The vibrant area of the Bo-Kaap, formerly known as the Malay Quarter, is the oldest residential area in Cape Town. With its brilliantly coloured homes and cobbled streets, it’s also one of the most photographed areas in the Mother City. Here are some great things to do when visiting this beautiful neighbourhood in Cape Town.
Bo-Kaap Kombuis is one of the best Malay restaurants in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood. The restaurant’s owners, Yusuf and Nazli Larney, pride themselves on reflecting the customs and traditions of Bo-Kaap’s original inhabitants. The food here is the epitome of classic Cape Malay cuisine: traditional, flavorful and occasionally spicy.
Visit the Bo-Kaap museum
The Bo-Kaap Museum, situated in the historic area that became home to many Muslims and freed slaves after the abolition of slavery, showcases local Islamic culture and heritage. The Bo-Kaap itself is well worth a visit. Colourful houses, steep cobbled streets, the muezzin’s calls to prayer, and children traditionally dressed for Madrassa, add to this unique Cape experience. The Bo-Kaap Museum was established in 1978 as a satellite of the SA Cultural History Museum. It was furnished as a house that depicts the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Muslim family. Today, the museum is in a transformation stage.
Bo-Kaap Free Walking Tour
Visitors are able to see the Bo-Kaap neighborhood by foot while also gaining insight into the district’s vivid history, culture and scenery on this free walking tour by Nielsen Tours. Trips depart three times a day each day, starting from Green Market Square on Shortmarket Street. On this tour guests will get an overview of Bo-Kaap’s best known landmarks, including the colorful houses, hidden places to find local beers, multiple mosques and historical restaurants and shops. This informative, fun and free tour is simply not to be missed!
The Noon Day Gun
After the English occupation of the Cape in 1795, Dutch guns were taken and replaced by a bigger English cannon. Ever since 1806, a shot has been fired from the cannon at noon as a time signal. Today, the tradition is still held and the shot is loaded by the South African Navy and heard by residents daily. The noon day gun is Cape Town’s oldest lasting tradition and visitors are able to visit the site to watch the process of shooting the gun, learn about its history and gaze out at the views of the city.
Bo-Kaap is one of Cape Town’s most distinct neighbourhoods and there’s so much to see, taste and explore. If you are looking for exciting career opportunities in South Africa, please click through to our job section.