Visiting the Colorful Neighborhood of Bo-Kaap


Bo-Kaap is a vibrant neighborhood situated at the foot of Signal Hill that has preserved a distinctive identity over centuries of change. It is one of the most visited places in Cape Town not only for its colorful picturesque terraced houses and steep cobbled streets but also for its invaluable historical and heritage value.

The houses in the streets of Bo-Kaap are a mixture of Cape Dutch and Cape Georgian architectural styles combined with the Islamic faith, culture and eastern origin of the majority of its inhabitants. Many of the families in the Bo-Kaap have been living there for generations. The residents are mostly descendants of the slaves who were imported by the Dutch during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to work in the Cape.

Bo-Kaap Brief History

bo-kaap brief history

Bo-Kaap is one of the oldest urban residential areas in Cape Town. Its long history dates back to 1760s when Jan de Waal built several small “huurhuisjes” (rental houses) on this land, which he rented out to his slaves. This earliest development in the Bo-Kaap area became known as Waalendorp,

This neighborhood was formerly known as the Malay Quarter because its residents were brought from Malaysia, Indonesia, other parts of Asia and the rest of Africa to work in the Cape as slaves. They were convicts, slaves, political exiles, skilled craftsmen, artisans, famous scholars and religious leaders. And because a majority of them were East Indies who came from the Malay Archipelago, they became known as the Cape Malays.

When the slaves were freed in 1834, the need for modest houses arose which prompted the property developers to build many “huurhuisjes”. Many Muslims then moved to the new parts of Bo-Kaap.

The bright colorful houses of today are said to be attributed to the fact that while on the lease, all the houses had to be white. So, when the slaves were allowed to buy the properties, all the houses were painted bright colors by their owners as an expression of their freedom.

The Bo-Kaap Museum

bo-kaap museum

The Bo-Kaap Museum is the last remnant of Waalendorp. It is housed in the oldest still standing building in Wale Street. The museum is the place to find out about resident Islamic community, its history and culture. The building was restored in the 1970s and opened in 1978 as a satellite of the SA Cultural History Museum and was furnished as a house that depicts the lifestyle of a nineteenth-century Muslim family.

The museum falls under the Iziko group of Cape museums and is in the process of transformation into a social history museum.

Cape Town’s Muslim Community

bo-kaap mosque

Although the Bo-Kaap has over centuries been home to people of various origins and religions, it has been … Read the rest

The Different Benefits Associated With Bespoke Luxury Wine Tours

Bespoke Luxury Wine Tour

If you are trying to decide between a self-guided tour of a vineyard or a group tour of the area, then it may be better to opt for the latter choice. While you do not need to be an expert to peruse a vineyard, there are several benefits to experiencing a vineyard when part of a wine tour group. This article will provide information on the different advantages associated with bespoke luxury wine tours.

1. A Professional Tour Guide

All bespoke luxury wine tours are conducted by experienced guides who will present an itinerary to fit your schedule. It typically includes a perusal of all vineyards with the selection of wineries for enhanced tasting experiences. The average professional tour will last a full-day, but it is possible to opt for a half-day tour and arrange to be collected at your hotel. If necessary, you can opt for a tour that has stops at several destinations, such as historic sites, shops, restaurants, and scenic areas. This is particularly beneficial if you are opting for a full-day tour.

luxury wine tour

2. A Secure Tour

It is well-known that guided wine tours are safer options as compared to self-guided tours as the tour guides are state-licenses and fully insured. Furthermore, there is no need to concern yourself with driving or becoming lost among the vineyards. If you choose to drive as a means of saving costs, you must be careful that you do not over-indulge in the wine-tasting. In fact, it may be necessary to abstain from wine-tasting entirely to avoid driving while drinking alcohol. When travelling on a bespoke luxury wine tour, you will be able to relax and enjoy the wine while an expert driver carries you from one location to the next.

3. Perfect For Special Occasions

The bespoke African wine safari is ideal as a way to mark a special event, such as a birthday, wedding shower, or anniversary. As part of a special event, the wine tour is able to make the occasion more memorable. By enjoying a tour and allowing professionals to handle the details, you will be able to socialize with guests and enjoy your time together.

