Colourful houses of the Bo-Kaap

The quaint cobble-stone streets, with unique architecture and the dazzling, the colourful houses are of the reasons Bo-Kaap is one of the most intriguing areas in Cape Town and people from far travel to see these colourful houses.

When and why the dwellers of Bo-Kaap did start to decorate and enhance their houses in these vivid colours? No one knows exactly when!

It is speculated that it has a lot to do with the self-reinvention of South Africa as the Rainbow Nation. But from residents stories, the change happened when the Bo-Kaap community residents bought their houses from the city council and as owners then decorated their own homes with bright colours, even more so since after Apartheid as an expression of long-subdued individualism and a celebration of their new-found freedom.

Also to note is that all Bo-Kaap homes built before a certain period, need to retain their building facades exactly as described in the Heritage documents, so that the area maintains it’s history from when it was built between 1750s-1950s.

An inevitable fact is that ever since the post-Apartheid era, Bo-Kaap has become hugely gentrified because wealthy outsiders embraced its distinct environment and strikingly, colourful architecture, as well as close proximity to the city.

Travel Info

Travel Information
Traveling to South Africa especially Cape Town is an unforgettable experience. It happens so often that many holidaymakers return to Cape Town more than once. In anticipation for your trip to Cape Town and Bo-Kaap we would like to enlighten you
of what to see and expect. Below are some references and helpful guidelines concerning the airport, local airlines, visa info, inoculations. On the right hand panel is more information links.

Ref: Waterfront, Cape Town If you need to know something
please contact us @

Airport: Cape Town International Airport is the main airport in Cape Town. The airport is safe and is on par with international standards. It has been newly renovated and boasts numerous awards such as ‘Africa’s Leading Airport’ from 1998 till 2001 at the World Travel Awards. In 2002 it won the ‘African Aviation Award’.The airport is approximately 20km from the city center.  SAA(South African Airways) is our main airline, and has flights from all major cities from around the world.

Visa Requirements: Travel Visa is required for non-South African’s wishes to visit. Please check with the South African Embassy or Consulate in your home country.


There are various airport bus services operates that operate between Cape Town International and the City Center. You can contact us for more information.

Public Transport: Buses and Trains are main form of transport. It’s an affordable means of getting around but please be cautious. Public transport enquiries 0800 656 436 (locally number).

Taxi: South African’s have converted the family microbus into an affordable means of transport called “Minibus Taxi’s”. There are formal boarding points such as above the Cape Town Station (Station Deck), but if you see one passing by, try to grab the drivers attention to stop. Getting off, inform the drive as well. Fares vary depending on which area you are heading to. Private taxi’s are available, they are listed in the telephone directories. Make sure that your driver understands fully your desired destination.

Car Hire: A number of car hire companies operate from the airport. Smaller companies also operate with great services at affordable prices which helps traveling students budgets.

Uber: You can travel safely in in and around Cape Town using Uber. Downloadn the App and use, you can pay by card or cash. Find out more here

1- or 2-day Cape Town Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus tour from $17.59

Go sightseeing in Cape Town via an open top, hop-on hop-off bus with City Sightseeing Cape Town. This flexible and family-friendly pass allows you to hop on and off the double-decker bus at any of the designated stops and explore Cape Town at your own pace. Choose from one of two ticket types when you book. Access all 4 tour loops with a Classic ticket option for 1 day or add a sunset picnic tour and a 30-minute V&A Seal and harbor cruise in addition to the 4 bus loop access by choosing the Premium option for 2 days. Audio commentary is available in 15 languages and a special kids commentary is available in English.

Visitor Info

General Visitor Info

Time: GMT +2

President: Cyril Ramaphosa

Currency : South African Rand (symbol R)
Find your currency exchange here

Business Trading Hours

Shops (These times are a rough estimates, depending on )
City/Town Monday to Friday(09h00 – 17h00), Saturday(09h00 – 12h30)
Shopping Malls Monday to Sunday(09h00 – 21h00)
Banks (08h00 – 16h00)

Jumah Times

Every Friday(12h30 – 14h00) to locate a mosque in Bo-Kaap click here>>

Emergency Numbers

Police : 10111
Ambulance : 10177
Mobile/Cellphone : 112
Emergency Service : 107
Sea rescue : +27 (021) 405-3500
Fire : +27 (021) 535-1100
Mountain Rescue : +27 (021) 948-9900
Passport and Visa : +27 (021) 462-4970

If there is anything else that you would like to see on this page
please inform us.

Restaurants in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

Bo-Kaap Kombuis (Kitchen) – Halaal
Address: 7 August St, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 422 5446

Biesmiellah Restaurant – Halaal
Address: 2 Wale St, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 423 0850

Noon Gun Tearoom and Restaurant – Halaal
Address: 273 Longmarket St, Central, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 424 0529

Marcos African Place
Lively restaurant serving local regional game and international favourites with daily live music.
Address: 15 Rose Lane, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 423 5412

Piccola Mamma Roma
Piccola Mamma Roma is a Trattoria, Pizzeria and Deli with strong Italian fine food, a great ambience, a wonderful hostess and staff who know how to pamper their guests. Diners can enjoy a wide range of Italian cuisine.
Address: 35 on Rose, Rose Street, Bokaap, Cape Town
Phone:+27 21 481 1022

Bloem Street Deli and Superette
The Mediterranean menu inspires a relaxed lunch; light breakfast or dinner accompanied by fresh ingredients and freshly baked bread. Try options such as wraps, sandwiches, pasta and salads alongside freshly baked bread, sauces and sides prepared daily.
Address: 15 Bloem Street, Cape Town, 8001
Phone: 073 159 1073


None of these restaurants in Bo-Kaap serve breakfast yet, please enquire at each restaurant, if you have a tour group.

