You can perhaps call this a ‘Photo Essay’. I literally took over two thousand (!) photos on my trip in Cape Town. Yep, that’s how much I loved my experience there. So I decided to cover some of the must-see places in Cape Town through sharing my shots with you all. That way, you can get to have let’s say… a ‘virtual’ experience 😛 Let’s get started then!
On this post, I will cover the central areas of Cape Town – which consists of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood and the downtown/CBD (Central Business District as they call it in South Africa). I’ve already mentioned in a previous post a little bit about Bo-Kaap and the downtown Cape Town. But I’ll just elaborate a bit more here.
This is a colorful neighborhood in downtown which used to be a township. Located in a hilly area just at the base of Signal Hill, Bo-Kaap’s cobbled stoned streets are rather sloped. This area is traditionally a multicultural area – and the historic center of the Cape Malay people. But what makes this neighborhood special are the brightly colored houses and fascinating little mosques.
The Cape Malays are descendants of slaves from Indonesia and Malaysia. When Indonesia and South Africa were Dutch colonies, they used to bring in slaves and political prisoners from Indonesia. These slaves later on settled in Bo-Kaap area and many were illiterate, therefore they used colors to describe their ‘home addresses’ to others. The Cape Malays were the first ones to bring Islam to South Africa. Today, the majority of Bo-Kaap’s residents are still Muslims and the neighborhood has several mosques.
Bo-Kaap is also famous for delicious, mouthwatering traditional Malay food! There are two restaurants – Biesmillah and Bo Kaap Kombuis, where you can get to try the awesome food. Now let’s have a look at this colorful neighborhood.
The CBD area is the economic backbone of Cape Town. With many government, financial, and business headquarters, the downtown boasts a number of important buildings to visit, including 3 churches. St. George’s Cathedral, St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the Dutch-influenced Groote Kerk are all located within meters from each other. You can walk through Company’s Garden (kinda like ‘central park’ of Cape Town 😀 ) – which is right beside the large building that hosts South Africa’s Parliament.
Few blocks away, you will find the beautiful City Hall of Cape Town, which has an Edwardian architecture. This city hall is where Nelson Mandela gave his first public speech as a free man! Further along is the Castle of Good Hope – a star-shaped fortress which is the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa.
Perhaps the most visited place in Cape Town’s downtown is the Long Street. Famously known as the ‘party mile’ of Cape Town, there is just so much to do here! The street life here is almost always active – as its full of ethnic restaurants, bars, pubs, and various different stores and shops. There is seriously no lack of delicious food on this street! Whether you’re a local or a traveler, you will find people of all ages here. Long Street is also home to several backpacker hostels and boutique hotels. One distinctive feature of this street is that many of the buildings are built in Victorian architecture. Kinda feels like what Melbourne (Australia) would look like in the 1980s.
Btw, there are several mosques and churches in Long Street as well. Just in case you feel like praying and ‘clearing your sins’ after a night of partying 😀
Lastly to finish off, some photos of several high-rise buildings in Cape Town’s CBD area. And of course, some views from the top of Signal Hill! Hope you guys liked my ‘Photo Essay’. Feel free to leave a comment below or anything else you would like to add 🙂