ABOUT ANGOLA

About Angola

Key facts

A multi-ethnic country with a rich culture, a piece of unadulterated Africa characterized by many influences such as the colonial era, music and traditions.

0

million inhabitants (2021)

0

gained independence

0 %

under 24 years

Tribes-of-Angola

General information

In Angola, nurture your adventurous spirit. Far away from mass tourism, you will experience a pristine Africa, not polished for tourists. Experience the real country and get to know the people. Angola is an exceptional destination that offers you a unique experience such as ethnic groups, Mumuíla, Muhimba, Mucubal, Muacahones, Ngendelengue.

Angola still offers a pure and authentic experience for tourists. The decades-long civil war, which ended in 2002, meant that many regions were untouched by people and have been taken back by nature. Till the the years 2017, the Angolan visa was one of the hardest to get around the world.

Even though the country is gradually opening up to tourism, Angola is still not an easy destination to visit. Frequent power outages, car accidents caused by the tropical climate and poor road conditions, as well as general difficulties of a developing country make Angola an adventure not for the faint-hearted. For the locals this is normal everyday life, but for travelers from better organized countries, this can be a nerve-racking rehearsal.

Please be aware that despite careful organization and preparation, not everything may go according to plan. From time to time external influences such as traffic or weather may impact plans. We always strive to make your stay as smooth as possible, but a country like Angola brings with it challenges that you might not expect in industrialized nations. In these circumstances, we will always make your safety a priority, rather than the planned event.

After years of civil war Angola is now one of the emerging countries of Africa. Increasingly popular for businesses and tourists, Angola is now back on the world radar.
Situated in the south-west of Africa, the country is divided into 18 administrative districts bordering Namibia, Zambia, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The largely untouched nature, cultural diversity, unique wildlife and the hospitable locals make Angola fascinating for tourists. As soon as you leave the capital, Luanda, you will feel like an explorer. Far away from mass tourism you can still experience the real and original Africa.

Angola has been peaceful since 2002 after the end of the 27 year civil war and is developing rapidly. The country is considered politically stable!

Due to the civil war, landmines are still to be found in some parts of the country, especially outside the big cities. Before you travel around the country on your own, you can call the NGO HALO Trust (www.halotrust.org / mail@haloangola.org). They have overviews of the recorded mines. Only use paths that are obviously used by the locals. In general, we advise against overland tours in unknown areas.

Learn more about Angola and other travel gems of Africa.

Angola has been peaceful since 2002 after the end of the 27 year civil war and is developing rapidly. The country is considered politically stable!

Due to the civil war, landmines are still to be found in some parts of the country, especially outside the big cities. Before you travel around the country on your own, you can call the NGO HALO Trust (www.halotrust.org / mail@haloangola.org). They have overviews of the recorded mines. Only use paths that are obviously used by the locals. In general, we advise against overland tours in unknown areas.

Luanda, the capital city, experiences a heightened level of crime, some of which can escalate to violence. Incidents such as muggings, particularly targeting mobile phones and valuable items, as well as armed robberies, are potential risks in any area at any time of day or night. Regions frequented by foreigners are particularly susceptible. Exercise extreme caution when withdrawing money from banks and ATMs, both during the day and night, as individuals have been targeted in armed robberies, some with fatal outcomes.

Reports of rape have emerged in popular nightlife areas and private residences, emphasizing the need to avoid traveling alone at night. It is strongly advised against walking around Luanda, especially after dark. Refrain from displaying jewelry or watches in public spaces and avoid changing large sums of money in busy public areas. Exercise caution when navigating between bars and restaurants on Ilha do Cabo, and steer clear of crowded places such as markets and large gatherings.

Theft from stationary or slow-moving vehicles is prevalent in downtown Luanda. Conceal valuables and refrain from using mobile phones or laptops while in traffic. Given the substantial number of armed civilians, exercise caution when driving, especially if signaled to pull over by another vehicle. Thieves may exploit minor traffic incidents as a pretext to either steal your vehicle or rob you.

Consider depositing valuables and cash in a hotel safe whenever practical. Additionally, it is advisable to keep copies of important documents, including your passport, in a separate location from the originals. Adhering to these precautions is crucial for ensuring your safety while navigating the security landscape in Angola.

 

 

The official currency of Angola is the Kwanza (AOA). The current exchange rate is available on the website of the National Bank of Angola http://www.bna.ao/.


