Cape Town has been voted one of the world’s most beautiful cities by CNN. Wondering what makes this city so amazing? It has everything to do with a temperate climate which allows visitors to partake in a multitude of activities, beaches in every direction, not even a stone’s throw from their hotel room’s front door, delicious food, an interesting history, a multitude of interesting cultures and amazing views in every single direction. Let’s not forget the wine, the amazingly good wine.
Colorful homes in the Bo-Kaap. “Bo” means above. “Kaap” means Cape. These homes lie on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, overlooking the city. You will find the colorful homes of the Cape Malay people. A people who are a bit of a mix. This is where a large part of my heritage lies. If you have been to Malaysia, you may be surprised to discover a people who look very similar in features here in Cape Town. You may also be surprised that upon entering Cape Town, the majority of its people are not in-fact black South Africans but rather the Cape Malay and “colored” people. The colored people are a mix of people descended from the slaves brought by the Dutch and the English to the Cape from parts of East and West Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and the Philippines. Some of these slaves were freed and given land and married European settlers. The religion of Islam did well hence some of the oldest Mosques in South Africa can be found here, the oldest on the road to Signal Hill. The Bo-Kaap is a hub of mosques, Malay food, and really friendly people. Visit the slavery museum and gain an alternative perspective on a little known part of South African history.
Fact: Afrikaans was developed as a pigeon version of Dutch used by the slaves to communicate with their slave masters. This developed into the Afrikaans language. The people of the Bo-Kaap are proud of being Afrikaans speakers.
Tip: Friday’s between midday and two p.m. some stores may be closed due to the call to prayer for people of the Muslim faith. But the museums remain open and the streets are free to walk.
Where to stay in order to easily explore the City bowl? I’d suggest a stay in Gardens or Seapoint.