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Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Bo-Kaap, Cape Town
Bo-Kaap is located in Western Cape
 Bo-Kaap shown within Western Cape
Coordinates: 33°55′15″S 18°24′55″E / 33.92083°S 18.41528°E / -33.92083; 18.41528Coordinates: 33°55′15″S 18°24′55″E / 33.92083°S 18.41528°E / -33.92083; 18.41528
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Municipality City of Cape Town
Established 1978
Postal code (street) 8001
Area code +27 (0)21

The Bo-Kaap is an area of Cape Town, South Africa formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is quintessentially a Township, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre and is an historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town. The Nurul Islam Mosque, established in 1844, is located in the area.

Bo-Kaap is traditionally a multicultural area. The area is known for its brightly coloured homes and cobble stoned streets.

Bo-Kaap primary colours

Bo-Kaap Museum[edit]

The museum, which dates back to the 1760s, is the oldest house in the area still in its original form, and well worth a visit. It highlights the cultural contribution made by early Muslim settlers, many of whom were skilled tailors, carpenters, shoe makers and builders. It contains 19th century furnishings which include a fine Cape drop-leaf dining table, Cape Regency-style chairs and a bridal chamber decorated to match the bride's dress.

The museum is distinguishable by its voorstoep—a type of front terrace with a bench at each end emphasizing the polarizing aspect of Cape Muslim culture.

Chiappini street houses


As a result of Cape Town's economic development and expansion, and after the demise of forced racial segregation under apartheid, property in the Bo-Kaap has become very sought after, not only for its location but also for its picturesque cobble-streets and unique architecture.[1] Increasingly, this close-knit community is "facing a slow dissolution of its distinctive character as wealthy outsiders move into the suburb to snap up homes in the City Bowl at cut-rate prices".[2] Inter-community conflict has also arisen as some residents object to the sale of buildings and the resultant eviction of long-term residents.


  1. ^ Kardas-Nelson, Mara (October 19, 2012). "The bar that caused all the trouble in historic Bo-Kaap". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bo-Kaap gentrification sees residents evicted" , Voice of the Cape Archived July 23, 2010 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]