The use of bank cards, mainly debit cards (commonly referred to as "Multicaixa") is widespread. Major credit cards can be used in the big cities, especially in hotels and
restaurants. Cash withdrawal by credit cards is also possible in Angola.

 

Bank systems or credit card systems can fail due to technical errors and should not be relied on. Always ensure you have sufficient cash for emergencies. It is best to plan a daily budget and try to keep enough cash available for several days at all times.

Cash such as USD or Euros can be exchanged for Kwanza at various exchange offices everywhere in Angola. Be sure to carry only new and undamaged banknotes, as used
banknotes are often not exchanged or can have a different exchange course.

Before leaving, find out how much of the national currency Kwanza (AOA) and other currencies can be exported http://www.minint.gov.ao/

The coastal regions, including the capital city Luanda, experience a tropical climate characterized by high temperatures and humidity. The average temperatures along the coast range from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) during the cooler months and can exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in the warmer season.

Moving inland, the climate transitions to a more arid or semi-arid nature, with the eastern regions bordering the Kalahari Desert experiencing hotter temperatures and less precipitation. In contrast, the southern and central plateaus feature a more temperate climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.

The country undergoes a rainy season from November to April, with peak rainfall occurring from February to April. During this period, the central and northern regions receive the highest precipitation. The dry season typically spans from May to October, marked by reduced rainfall and cooler temperatures, especially in the interior highlands.

Angola's climate diversity is also influenced by the Benguela Current along the coast, contributing to the arid conditions in the Namib Desert region. The country's topographical variations, from coastal plains to plateaus and river basins, contribute to the dynamic climatic patterns experienced across different regions.

Understanding Angola's climatic nuances is essential for residents and travelers alike, as it impacts daily life, agricultural practices, and overall environmental conditions throughout the country.

Angola boasts a linguistic landscape reflective of its diverse cultural heritage. Portuguese, a colonial legacy, serves as the official language and is widely used in government, education, and business.

Beyond Portuguese, Angola is home to a rich array of indigenous languages, each contributing to the country's cultural tapestry. Notably, Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, and Bakongo are major ethnic languages, spoken by the respective communities that make up a significant portion of the population. These languages are not only a means of communication but also integral to preserving unique cultural traditions and oral histories.

In addition to the major ethnic languages, various other languages thrive in different regions of Angola, reflecting the nation's diversity. These include Chokwe, Lunda, Ngangela, and Herero, among others, each with its own linguistic nuances and cultural significance.

The linguistic diversity in Angola is a testament to the country's rich heritage, and it plays a crucial role in shaping the identity of its people. Efforts to preserve and promote indigenous languages contribute to the broader cultural vibrancy and inclusivity within the nation.

Angola boasts a rich and diverse cultural tapestry that reflects its historical journey and the amalgamation of various influences. The population comprises a mosaic of ethnic groups, with the Ovimbundu, Kimbundu, and Bakongo being the predominant communities.

The cultural fabric of Angola is woven with a blend of traditional African customs and the remnants of Portuguese colonial heritage. This fusion is evident in the country's music, dance, art, and religious practices, offering a vibrant and unique expression of identity.

Well-known dances from Angola are Kizomba and Semba and are becoming increasingly popular internationally. Capoeira also has its origins in Angola. This martial art came to Brazil with the flow of slaves and over time transformed from a dance to a martial art of resistance.

Music plays a central role in Angolan culture, with genres like Semba, Kizomba, and Kuduro resonating through the streets. The rhythmic beats and expressive dance styles are integral components of social gatherings, celebrations, and religious ceremonies.

Artistic expression extends beyond music to visual arts, where traditional crafts, sculptures, and contemporary artwork showcase the creativity of Angolan artists. These forms of expression often serve as vehicles for storytelling, preserving historical narratives and cultural traditions.

Religion also plays a significant role, with a blend of indigenous beliefs and Christianity. The syncretic nature of religious practices reflects the cultural diversity and coexistence of different belief systems.

Culinary traditions in Angola are a delightful fusion of flavors, influenced by local ingredients and Portuguese culinary heritage. Dishes often feature staples like cassava, rice, and various meats, reflecting the availability of resources in different regions.

Ceremonial events, such as traditional rites of passage and communal celebrations, underscore the importance of community and family ties. These occasions are marked by colorful attire, symbolic rituals, and communal feasting.

Despite the challenges the nation has faced, the cultural resilience of the Angolan people remains evident. The ongoing preservation and celebration of diverse cultural elements contribute to the dynamic and ever-evolving tapestry that is Angola's cultural identity.

