You’ve probably sen pictures of colorful houses in Cape Town, South Africa. They are located in the city of Cape Town in an area called BoKaap. Bo-Kaap is an Afrikaans word, Bo means on top and Kaap means cape which makes sense because you get wonderful views from here!
It’s one of the most beautiful areas in Cape Town filled with the most colorful houses you’ll probably ever see. Do you like my dress? You can get it here.
Why are all the houses in this neighborhood painted this way? BoKaap is a colored area (In South Africa colored is an acceptable term to use, it’s a race classification it isn’t at all negative to use that term in South Africa. But please do NOT use that term to any Black American person or you may get punched in the throat. Just sayin’). Every year the families from the neighborhood get together to decide what colors to paint their houses.
You won’t find two houses of the same color next to each other. And every year each house is painted differently than the year before.
The houses are painted at the beginning of every year in harmony with a festival called “Klopse”. “Klopse” is a colored festival encompassing Cape Flats and Bo Kaap. The bands from each neighborhood in Cape Flats (colored townships) and the band from BoKaap compete at Klopse.
The festival dates back to the time when coloreds were slaves and they only got one day off a year. On the 2nd of January they’d have this festival to celebrate their one day of freedom.
You will have no issues walking around during the day. Explore the streets with ease and take tons of pictures but this isn’t neighborhood you want to explore at night. My Airbnb was in this neighborhood and I was fine, but I never walked around at night. Ever. I’d advise the same for you.
In fact, my female friends in Cape Town wouldn’t drop me off without having someone in the car with them if they were bringing me back at night. Cape Town crime isn’t any worse than any other big city, but you do need to be aware that this area is not considered a safe place to walk around at night by locals.
I’m so grateful to Steven from Around The Table Tours (you can find his company on Facebook) for taking my picture and giving me such a great tour. Having a personal guide to educate me on Cape Town was such treat. If you’re traveling to Cape Town I can’t stress enough how wonderful his tours were.