Bo-Kapie Self Catering Cottage
BO-KAPIE (1833) is, as its name implies, a typical example of the multi coloured houses found in the Bo-Kaap. Nestling under the steep slopes of Signal Hill in Cape Town, the Bo-Kaap is where Malay residents, forcibly brought to the Cape, made their homes after slavery was abolished in the 1830’s. It is known as the Malay/Islamic Quarter of Cape Town ( “Slamse Buurt”).
Judging by the name of the original owner of this 1833 cottage situated in what used to be known as the “Slamse Buurt “ / “Islamic Quarter” of Swellendam, it was renamed BO-KAPIE in 1996 when Lizette rescued it from demolition. Unfortunately very little remains in this part of Swellendam to-day of what could have been something very special. The BO-KAAP is probably one of the most photographed areas of the Mother City, so steeped in history.
This little flat roofed Cape Georgian style cottage with its moulded parapet, was the preferred style of the Muslim artisans of the time. It is reminiscent of the typical BO-KAAP (Upper Cape Town) houses as they still exist to-day. The vertical panelled frontdoor with fanlight replaced the stable door of the Cape Dutch style. Typically this fanlight is also the only window of the “voorhuis” (front room). The attractive “net curtains” and small Victorian sash windows in front of the house, was painted by the well known Swellendam artist, Jan du Toit.
A romantic little hideaway, the cottage oozes charm and nostalgia. Furnishing is simple with pieces aged by life. There are 2 bedrooms, main bedroom en suite with a Victorian bath. There is also a second bathroom. BO-KAPIE can sleep up to 7 guests and is fully equipped for self catering including bedding. There is an open hearth in the living room with plenty of wood provided.
A one liner in the Country Life Magazine of Easter 1996, tickled the imagination to view a little 1833 cottage with inside shutters and in need of tender loving care in Swellendam. Raphaele, a local artisan of Italian POW descent, undertook to lovingly restore the derelict artist’s studio. Having spent a year travelling up and down from Cape Town to supervise this restoration to the satisfaction of the then National Monuments’ Council, BO-KAPIE emerged.