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Bo-Kaap, meaning “above the cape”, is an area of Cape Town, South Africa, rich in historical and cultural significance. This vibrant neighborhood, known for its brightly colored houses and cobbled streets, is a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience the colorful and diverse Cape-Malay culture.

History

Established by the Dutch in the 18th century, Bo-Kaap was home to many slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other parts of Africa who were brought to Cape Town by the Dutch. These people, known as “Cape Malays”, have had a significant impact on the culture and history of the area, contributing to its unique character.

How to Get There

Bo-Kaap is in the city center of Cape Town, so it’s easily accessible. Public transport, like the MyCiti bus, has a stop labeled “Bo-Kaap”, making it quite straightforward to get there. If you’re driving, there’s free street parking, although it can get quite busy during peak times.

List of Attractions

  1. Colorful Houses: Explore the network of cobbled streets adorned with multicolored houses, an Instagrammable attraction.
  2. Bo-Kaap Museum: Visit this 1760s house restored to portray the lifestyle of a typical Malay family in the 19th century.
  3. Auwal Mosque: Considered the oldest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere.
  4. Bo-Kaap Food and Craft Market: Taste local Cape Malay cuisine or buy traditional arts and crafts.

Ticket Information

Walking around Bo-Kaap and admiring its houses is free of charge. There’s an entry fee for the Bo-Kaap Museum, which is very affordable. As for the food and craft market, it depends on personal spending.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Guided tours: To learn more about the area’s rich history, consider taking a guided tour.
  2. Be respectful: Bo-Kaap is not just a tourist attraction, it’s a community. Respect the residents’ privacy.
  3. Visit during daylight: The best time to visit is during daylight hours when the colorful houses are vibrantly illuminated.
  4. Try the food: Savor the unique Cape Malay cuisine, like Samoosas or Bobotie, when visiting the local market.

Bo-Kaap, with its intriguing history and vibrant culture, promises a unique and captivating experience for every visitor. Immerse yourself in the delightful mixture of tastes, sounds, and sights that this enchanting Cape Town neighborhood has to offer.

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