Bo Kaap – the colourful Quarter

Bo Kaap sits just below the Signal Hill mountain in Cape Town’s city bowl area and consists of several streets littered with highly colourful houses. The area was formally known as the Malay Quarter, and dates back to the early 1760’s with a strong to the old slave period in Cape Town’s history.  The houses were formally known as “huurhuisjes” and were built and rented to slaves originating from Indonesia, Malaysia and other African countries to do work in Cape Town.

Originally the houses were all painted white, but when the slaves were allowed to buy the houses after the leases ended, these rules were lifted and many started painting the houses in bright colours to show their freedom in an expression of brightness. This tradition continues until today where the cobbled streets are all brightly painted in a rainbow of colour, and the area is a popular tourist destination.

The area offers many choices for the tourist to scout out, such as museums, restaurants and you can even partake in traditional Malay cooking classes to learn to make Cape Malay Curry.


One thought on “Bo Kaap – the colourful Quarter

  1. Unfortunately whilst some homes are heritage listed the area is not and the whole area is under threat from developers. The locals have for years been partitioning the government to declare it a heritage site however to date nothing has been done


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