Cape Town is a desirable destination for the Muslim traveller and visitors will find many Muslim-owned guesthouses, tour operators, and restaurants catering for the faith-based needs of the tourist. In fact, Cape Town was ranked as the 4th best travel destination for Muslim travellers in the 2017 Global Muslim Travel Index.
There are many reasons to visit Cape Town, including the cultural diversity, beautiful beaches, halal and Muslim-friendly eateries, fantastic attractions, and incredible natural surroundings, and rest assured you will be catered for.
Mosques, Kramats, and Prayer Rooms
With a large number of mosques found across the length and breadth of Cape Town—there are nine mosques in the Bo-Kaap alone—the choice is wide, and you may want to attend both local community mosques as well as the older mosques that are an integral part of the city’s culture and history.
The two oldest Mosques in Cape Town are the Auwal Mosque, built in 1794, and the Palm Tree Mosque, established in 1807.
There are also a number of Kramats, known collectively as the Circle of Saints or the Ring of Kramats, that can be found around the city. They run from Signal Hill to Faure, just outside Somerset West, where the most famous of Cape Town’s Kramats can be found—the shrine of Sheikh Yusuf, considered the father of Islam in the Cape. The Cape Mazaar Society are custodians of the Western Cape Kramats and offers Kramat Tours tailored to suit your Cape Town itinerary.
The city offers prayer rooms in major centres—including the V&A Waterfront and Canal Walk. You’ll also find prayer rooms at Cape Town International Airport and the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Where to Stay
Whether you are visiting friends and family or opting to stay in a guest house or hotel, you will find a warm welcome and friendly Cape Town hospitality.
Lodge 36 on Shaanti in Gatesville offers both bed & breakfast as well as self-catering options. The Crescent in Pinelands offers luxury in private and double rooms as well as executive suites—perfect for both leisure and business travel. If you are looking for accommodation in the city centre, a popular hotel is The Hilton Cape Town City Centre, which has a prayer room and certified Halal restaurants.
What to See and Do
If you are pushed for time, there are certain iconic attractions that you cannot miss. Table Mountain ranks up there with the best in the world and became one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2011. Combine your trip to the mountain with a City Sightseeing Tour and enjoy the hop-on, hop-off experience. Don’t miss the V & A Waterfront while you are out and about.
Of course, the locals know their city intimately, and a local tour operator or tourist guide can tailor-make your visit to suit your needs—whether it’s an adrenaline-inducing activity or a stroll through a museum or art gallery. There are many accredited operators, some of whom deal exclusively with the Muslim market, while others can customise the tours. We recommend Roze Travel, Cut Above Travel & Tours, Centurion Tours, Escape to the Cape, Southsun Tours and Hadiya Li Africa.
Tours of specific interest, though not restricted to these, could be Robben Island, Cape Malay cooking tours, Bo-kaap and Cape Flats tours, District Six and Iziko Museums, and Kramat Tours.
A neighbourhood like the Bo-Kaap has so much to see and do and is just one of many predominantly Muslim communities who love to welcome visitors to Cape Town.
Islamic Travel & Tours is a tour operator that specialises in packaged tours for the Muslim market with 4- and 5-day tours of Cape Town on offer.
Where to Eat
With its vibrant, food-loving Muslim community, there is so much to offer the visitor to Cape Town—whether you are looking for strictly halal meals or wish to enjoy Muslim-friendly eateries as well. Celebratory feasts are entrenched in the Cape Town food culture, and the “Cape Malay” cuisine is as popular with Muslim visitors as it is with all tourists. One of the top certified halal restaurants includes 126 Cape Kitchen and Cafe, while Gold Restaurant is an excellent choice for Muslim-friendly dining options (although they do serve alcohol).
With the city’s strong Muslim culture and vibrant communities, Cape Town is a natural choice and you will find a warm welcome from all Capetonians and a tourism industry that continues to grow its offering to Muslim visitors.
Call the Cape Town Tourism office on 0861 322 223 to book tours and accommodation, or to find out more info.