Formerly known as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap colourful houses is one of South Africa’s finest locations for a romantic getaway on Valentine’s day.
Situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre in Cape Town, this town of sparkling bright colours can add the extra beauty to your relationship – that is, of course, if you are willing to explore along with your partner.
Think of walking along the cobbled stoned streets holding hands with your lover and enjoying the cool breeze that hits you; yes, that’s exactly why you shouldn’t miss out on this fantastic place.
Now, while Bo-Kaap may not necessarily be where your mind easily goes to first when you think of a great place for a Valentine’s Day vacation, it has a growing reputation of accommodating couples seeking a romantic retreat, particularly on Valentine’s day.
Here is the right place to learn of the amazing features you can explore in one of Cape Town’s prettiest areas.
Take a walk or a ride to feed your eyes with the sight of colourful houses/buildings
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Bo-Kaap, get a chance to enjoy the sight of the houses which are a mix of Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture arranged in distinctive multi-coloured rows on steeply cobbled roads. These colours represent the freedom of the slaves who could not own properties until the rule of strictly white houses was lifted.
Visit the Bo-Kaap Museum
At the Museum found on Wale Street, you and your partner are presented with the opportunity to learn a thing or two about Bo-Kaap’s history.
See the first established Muslim mosque in South Africa
Bo-Kaap is home to the Auwal Mosque, the first-ever mosque in SA. It’s best to come here on foot walking from Wale Street. There is also delicious food from Cape Malay here.
Get a chance to take the audio tour
Shereen Habib has been the guide for over twenty years. You can explore the 20-minute Audio Tour with your partner. You’ll both get to learn some historical facts about the area. Habib will also make you see why the Bo-Kaap is a place loved by thousands of people across the world.
Explore delicious Cape Malay meals
Make your pick: go for either the traditional Cape Malay meal in one of the restaurants or a Cape Malay cooking course with one of the expert locals – it’s guaranteed fun for you and your partner. The recipes (a spicy mix of Middle Eastern and Dutch styles of cooking consisting of fruit, spices, vegetables and meat) date back to centuries ago.
Cook with your partner at a local Cape Malay home
This is a great way to enjoy Valentine’s day. At Cape Fusion Tours, you are offered a half-day cooking course. It starts with a visit to the District 6 Museum and a walk through the Bo-Kaap colourful houses to visit Atlas Spices. This is in addition to two other community projects before going to cook at the home. There are a variety of recipes – from roots to samosas to traditional Cape Malay curry or Bobotie. Finish the tour with a relaxing cup of cardamom tea.
Enjoy tasty snacks
You and your partner can satisfy your cravings for a few snacks such as samosas (crispy triangle pastries), half-moons (crescent-shaped savoury snacks), daltjies (chilli bites), slangetjies and paaper bites (crisps), koesisters (spicy doughnuts) and boeber (sweet sago and vermicilli drink) at a corner cafe – Bo-Kaap Kombuis is a great pick.
It will be regrettable to come to the Bo-Kaap colourful houses without a visit to The Diamond Gallery where you and your partner will get the chance to have an exclusive VIP shopping experience – what’s Valentine without gifts anyway? Planning a grand proposal? You’re in luck. The Diamond Gallery prides itself as the largest diamond wholesalers in South Africa. Comb through their massive selection of rings, pendants and other jewellery to make the surprise for your partner even more special than already planned.
Join a Jazz event at Marco’s African Place
Marco’s African Place accommodates a seating capacity of over 220 guests. A large restaurant, where you and your partner will find a wide range of African culture – think of food, music, art. Now, there’s more to this place. Don’t miss out on a live Jazz event and other daily entertainments.