South Africa: set off to explore Bo-Kaap, the colorful historic district!

Bo-Kaap sits above Cape Town city centre. Its name means “above the Cape” in Afrikaans. This brightly colored district is not only magnificent, but above all it has a very strong historical and cultural identity. It is the crossroads of many cultures and is today considered a symbol of freedom. Want to be amazed in an unusual place while expanding your general culture? The Bo-Kapp district in South Africa will meet all your expectations.


  • A place steeped in history
  • Things not to miss in Cape Town
  • A grandiose rainbow-like landscape

A place steeped in history

The Bo-Kaap district in South Africa is as visually fascinating as it is historically. In the 16th century, the Dutch East India Company participated in the slave trade in order to conquer the territory. Forced to leave India, Indonesia, Malaysia and other African countries, these slaves were all nicknamed “Cape Malays”. They are the ones who allowed the city to grow and develop economically while unfortunately living in absolutely deplorable conditions.

bo-kaap south africa houses color
Credits : Barry haynes/Wikimedia Commons

Later, the arrival of the British in the colony marked several changes. The most important remains the abolition of slavery in 1834, accompanied by freedom of worship. The former slaves then remained in South Africa, residing in Bo-Kaap. Today, the area is still nicknamed the “Malay Quarter”, while it is home to a predominantly Muslim community. Nevertheless, the different backgrounds from which the ancestors of the current inhabitants came have made Bo-Kaap a unique cultural crossroads.

Things not to miss in Cape Town

Who says history also says visits, and you will not be disappointed by going to Cape Town, the very capital of the country. The Bo-Kaap Museum presents its history in a Cape Dutch-style building marking the passage of the Dutch colonies in South Africa. This construction dating from 1760 is the only one that has kept its original form. In Cape Town, you can also discover District 6 and its museum commemorating the history of the city.

The Gardens district, or “The Gardens”, is located in the historic city center of Cape Town, also known as the City Bowl. In the Garden of the Company, you can admire the oldest tree planted by man in South Africa. Finally, do not hesitate to taste local specialities!

A grandiose rainbow-like landscape

As you will have understood, the Bo-Kaap district in South Africa stands out mainly thanks to its bright colors. Initially, the houses were painted white. The Muslim community then decided to mark its identity by adding colorful and harmonious touches, the latter also representing freedom and hope. Indeed, the slaves of the time had the right to wear only white clothes without any shade of color. The place is also a good place to serve as the setting for the annual Cape Town Carnival which takes place every year on January 2nd. The few photos that follow will delight your eyes and make you want to travel!

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Mohamed SAKHRI

Discover team

On this blog you travel with us around the world and discover beautiful places, stories, cultures but also mysterious places and some are even bizarre.

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