Historical Centre of Cape Malay Culture

Bo-Kaap is a suburb of Cape Town, traditionally a multi-cultural area, formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is the historical centre of Cape Malay culture. The Cape Malay community is rich in culture and religious traditions that have played a major role in shaping the history and diversity of Cape Town.

The suburb can be recognised by its brightly coloured homes and romantic cobble stoned streets. With the upper edges of the suburb reaching up  Signal Hill there is a magnificent view over the CBD area.

Things to do & see

Exotic Coffees

If you want to dive right into the modern lifestyle, The Haas Collective, specialising in rare and exotic coffees, has received much local acclaim, boasting a quirky boutique-gallery space that is both intriguing and delightful. Enter into this design agency/coffee shop for some serious inspiration.

Noon Day Gun

Marking the end of morning since 1806, The Noon Day Gun, with its twin cannon fires proudly as the oldest active ‘weapons’ in daily use. Watch as a member of the South African Navy loads the canons with gunpowder to be fired automatically by remote as prompted by the atomic clock from the South African Astronomical Observatory approximately 10km off site!

Cooking Tour

Experience the famous Bo-Kaap Cooking Tour with the passionate and well-acclaimed Zainie Misbach, while you indulge in the tastes and scents of the Cape Malay culture.

Bo-Kaap Museum

The Iziko  Bo-Kaap Museum, established in 1978, is one of the oldest buildings in Wale Street and has ben transformed into a social history museum documenting life in the area.


Original construction began in the 1760’s and accommodated the lower income families and artisans working in the CBD area. The occupation of this area began after liberation and was signalled by the city’s church bells and the Signal Hill Cannon at midnight on 30 November, 1834.

The oldest mosque in South Africa is Auwal Mosque, built in 1798 by Iman Abdullah Kadi Salaam. Today the building looks very different to then, with only two of the original walls having remained intact after it collapsed back in the 1930s. The Nurul Islam Mosque, established in 1844, is also located in the area.

There are also several kramats (Muslim saints shrines) which are highly religious tombs containing the remains of much-respected religious leaders, on the hillside behind the residential area.