Tucked just south of the Waterfront, clinging to the northern foot of Signal Hill, lie the Cape Malay quarters of Bo Kaap and Waterkant. The neighbourhood was first settled in the early 19th century by freed Muslim slaves of the Dutch-East Indian Trading Company, and the area, dotted with mosques, minarets and colourfully painted houses, remains faithful to its heritage. In recent years the area has seen an influx of wealthy hipsters, boutiques and ultra-cool restaurants and bars, but the neighbourhoods roots are still in rude health. Properties tend to be either renovated artisan houses or chic loft-style apartments reclaimed from the old warehouses that once served the nearby harbour.
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Bo Kaap/Waterkant, Cape Town