4. Viewing Various Destinations

While a self-guided tour can be highly exciting and enjoyable, when travelling independently you may not be aware of the wineries worth visiting. In fact, luxury tour guides will visit only the wineries that are considered worthwhile in the wine industry. Tour companies tend to have industry connections along with insight into the wineries; therefore, they will be able to take you to the more exclusive vineyards and you can enjoy the more sophisticated wines. This will provide your tour with an educational and more … Read the rest

The Wretched History of Robben Island


Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, just 6.9 kilometers west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for “seal island.” When the Dutch arrived in the area in 1652, the only large animals on the island were seals and birds which is probably the reason why it was named Robben Island. The island is actually the peak of a mountain which was once part of the mainland. The rest of the mountain just happens to be underwater these days.

The symbolic value of Robben Island lies in its rich and wretched history. Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for lepers and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th century such as the maximum security prison for political prisoners, witness the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression and racism.

Robben Island

Brief History

The Dutch settlers were the first to use Robben Island as a prison. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch sent political prisoners which were political leaders from various Dutch colonies, including Indonesia, and the leader of the mutiny on the slave ship Meermin. Its first prisoner was probably Autshumato in the mid-17th century. But the most famous prisoner on the island is the South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 years of his 27 years in prison on Robben Island.  South African presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma also spent time on the island.

The island was also used as a leper colony and animal quarantine station. Starting in 1845, lepers from the Hemel-en-Aarde leper colony near Caledon were moved to Robben Island when Hemel-en-Aarde was found unsuitable as a leper colony. At first, lepers were moved to the colony on a voluntary basis, but after the Leprosy Repression Act in May 1882, they were forced to live on the island, with no option of return.

During the Second World War, the island was used as a military base, which is why you’ll find artillery batteries and fortifications. The island was fortified and BL 9.2-inch guns and 6-inch guns were installed as part of the defenses for Cape Town.

From 1961, Robben Island was used by the South African government as a prison for political prisoners and convicted criminals. When the Apartheid regime was rejected by the South African people, the political prisoners who had been incarcerated on the Island received their freedom after many years. The maximum security prison for political prisoners was closed in 1991 while the medium-security prison for criminal prisoners was closed five years later.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1999, the island was … Read the rest

The Castle of Good Hope

castle of good hope

The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. It was built in the 1600s. It is shaped in a pentagon with five bastions and flaunts both elements of Medieval and English Renaissance architecture. Before the land reclamation forced the building inland, it was originally a marker of the Table Bay shoreline. This fortress was once the center of civilian, administrative and military life in the Cape. The Castle of Good Hope arguably represents one of the best preserved 17th century DEIC architecture on the entire globe.  The Castle formed part of a formidable defensive system at the Cape that discouraged attacks. It has never been attacked. It is hoped to become South Africa’s next UNESCO World Heritage Site.

castle of good hope

The History

In 1664, tensions between Britain and the Netherlands renewed rumors of war. With the fear of a British attack on the Cape, a five-pointed stone Castle similar to other such fortifications in Europe and the East was built. It was planned around a central point with five bulwarks known as bastions.

The site of the Castle was chosen in 1665 by the Commissioner Isbrand Goske who later became the first Governor of the Cape. Pieter Dombaer, as the engineer, was responsible for the construction of the Castle which was built by slaves, burghers, Khoikhoi and company workers.

The foundations of the Castle of Good Hope were dug in 1665 and the cornerstones of the first bastion were laid on the 2nd January 1666, after which building started in all earnest.

The building of the castle was delayed when peace returned to Europe in 1667. The first bastion, Leerdam, was completed on the 5 November 1670. Followed by Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassau, and Oranje. The five bastions were named after the main titles of William III of Orange-Nassau on 26 April 1679. The height of the walls of the bastions on the sea side was 10 meters, and those on the land side were even higher.