Car hire is available to major cities via international providers. The traffic can be an issue if you are not used to it. Should you nevertheless decide to book a rental car, we advise you to have always your documentation with you since this can be penalized, if you do not have it with you. The connecting roads between the big cities are now well developed, but in rural areas, many roads are still virtually impassable.

In the city center it is possible to use the public minibus taxi (Candongueiros). Please inform yourself about the destination before taking the minibus taxi. The minibuses normally have a fixed route, which is driven in loops. The passenger calls the end of the route at the stop, so you can see in which direction the taxi is going. There are no timetables that you can check at the stations. The easiest way for other passers-by to help you find the right direction. You can also book your taxi using an app. Please make sure you give the taxi driver the correct information before driving.

Apps such as Heetch have also existed for several years to order drivers directly. In our personal experience, these services are relatively reliable. However, it is advisable to speak Portuguese as the drivers often call to ask for the exact meeting point, as the internet does not always work reliably and the locations are not always transmitted accurately.

Traveling by train is now much easier in Angola. Several self made experiences shown us that the trains are very punctual but not every destination is accessible by train. Many trains are relatively modern and  snacks as well as drinks are also sold during the trip. Sleeping options and air conditioning are still poor.

There are many long-distance coaches that also drive to remote areas of the country and to other destinations outside of Angola. The number of modern buses is steadily increasing, which makes traveling in and around Angola much easier.

The fastest way to travel in Angola and elsewhere is by plane. Yet there are more domestic travel option than only the Angolan airline TAAG, which provides routs connecting all major cities.

For entry into Angola, proof of a yellow fever vaccination has to be provided. Furthermore, vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A and B are recommended. For longer stays and trips over land, vaccination against rabies is also advisable. Please inform yourself in advance at an official vaccination office or let us advise you.

An extensive first-aid kit is indispensable, since both hospitals and pharmacies are often poorly equipped. Many necessary medicines are often out of stock. There is also the danger that drugs may be ineffective counterfeits. In rural areas, there is usually no medical care. Therefore, we recommend you to take out health insurance, including return transport to your home country in case of illness, before you travel. Foreigners are advised to be treated in an emergency room in the private clinics within large cities. Be aware that these treatments  have to be paid in advance, often in cash, cards are often not accepted.

Special care should be taken when having sexual contact, especially with prostitutes, as the HIV rate is very high.

Angola is a malaria area. The most common type of malaria in Angola is the most severe form of malaria tropica. Both malaria prophylaxis and long clothes and mosquito sprays are advisable.

Infectious diseases are diverse and widespread in Angola. Be sure to get detailed advice from a travel specialist before you leave.

Be wary of food from markets and street stalls. Pay attention to hygiene in restaurants. You should only drink bottled or boiled and treated water. The use of ice cubes in drinks is not recommended also if you are in western style locations. If symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea occur after eating food or drink, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately.

Angola, with its rich culinary heritage, offers a diverse array of flavors that reflect the nation's cultural diversity and historical influences. The cuisine of Angola is a fascinating fusion of traditional African ingredients, Portuguese colonial influences, and indigenous culinary techniques.

Staples in Angolan cuisine often include hearty dishes featuring staples such as rice, beans, and maize. Fish and seafood are prominent, thanks to the country's extensive coastline. Grilled or stewed fish, often served with aromatic sauces, showcase the coastal influence on the cuisine.

One of the most iconic dishes is "Muamba de Galinha," a flavorful chicken stew made with palm oil, garlic, okra, and spices. The use of palm oil is a distinctive element in Angolan cooking, contributing both color and depth of flavor to many dishes.

"Funje," a side dish made from cassava, is a common accompaniment to various meals. This starchy porridge-like dish complements the savory flavors of Angolan cuisine. Another popular staple is "Calulu," a dish that combines dried fish or shrimp with vegetables, creating a savory and aromatic stew. Another popular dish is “mufete”. A dish of grilled fish, beans, cooked bananas, manjok and sweet potatoes with a sauce of onions, tomatoes, vinegar and oil. This dish is often eaten with the family on weekends.

Street food culture is vibrant, offering an array of snacks and quick bites. Grilled meats, especially chicken and beef, are seasoned with local spices and herbs, creating a mouthwatering street food experience. Fried plantains, known as "batata frita," and "acarajé," deep-fried bean cakes, are also popular choices.

