Situated at the foot of Signal Hill, on the fringe of the city centre, and formerly known as the Malay Quarter, the Bo-Kaap’s origins date back to the 1760s when numerous “huurhuisjes” (rental houses) were built and leased to slaves. These people were known as Cape Malays, and were brought from Malaysia, Indonesia and the rest of Africa to work in the Cape. The oldest Building in the Bo-Kaap is in Wale Street and currently houses the Bo-Kaap Museum. This is the best place to discover the real history of the area and to get a glimpse into the life of a typical Malay family.

"Starting at the Bo-Kaap Museum, this 20-minute Audio Tour is guided by Shereen Habib, who has served as a guide for over twenty years, and her family has lived here for almost a Century. Take a leisurely walk as she takes you on a deeply personal loop through the Historical heart of this Area. With her help, you’ll soon see why this place is so close to the hearts of thousands of people across the World."

The audio tour:

The Museum was established in 1978, as a satellite of the SA Cultural History Museum. It was furnished as a house that depicts the lifestyle of a nineteenth-Century Muslim family.

The Museum is managed by Iziko Museums, an amalgamation of five National Museums that includes the SA Cultural History Museum and its satellites. The Museum is a social History Museum that tells the story of the local community within a national socio-political and cultural context. Originally furnished as a house, it depicted, in a picturesque and stereotypical way, the lifestyle of a 19th Century Cape Muslim family.

The Bo-Kaap itself is well worth a visit. Colourful houses, steep cobbled streets, the muezzin’s calls to prayer, and children traditionally dressed for Madrassa, add to this unique Cape experience.

The building was declared a National Monument in 1966. It was officially opened as a museum on 22 April 1978, by Mr. Julius Tahija from Jakarta, Indonesia.

-33° 55' 17.4756", 18° 24' 53.946"