Type: Historical, Culture
Time needed: 1 Hour(s) to 4 Hour(s)
Hidden above the hustle and bustle of Cape Town centre, below the beautiful Signal Hill lies a world of brightly coloured houses dating back to the 1750's, cobbled stone streets and the vibrant culture of the Cape Muslim, or Cape Malay, community. This world is known as Bo-Kaap and is home to a variety of Muslim shrines, mosques and museums making it a fascinating place to explore while learning more about an important part of South Africa's culture and history. The Muslim inhabitants of Bo-Kaap are mostly descendants of the slaves that arrived in South Africa in the 1700's with the Dutch East India Company, bringing with them the cooking techniques, spices, languages and culture of their previous lands. Visitors can begin their exploration of the area at the Bo-Kaap museum (71 Wale Street), which dates back to the 1760's and is the oldest house in the area. The museum contains many interesting displays including a Cape drop-leaf dining table made by a Muslim carpenter. Each year on the 2nd of January the Bo-Kaap celebrates the Muslim slaves' day off by having a huge street party in the centre of town. Dressed in colourful, shiny suits with white hats and umbrellas; the men, women and children march from the Grand Parade to Green Point Stadium singing and dancing.