The call to prayer echoes through the blazing afternoon Capetown heat as we wander the vibrant Bo Kapp colours. On these steep, cobbled South African streets may we suggest sunglasses as mandatory viewing equipment.
The neighbourhood of Bo Kapp has a history stretching back 360 years. Setting up a halfway stop between Europe and the East, the Dutch arrived to the Cape of Good Hope. The sad story of the colourful Bo Kapp area is that its roots originate as the designation of the slave quarter.
Home to the oldest mosque in the southern hemisphere, it is one of ten in the area in an around Bo Kapp. Previously known as the Cape Malay quarter, this rainbow expression of joy at the abolition of apartheid and slavery, is home to 10,000 people, of which 70 percent are Muslim.
While the colours of BoKapp practically have our cameras clicking on their own at the pretty combinations, the spicy smells of traditional Cape Malay meals waft through the neighborhood.
Should you want even more sensory overload hike to the top of Signal Hill for the noon gun. You can join the multitudes of pigeons, who surely by now must be deaf, as one and a half kilograms of gunpowder is set off daily. Save for Sundays and public holidays when ears are given a rest from the brief but ever surprising blast.
How to see the Bo Kapp colours
At the bottom of Signal Hill, just above city centre you will find colourful Bo Kapp. Local brochures suggest walking or taking a bicycle there. Be warned the streets are steep. As someone who has just cycled for more than a week in South Africa I can’t see tackling the Bo Kapp hills on two wheels.
If using the City Sight Seeing Cape Town Hop On Hop Off bus, take the red route. Get off at stop 6 and you will see the Bo Kapp colours across the street from the bus stop. The bus ticket includes a free walking tour of the area but you will need to get off at stop 5 to register for it.
Note the bus does not run year round and is not available May to September.
Another good option is using Uber in Capetown. We find the service to be prompt, friendly and economical. Tour companies also offer guided walks and we suggest doing some research on pricing and reputation.
The oldest house in the area in its original form serves as the Bo Kapp Museum. Open Mondays to Saturday the entrance fee is small with pensioners and students under 16 years of age free of charge.
What is the most colourful place you have visited?