Desserts in Angola often feature tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas, and bananas. "Doce de Ginguba," a peanut brittle, is a sweet and crunchy treat enjoyed by many.

As with any country's cuisine, regional variations and personal preferences contribute to the rich tapestry of Angolan food. Exploring the local markets, street vendors, and traditional eateries is not just a culinary experience but also an immersion into Angola's cultural and social fabric.

Landline phones are available in the capital and other major cities of Angola.

As a rule, roaming costs for foreigners in Angola are very high. Therefore, it is recommended to use local phone card during your stay. Mobile phone contracts are still uncommon in Angola.

Recharging credit for calls, messages and mobile data is done by purchasing prepaid cards, which are sold in telecommunications shops, grocery stores, street vendors or multi-banks ("Multicaixa"). Be aware that telecommunication in Angola is an expensive pleasure. Prepaid cards (Saldo) are also accepted as tips.

Angola's communication networks have undergone significant development, reflecting the country's commitment to modernization. Telecommunications infrastructure, including mobile and internet services, has seen notable improvements in recent years. Luanda, the capital city, serves as a hub for these advancements.

Mobile phone penetration is widespread, with multiple service providers offering coverage across urban and rural areas. The competition in the telecommunications sector has led to increased accessibility, affordability, and improved service quality for consumers.

Internet connectivity has also expanded, with efforts to bridge the digital divide. While urban centers typically enjoy reliable high-speed internet, rural areas may experience variations in service quality. Initiatives are underway to enhance broadband infrastructure, contributing to increased internet access for the population.

In terms of international connectivity, Angola is linked to global communication networks through undersea fiber-optic cables, facilitating seamless international communication. This integration into the global telecommunications grid supports business operations, educational endeavors, and cultural exchange.

However, challenges persist, including the need for further infrastructure development, regulatory adjustments, and addressing disparities in connectivity between urban and rural regions. Despite these challenges, Angola's communication networks continue to evolve, playing a crucial role in the country's socio-economic progress and connectivity on the global stage.

Photographing government buildings and military facilities is prohibited. It is also forbidden to photograph people in public spaces without their consent. Be restrained with your photography. In the event of repercussions, this may lead to seizure of the camera or the mobile phone. Arrests cannot be ruled out.

Angola is next to Brazil and Madagascar, one of three countries with the highest biodiversity worldwide. Nowhere else on the African mainland is such a wealth of animals and plants to be admired. This alone makes Angola a fascinating destination.

Unfortunately, the flora and fauna were severely affected during the civil war, and further decimated by natives due to ignorance and greed in the following years.

Despite extensive efforts in recent years, the highly decimated species need time to recover. Organized open-air walks in the form of safari parks as in Tanzania or South Africa are not available. Here, the untouched landscapes and rare species await discovery. Many parts of the country have not been visited for decades by anyone, and no one can truly say what is still hidden in the deep jungles of the country. Today's well-known sights, are probably just a taste of Angolas still deeply hidden beauty.

Drug use, possession and smuggling are punished very severely in Angola. In the recent past, there have been recurrent incidents at airports, where tourists are asked to transport gifts for family members living abroad. As is true everywhere in the world, reject this favor. Also refuse to hold drinks cans for bystanders, often older people. The doses are often filled with drugs. By holding the can, the surveillance camera recordings would make you the source of the substance.

If you drive a vehicle drunk in Angola and injure or even kill third parties, this can be considered a murder or attempted murder. This crime continues to be punishable in Angola by death.

Angola is very consistent in the implementation of criminal law, for both locals and foreigners.

Please note that even in the big cities the transport network still has big problems and is very patchy. Paved roads are only partially available. In heavy rains, entire regions or districts become impassable due to strong under-currents, flooding or landslides. If this happens, it may not be possible to make booked tours as planned, as this would pose a high safety risk to guests and staff.

Overnight cross-country trips are not offered by us. If there are time delays on the journey, not all attractions may be visited as planned, as driving at night due to the extreme darkness and the sometimes poor road conditions pose a great risk.

Any guarantee for the correctness and completeness of information as well as any liability for possibly occurring damages cannot be taken by us.

We expressly point out that you should obtain reliable information from authorities and official agencies for your individual travel needs prior to departure.

Disclaimer: Please note that Pure & Authentic Tourism Lda accepts no liability for the accuracy of the information provided. Please contact the official authorities for additional information.

Angola Tourism – Travel different

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