So, you're off to see the Bo-Kaap? No doubt your mind conjures up pictures of quaint and brightly-coloured houses - but your walk today will reveal a Bo-Kaap that has little to do with its prettiness. To focus on that aspect alone would be an injustice to the people of Bo-Kaap.
This area’s roots reach back into the early days of Dutch East India Company rule at the Cape and the days of slavery.
This walk uncovers the story behind the oldest, but not exclusive, Muslim area in Cape Town. The Bo-Kaap is a vast area stretching from Buitengracht Street to the slopes of Signal Hill, and from Strand Street towards Table Mountain. Its residents embrace a diversity of cultures and religions.
The people of Bo-Kaap are warm and hospitable. Some even welcome visitors into their homes to enjoy a local delicacy with them. Try a friendly salaam aleikum greeting, or shukraan (thank you), and you will be rewarded with a happy smile!
St. George's Cathedral, Red House, Boorhanol Mosque, Mosque Shafee, Auwal Mosque, Tana Baru Cemetery, Boorhaanol Mosque and Bo-Kaap Museum
The Slave Lodge is the starting point, situated at the top end of Adderley Street. Parking is possible in the Mandela Rhodes Building (entrance on Burg Street), or in Queen Victoria Street.
Places to stop along the way:
Bo-Kaap Museum, Rose Corner Cafe, Atlas Trading Store, Auwal Mosque, Tana Baru, Rocksole
Best time of day:
Enjoy the walk on weekdays from 9am until about 5pm, and on Saturday mornings till noon. The streets of Cape Town empty after 5pm and over the weekend, which may make them unsafe.
Do not carry valuables in the side or back pockets of your rucksack, nor in the back pockets of your trousers. Do not keep your mobile phones visible in shirt pockets.
Please do not react to beggars, young or old – rather donate to social welfare programs.
Please dress respectfully. It is advisable for ladies to carry a scarf to cover their heads for a possible mosque visit, or when visiting the Holy Graves at the Muslim cemetery.
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