It’s hard not to immediately fall in love with the Bo-Kaap neighborhood of Cape Town, South Africa. With the bright pastel and fluorescent houses it’s a pretty magical place.
Bo-Kaap is a historically Muslim community. Many of its residents descend from slaves brought in by the Dutch in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Even though they came from all over Africa and Asia, they are known as the “Cape Malay” people.
The houses weren’t always colorful though. They were built after emancipation by freed slaves and were originally white. At that time, it was illegal for non-white people to own property, so they were considered renters. When their descendants were finally legally allowed purchase them, they began to paint them bright colors in celebration of Eid (the end of Ramadan).
We had the chance to take a Bo-Kaap neighborhood by a resident of Bo-Kaap who lives in one of the painted houses.
We found ourselves in Bo-Kaap because I was thinking about all of the Instagram goodness, but visiting helped me learn more about the history and importance of this neighborhood. We had a tour of the neighborhood by a Bo-Kaap resident and after the tour, we cooked a Cape Malay meal in her home. It was a pretty special experience.
If you’re interested in exploring Bo-Kaap neighborhood, there are a few tour options to do it. The tour we purchased as a part of our cooking class was not as detailed as I’d hoped, so I don’t want to officially recommend it. There are a couple of other options. There is a free (tip-based) guided tour that is actually associated with the hop-on hop-off tour buses. Wanderlust tours by Ursula Stevens are also highly-rated on TripAdvisor.
Outfit Deets :: Versatile Black Dress – similar // Black Leather Sandals – similar // Hair Chalk – Amazon (tutorial here) // Berry Leather Purse – similar // Stacked Gold Rings – Gorjana, Stylecable, Gorjana // Sunnies – Warby Parker //
Thanks so much for reading A Side of Sweet! For more Sweet in your life, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest,Facebook, YouTube, Bloglovin‘, Snapchat (@asideofsweet), or Twitter. You can also subscribe to receive a weekly email with new posts.