Life in Colour

Jude from Travel World says “This month we will be looking for Green. Green signals new life in spring, fresh green leaves, the shoots of new bulbs emerging from the soil. It is a cool and soothing colour, bringing us moisture and shade.


The Bo-Kaap is one of Cape Town’s most distinct neighbourhoods and there’s so much to see, taste and explore.

Colourful houses in The Bo-Kaap

Situated at the foot of Signal Hill, on the fringe of the city centre, and formerly known as the Malay Quarter, the Bo-Kaap’s origins date back to the 1760s when numerous “huurhuisjes” (rental houses) were built and leased.

The Bo-Kaap


To this day, the houses are a mix of Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture, in distinctive multi-coloured rows on steeply cobbled roads. The choice of colour is said to be attributed to the fact that while on lease, all the houses had to be white. When this rule was eventually lifted, and the slaves were allowed to buy the properties, all the houses were painted bright colours by their owners as an expression of their freedom.

Many of the families in the Bo-Kaap have been living there for generations. Today the Bo-Kaap community is a significant part of our cultural heritage.

Another Green house in The Bo-Kaap
The Bo-Kaap

21 thoughts on “Life in Colour

  1. So when did they begin to paint their houses such bright colours? I’m sure when I lived in Cape Town they were predominantly white. (1975) I imagine now that a lot of people who are not from the Malay background live there, it’s such a great location for the city.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aardse kleure, sag soos sandsteen met ‘n donkerder raam bo teen die lyste. Die groen is iets soos lemmetjiegroen. Ek sou graag wou deel, maar ek is seker ons huis is die enigste in hierdie vreeslike kleur in ons dorp, en dan weet almal waar ek bly. Dit is nie noodwendig ‘n goeie idee nie.

        Liked by 1 person

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