In 1679, the Castle was finally completed. It was called a Castle because of its defensive structure and because it comprised a small community or town on its own similar to those castles in Europe. Inside its walls, there were among others, a church, living quarters, bakery, offices, workshops, cells and other facilities.

castle of good hope entrance

This castle can be entered through the Main Gateway from the Grand Parade and City Hall side. Between 1682 and 1684, this entrance was built to replace the original entrance which was situated between the Buuren and Catzenellenbogen bastions. The pediment above the entrance bears the crowned lion rampant with the seven arrows of unity in its paw which was the coat-of-arms of the United … Read the rest

Why People Need To Consider The High Tea 12 Apostles Hotel

Finding the perfect place to stay when you are traveling to a a place as exotic as South Africa you may find that it is rather hard to find the perfect place to stay. This is when you should know more about the High Tea 12 Apostles hotel. By knowing about this location you can see why it is consistently rated as one of the best hotels in South Africa, but also why it has become such a destination place for people of all ages and charms.


On site restaurant that is present is going to be one of the major pluses that you will enjoy when you stay at this hotel. With some of the hotels when they say they have an on site restaurant it generally means you are going to be going out to eat because the food and drink leaves you wanting more. However, with this location it is going to have some of the best food and the food quality is good enough that it has a tendency to draw in the locals who are going to want to enjoy the food along with you.


The amenities offered at the location are going to vary from the on site spa to the nature hikes that you can go on. All of these when you combine them together for your full trip is going to make your trip one that you will not forget anytime soon. Instead, you will find that the trip is going to make it easier for you to remember your trip for years to come. However, what else you will enjoy is the fact this is a location that has broken down a lot of their adventures into what people enjoy from family adventures to trips the wine lovers will enjoy.


Finally the rooms are simply amazing. The rooms have a lot of the modern day comforts that you would expect from a five star resort, but they also have the down home feel that you want to have as well. So you will have a chance to really enjoy the region even more because you know that when you get back to the hotel the room will be properly prepared for you and it is going to make it easier for you to enjoy the trip because you have a great place to go back to at night.


Finding the perfect place to stay at night when you are traveling can be difficult to do. This is when you should know about a place like the High Tea 12 Apostles Hotel. By knowing about this location in beautiful Cape Town, it will be easy for you to find the … Read the rest

Discover The Best Guesthouses In Harare

Staying in a guest house can be exciting, but it can be difficult to find the best one on the market. This is because the Harare region offers so many different guesthouses for people to enjoy. With so many different guesthouses to enjoy it is going to be hard to select the best place to stay in. This is when people need to discover some of the best guesthouses in Harare. By knowing about these guesthouses it will be easy for them to have a great trip and know they have found the best place to stay while traveling to this beautiful region.

Kingsmead Guesthouse is a location people are going to fall in love with. This location is noted for taking the colder weather into account at times and that is because they offer the guest electric blankets. This way people are going to be able to stay warm and not have to worry about getting cold at all. So this is definitely one of the pluses of this location. Then throw in the fact that the staff is very attentive in other ways to the guest needs and you will see why this is rated as a great location.


Willow Lodge is another place that people are going to really enjoy. The place has quite a few of the amenities that people would want to have, but it also offers a lot of the features that people would never have considered before. A great feature that is present at Willow Lodge is the fact that it is going to make it easier for the guest to enjoy the trip because they will have the ability to see the different gardens that are present on the grounds of the location.


Sunshine Guest House is a place that people have fallen in love with time and time again. At this location people are going to have a great time because they are going to be able to explore the different regions of the country, but also will have a chance to get to enjoy the private swimming pool, tennis courts, and other features that are present in the region. So this will make it easier for people to have a great time because they can go out for the day, but come back in time to enjoy the swimming pool that is present on the grounds.


Bowood Lodge is a place that is going to make it easier for people to have a great trip because they are going to have a chance to get to see the different areas, but have the ability to go back to a place that is often seen as being very homely. So this … Read the rest

Discover The High Tea Mount Nelson Hotel

Locating a dream hotel is usually something people only dream about doing. However, when people are looking at the High Tea Mount Nelson Hotel, they need to realize they can pinch themselves because they are not going to wake up. This place is like a dream, but it is a dream that people are actually living. This is a place that offers everything that people would want to have, but also has something for the entire family as well. With that being the case, let us talk about the High Tea Mount Nelson Hotel and what makes this such an attractive venue.


The main feature that people will enjoy with the hotel is the location. It is located in the beautiful city of Cape Town. However, it is not near all the headache regions that people see on the news. Instead, it is located in the beautiful and lush areas that are going to make it easier for people to go outside and simply enjoy their stay. It is important that people pay close attention to the schedules that are provided to make sure they are back in time for certain events.

