Destinations

 

Welcome to Angola

Angola

Situated in Central Africa, west of Zambia and north of Namibia, Angola is slowly realising its potential as a tourist hotspot after decades of bloody civil war, which followed independence from Portugal in 1975.  A stunning coastline strung with beautiful sandy beaches, a mountainous interior that gives way to deep gorges and tumbling waterfalls, and a number of national parks and wildlife reserves throughout, Angola offers hundreds of opportunities for eco-tourism to its visitors. Natural resources aside, the country also boasts a rich traditional culture, culinary specialities and people known for their hospitality and affability. Angola is rich in natural resources such as diamonds and gas, being Africa's second largest oil exporter after Nigeria.


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Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Angola is a beautiful country in south central Africa. Its capital is the city of Luanda. The country is bounded by Namibia in the south, Zambia in the east and Democratic Republic of Congo in the north. The western portion of Angola is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Cameia National Park: Cameia National Park is a visitor attraction in Angola. It is a national park in the Moxico province of Angola, located at about 1100 m above sea level. It shares its name with the nearby municipality of Cameia. The Cameia-Luacano road forms the northern boundary of the park with the Chifumage River forming the southern portion of the eastern boundary and the Lumege and Luena rivers the south-western boundary. Much of the park consists of seasonally inundated plains that form part of the Zambezi river basin, with the northern half of the park draining into the Chifumage river. There are also extensive miombo woodlands, similar to those in the Zambezi basin of western Zambia. The park is a sample of nature not occurring elsewhere in Angola. Two lakes, Lago Cameia and Lago Dilolo (the largest lake in Angola) lie outside the park boundaries and both have extensive reedbeds and grassy swamps that are rich in aquatic birds.

Cangandala National Park:  Cangandala National Park is another visitor attraction in Angola. It is the smallest National Park in the country and is situated in the Malanje Province. It is situated between the Cuije rive and 2 unnamed territories of the Cuanza River, with the towns of Culamagia and Techongolola on the edges of the park. The park was created in 1963 while Angola was still under Portuguese colony.

Iona National Park:  Iona National Park, located in Namibe Province, is another popular tourist destination. It is about 200 km from the city of Namibe and, at 5850 sq. miles, the largest in the country. The park is also known for unique flora and incredible rock formations.

Mupa National Park:  Mupa National Park in the southwestern Cucene province was proclaimed a National Park on 26 December 1964 while the country was still a Portuguese colony. The park is significant for its expected wide (though generally unstudied) avifuna. Many Angolans reside within the park, which, along with nomadic pastoralists and mineral prospecting threatens to destroy the park's birdlife. According to one article, "Even though the park was initially proclaimed to protect the giraffe sub-species, Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis, by 1974 none were left because the morphology of the White Giraffe leaves it particularly vulnerable to landmines left over from Angola's civil war compared to other giraffe sub-species. Other mammals which occurred, include lion, leopard, wild dog, and spotted hyena".

Coastline:  Angola borders the Atlantic ocean and has 1, 650 km of coastline.

Valley of the Moon: One of the most unique landscapes in Angola is the Valley of the Moon. It is also known as Miradouro da Lua or Wwatchpoint. This peculiar tourist attraction is situated at the coast 40 kilometers south of Luanda, Angola.

Kalendula Waterfalls:  One of the most stunning waterfalls, not only in Angola but also in the whole world, is the Kalendula Waterfalls. This geological beauty of nature lies on the Lucala River in Malange, Angola.
 
Black Stones:  Another unusual geologic formation in Angola is the "Black Stones" of Pungo Adongo near Malage, Angola.

Coatinha Beach:  If you want to go on swimming in Angola, the best destination is the beautiful Coatinha Beach in Benguela, Angola. The city of Benguela is located in western Angola, south of Luanda. This unique beach is part of the Benguela Bay.

Tazua Falls:  If you found Kalendula Waterfalls captivating, you will surely be attracted also by the stunning beauty of Tazua Falls in Rio Cuango. This tourist spot is one of richest sources of gem diamonds in Angola.

