge, Table Mountain

    SM

    Soham Mukherjee

    Kolkata

    Soham's 7 days trip to Cape Town

    Brilliant place to visit. Good services provided by travel agent - but I had to chase the agents many times to confirm for certain vouchers and reservations.

    VJ

    Vishal Jauhari

    Delhi

    Vishal's 7 days trip to Cape Town

    Hotels were good, but the taxi driver offered were really terrible. They were in such a hurry as if they had to catch some return flights to their home. The best part being that they will not drive at night, whatsoever the case may be. Instead they will pick u up in 6:00 in the morning and then make you wait for hours on the airport or wherever the destination is. Surprisingly our agent also didn't bother once we are on the trip. They would just ask you to adhere to the timelines as if it was a group package. It's a better option to book in group rather than booking private tour then. Further , I would give a 3 star just for the ease of getting Visa and thereafter providing vouchers and other services like airport pick up and drop on time. Rest the guidance part during the trip was completely missing. And no doubt, SA is a very good country with very good people., excellent landscape, much to see and witness. The experience in the country was too great.

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    FAQ's of Cape Town

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    There are many Malay style eateries in Bo Kaap which you can visit. Try spicy babootie or pastry koeksister for your sweet tooth.

    Afternoons are quite ideal to shop in the small boutiques and stores of Bo Kaap. However, during the month of Ramadan and other Islamic holidays, the shops might stay closed on certain hours of the day.

    Yes, private guides are available at the Bo Kaap museum for R120, and the guide will take you around the museum, and adjacent cemetery and mosque, and also fill you in about the history and culture of Bo Kaap.

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