If you know of any more restaurants in or surrounding area, please click here to let us know to include it, thanks.



Currency : South African Rand (symbol R).

VAT(Value Added Tax):
14% VAT has been added onto all goods sold. If you are not a resident of South Africa and you wish to reclaim the VAT on your purchases click here to find out how!

Bureaux De Change: Bureaus de Change and Foreign currency exchange facilities can be found in and around Cape Town and at Cape Town International Airport . Some Hotels can also provide this service.

Credit Cards: ATM’s ( Automatic Teller Machines) accept international bank and credit cards . Please ensure that your card has been enabled to perform international transactions.

Safety Tips: When performing a transaction at an ATM please do not tell anyone you secret pin number and do not accept help from strangers. If you ATM card is stolen please report it immediately to the police and cancel the card!

If there is anything else that you would like to see on this page please inform us.

VAT tax refund – Tourists

Tax Refunds For Tourists

Non – resident foreign passport holders, older than 7 years of age, on a temporary visit to South Africa are able to claim a VAT Refund, provided that VAT was by the supplier, and the supplier is a VAT registered vendor. South African residents and passport holders are excluded.

Here is a 3 step guide on how to claim your refund!

Simply identify yourself as a tourist to the shop assistant, and request a TAX Invoice for the goods you have purchased. A Tax Invoice must contain all the following:
– The words ” Tax Invoice ”
– The seller’s VAT registration number
– The seller’s name and address
– A full description of the goods purchased
– The amount of VAT charged, or a statement that VAT is included in the total cost of the goods.
– A Tax Invoice number
– Date of issue of the Tax Invoice
– The cost of the goods in Rands
– In the case of purchases over R500.00, the purchases name and address and the quantity or volume of the goods must appear on the invoice.

Inspection must be evidenced by an endorsement on the relevant tax invoice by a VAT Refund official or a South African customs official.
Should you depart from one of the three international airports (Johannesburg International Airport, Durban International Airport or Cape Town International Airport), you must present your purchases as well as the relevant tax invoices to a VAT Refund official for inspection. If your purchases are too large to be kept as hand – luggage and are to be transported as part of checked luggage, you must present the goods and relevant tax invoices to a South African customs officials prior to the goods being checked in. The customs desk at Johannesburg International Airport is situated opposite check – in counter number 31.
Should you depart from one of the airports or harbours listed below, you must present your purchases and the relevant tax invoices to a South African customs official.

Other Airports: Lanseria, Bloemfontein, Gateway, Nelspruit, Mmabatho, Port Elizabeth, Upington

Harbours: Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London, Richards Bay, Mossel Bay, Saldanha.

Remember: No Inspection – No Refund!

On departure from one of the three international airports, present your claim at the VAT refund office. Your refund will be made by rand cheque payable anywhere in the world, except South Africa. The cheques may be cashed at the airports banking facility, into a major currency of your choice. Details will be provided by the VAT Refund Administrator’s office at the airport.

Remember: No refund will be made if the claims are not submitted before departure.

(However, in extreme circumstances you may submit your claim by post for consideration. Such claims must be accompanied by a fully completed ” export declaration form ” as proof that the goods have been declared for Customs purposes in the country to which the goods are exported. You must also enclose a letter of explanation, a copy of your passport showing your personal details as well as the entry and exit endorsements into and from South Africa. These postal refund claims will only be considered if received by the VAT Refund Administrator within 90 days of the date of export. The VAT Refund Administrator will forward these claims to the Commissioner for consideration. )

Should you depart from a point listed below – claim can be handed to a customs official at the departure point or be posted to the VAT Refund Administrator. Claims submitted by post must be accompanied by proof, in addition to the tax invoice, that the goods have been declared for Customs purposes in the country to which the goods are exported. A copy of the South African Customs and Excise export documentation (DA550) bearing an original customs stamp must also be enclosed. You must also enclose a copy of your passport showing your personal details as well as the entry and exit endorsements into and from South Africa. Postal refund claims will only be considered if received by the VAT Refund Administrator within 90 days of the date of export.

Other Airports: Lanseria, Bloemfontein, Gateway, Nelspruit, Mmabatho, Port Elizabeth, Upington
Harbours: Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London, Richards Bay, Mossel Bay, Saldanha

Remember: Goods exported via any other departure point do not qualify for a VAT refund


Only claims where the value of the goods exported at one time is R250 .00 or more, will be considered for a VAT refund.
The Commissioner determines the value of refund cheques issued on departure. Refunds exceeding this limit will be posted.
Goods consumed and services rendered in South Africa, do not qualify for a VAT refund.
Only original Tax Invoices will be considered for a refund.
The items purchased must be exported within 90 days of the date of the Tax Invoices
An administration fee 1.5 % of the VAT inclusive value of the claim will be deducted, subject to a minimum of R10, 00 and a maximum of R250, 00.
Diplomats posted to South African should contact their embassies for details of the applicable refund scheme.
Special rules apply to registerable items and second – hand goods, which will result in a postal refund once the Commissioner has determined the amount refundable.
Refund cheques are issued solely at the discretion of the Administrator.
Information contained herein is subject to change or variation without notice.
Exports via land border posts are dealt with in a separate pamphlet.

For further information contact:
VAT Refund Administrator (PTY) Ltd,
P O Box 107, Johannesburg International Airport, Post office, 1627
Tel: 27 – 11 – 390 – 2970
Fax: 27- 11-390 – 2787


Or refer to