Luanda Island:  The Island of Luanda or Ilha de Luanda or Ilha do Cabo is a beautiful tourist destination in Angola. This island is located off the shore of Luanda. There are several resorts in the island and it is noted as the location to collect Zimbo, the shells that constituted the currency of the Kongo king before the arrival of the Portuguese.
 
Big Welwitschia:  The largest known Welwitschia, nicknamed "The Big Welwitschia" is one of the wonder of natures that can be found in Angola and Namibia. This intriguing plant stands 1.4 meters tall and is more than 4 meters in diameter. The plant is considered a living fossil.
 

Business

Oil is the main industry in Angola, but diamond mining is also important; the country is the world's fourth largest provider of uncut diamonds. It is essential to develop personal, face-to-face relationships with local business contacts. Knowledge of Portuguese, the official language, is an advantage as there are limited translation services and outside the oil industry few people speak English fluently; French and Spanish are also useful. Angolan business dress is usually casual; ties are not necessary for men. Office hours are Monday to Thursday 7.30am to 6.30pm with a two-hour break from 12.30pm, and closed on Friday afternoons; some offices will also be open on Saturday mornings from 8.30am.
 

Climate

Angola's average temperature on the coast is 15, 6 degrees celcius (60 degrees fahrenheit) in winter and 21 degrees celcius (70° fahrenheit) in summer. It has two seasons; dry season (May to October) and hot rainy season (November to April).
 

Communications

The international dialling code for Angola is +244. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City codes are in use. Domestic and international telecommunications services are unreliable with connections frequently lost. This also applies to the mobile network, although there is GSM 900 coverage around Luanda and other main centres provided by Unitel. There are more mobile telephones than fixed lines in Angola. There are some Internet service providers in operation and Internet access is available at most major hotels.
 

Electricity

Electrical current in Angola is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round pin attachment plugs are in use.
 

Getting Around

 

Airport: Luanda International Airport,  4 de Fevereiro International Airport (LAD)

The airport is two miles (4km) from Luanda.

Getting to the City:  Taxis are not available. Visitors are advised to make advance arrangements to be met by their sponsor, hotel representative or business colleagues.

Tel: +244 (0)2 352387.

Airport facilities include a restaurant, bar, post office, bureau de change, and 24-hour medical facilities offering a cholera and yellow fever vaccination service.

No Departure Tax

 

Car Rental:  Avis car rental has an office at the airport.

 

Road and Rail: Road travel is fine with car hire readily available but off road vehicles are most certainly required to get to the true tourist spots. Rail travel is available in parts but is for the budget traveller.

 

Language

The official language of Angola is Portuguese. About 60 other African languages are spoken including Umbundu and Ovambo. Some French and Spanish is also spoken.
 

Money

The unit of currency in Angola is the Kwanza (AON), which is divided into 100 centimos. Visitors should bring enough cash for their needs. Money can be exchanged at authorised bureaux de change, of which there are several in Luanda. US dollars are the most acceptable currency, but only the newer series US dollar bills (with large faces) can be used. Credit cards are only accepted in larger hotels, and cash withdrawals are not possible, so it is unwise to rely on them. The few ATMs in Luanda do not accept foreign cards, and travellers cheques are not welcome. Kwanza may not be taken out of Angola, and when departing from the airport, travellers can be subject to searches and possible confiscation of any Angolan currency.
 

Passport Visa

A valid passport and a visa are required for travel in Angola. Applications for visas must be made in advance in the travellers' home country. A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is also essential for entry to Angola (the alternative is to face the risky mandatory immunisation at the airport). We recommend that passports be valid for six months from date of arrival, but officially Angola makes no such stipulation.
 
NOTE:  Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.
 

Time

GMT +1.
 

Tipping

If a service charge is not included in the bill a tip of 10% is acceptable, though tipping is not officially encouraged in Angola.
 

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