You may have seen my recent trip to South Africa on social media. I spent two weeks in that beautiful country and I adored seeing all the different places. From the beauty of nature along the coast, to the old charm of houses and gardens in Stellenbosch. But what I was really looking forward to was the colourful walls of the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town. This photo blog aims to share this with you and leave you similarly inspired!
Bo-Kaap Cape Town, a colour lover’s heaven
Windy windy Cape Town we did have fun posing in Bo-Kaap today, hair and skirts flying everywhere while we looked for pretty walls to take photos of. Thanks to @whatskatiedoing for being my photographer today! #posersgottapose #travellingsisterstakeonsa #pose #colourpop #colour #capetown #bokaap #africa #southafrica #colourcoloureverywhere
Sarah also chose a fancy dress for this photo shoot!
OMG I love the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town! We even managed to find a wall that matched my dress!! (If you blink I disappear 😂💃). We had great fun posing against every cool coloured wall we could find! Thanks to @manicsara for the multitude of pictures! . This was definitely the peak of my day! The pit was not being able to make it to Robben Island during our stay in Cape Town – it’s been too windy so they cancelled the ferries that take you over – but better safe than swimming…. . #thepeakandpitcollective #bokaap #friendsandwalls #ihavethisthingforcolour #capetowncolour #southafricatrip #southafrica🇿🇦❤️ #visitsouthafrica #travelsouthafrica #❤️capetown
Where is Bo-Kaap?
It’s a district in Cape Town – also called the Malay quarter, on the slopes of Signal Hill. This is where many ex-slaves settled after the abolition of slavery – mainly a Muslim population from Malaysia and Indonesia. The local Mosque is also painted in bright pastel colours.
Pastel green mosque with it’s distinctive minaret
I want that one!
Why are the houses painted so colourfully?
I’ve seen several explanations of why the residents of Bo-Kaap paint their houses such bright colours. Everything from the original residents of Bo-Kaap being slaves that only had the ability to express their personalities on the walls of their houses; to the focus as a mainly Muslim area – the painting of the house is linked to the celebration of the festival of Eid at the end of Ramadan; to the fact that they used whichever paint was cheapest!
What is there to do there?
The Bo-Kaap museum is the hub of this area. It explains about the history of its residents and is worth a short visit for a nominal R30. It won’t keep you entertained for long though.
This time lapse video shows you the movement of the clouds rolling off of Table Mountain.
I would totally recommend starting at the museum and then walking around the area – whilst the majority of the bright houses are close by, you’ll be able to find some without hordes of tourists if you check down alleyways and sidestreets.
If you decide to lunch before or after your visit then Bree Street and Heritage Square are a few blocks away, where there are plenty of restaurants and cafes.
How do I get there?
Bo-Kaap is only a short walk from the CBD or 20 minutes from the V&A waterfront. However it’s very easy to get around Cape Town with Uber – so if it’s too hot or windy or you are not comfortable walking, I would take an Uber. The area is not ideal for self driving due to parking issues and the narrow one way streets.
Check out googlemaps here for the Bo-Kaap museum location