One of those events that people will want to make sure they are back for is going to be the afternoon tea. The afternoon tea service at the High Tea has been rated as the best in Cape Town for quite some time now. However, what is really nice is they have taken and perfectly blended their signature team from six different teas. All of these when combined have made it possible for people to have a great tasting tea, but also get each of the flavors of the other teams coming through, which can really enhance the tea drinking experience that people want to have at a formal afternoon tea.


The hotel has also worked with several other businesses as well to set up multiple activities for people to select from. These are going to include anything from a historical walking tour around the city to the romantic connections that people may want to get when they are at Mount Nelson. Sometimes though the entire family may just want to go out on the Township Farm Tour so they can start to learn how the country raises their products and start to learn the methods that are different than where they are from.

Room selection can also play a part in what people are going to think of a hotel. When people are at the High Tea Mount Nelson they will generally find they have three different types of rooms. They have the standard type of room that are considered the deluxe rooms and … Read the rest

Why People Need To Stay At The Colonial Style Selinda Explorers Camp

Face it the only way to connect with the natural beauty that is in Africa is to get out into wilds of Africa. However, you know this can be dangerous at times if you are not careful. This is when you should know more about the reasons why you should stay at the Colonial Style Selinda Explorers Camp, instead of staying in the hotels that are in the region. Without this information you could have some problems in exploring this beautiful area or even worse in getting the chance to connect with nature.


Location is going to be one of the main reasons why you would want to travel to this location. You may have never considered this before, but this is a place that is going to be located in one of the most remote locations in Selinda, but it is also going to be located on the historical spillway. With this remote of a location and the proximity to the water source it is going to be easier for people to get the best chance for viewing nature.

The types of adventures that people are able to do is going to be another thing that people are really going to enjoy as well. Normally when people are looking at this type of trip they do not think about the chance of going out and often are amazed by the location. However, what people need to realize is when they are going to this location it will make it easier for them to have a great trip because they can finally start to see the region and be immersed in the different features that they are able to partake in.


The ability to see what the explorers to the region had to go through is something else that people are going to enjoy when they are here. Normally people would not think about this, but when they are traveling here they will find it is going to make it easier for them to have a great trip because they are going to live in the updated, but still historical type of tented camps that the explorers stayed in. This way people are able to have a great trip, but also know they are going to have a good time on the trip because of what they are doing.

A drawback, but mainly because of the safety factors is the location does have an age minimum for kids. The kids have to be at least six years old and listen to their parents to come to the location. This minimum was put in place to help keep the kids safe, so while it may seem like a drawback it … Read the rest

What Are The Zululand Battefields

When people want to travel to a location to learn about the history and know more about what happened they need to realize it can be easier to do than what they imagined. To that end people may want to know more about what the Zululand Battefields are and why they would want to go and see these locations. Without this people may have some problems in justifying a trip to this location and that can make it nearly impossible for them to have a great trip because of the lack of knowledge they have on what makes this a great place to go to.


The number of battlefields that are around is going to be one of the main things that people are going to enjoy with the locations. While a lot of times people would think they are going to only see a couple of battlefields they need to realize this was a long and drawn out affair. Since it was such a long and drawn out affair it is going to have quite a few different battlefields for people to enjoy looking at and visiting. In fact, their are eighty two different battlefields that people can enjoy.

The museums that are considered part of the eight two battlefield locations are going to have a lot of different features for people to enjoy. Usually people do not think about this, but they are going to notice this is a location that is going to be filled with a lot of different artifacts, historical pieces, and even information that is going to be given regarding the type of information that people were given by accounts or images. So this may be another feature that people are going to enjoy with these locations.


Ability to select the different wars or campaigns is something else that is going to make it easier for people to have a good trip. Usually people would never think about this, but with this place it is going to allow people to follow the line of the war and know what happened and how it happened. This way people are able to get a feel for the battles and see how they progressed towards the end of the wars and such. Without this, people may end up jumping around in the locations and not realize they are looking at the ending battlefield first, and the first battlefield last.

Location of these battlefields is another factor that is going to want to make people travel here. While most of the time people would not think about the location being one that is going to make a major impact on their life because it is just a battlefield, … Read the rest