Cape Town is easily one of the most colourful cities I have ever visited, but certain areas stand out more than others. The Cape Malay Quarter – also known as Bo Kaap, is one such standout. This area is famous for its colourful houses, cobbled streets and distinctly Dutch vibe. Once full of Cape Malay people, this area is now popular with students and foreign expats.
On a sunny Sunday, I once again met up with Hannah and Marit to explore this beautiful area, and more of the Cape Town city centre.
It was a blisteringly hot day, and despite how oppressive the heat felt, it did mean that the throngs of other travellers were thinner than usual.
We spent about an hour walking and exploring before we then decided to join a small Cape Malay cooking class, where a wonderful long time resident of the area – Zainie – showed us how to make amazing Cape Malay curry and other delicacies. Zainie takes people into her own long-time home in Bo Kaap and while showing them how to cook the food of the Cape Malay people, explains how life was for this people during different eras and different points in South Africa’s history. It was a wonderful way to learn more about South African history, escape the heat and fill our bellies with yummy food all at once!
As it turned out, my lack of cooking skills back home follows me around the world, but Hannah – who is a proficient baker – took to the class like a duck to water. She was easily able to recreate all of Zainie’s demonstrations, and her samosas looked picture perfect.
After cooking for several hours, we sat down to a lovely meal where Zainie regaled us with stories about immigrating to Cape Town, and what life was like for the Bo Kaap people during and after Apartheid. It was both a delicious and informative afternoon.
After we had filled our bellies (overfilled may be a more accurate term) we decided to walk around the District 6 area before Marit had to catch a train back to Muizenberg.
Hostel: Green Elephant Backpackers
Camera: iPhone 5
Budget: R150 ($15) per night for an eight bed dorm
Remember: Sunscreen and a healthy appetite
Bo-Kaap Cooking Class: A three hour class with sit down lunch and brief tour of the Bo-Kaap area is R600 ($60)
Get There: Catch any bus, minicab or train into the city centre and the Bo Kaap area is then a brief walk from Long Street
I love Bo Kaap and I really love Cape Town! I would love to hear what your favourite spots are in the Mother City, fill me in in the comments!