Ruins as contemporary witnesses

Deep history

Massangano has a turbulent history. In 1580, it was the scene of the Portuguese battle against King Kiluange of Ngola. After the Portuguese victory, Fortress Massangano was built there in 1583 to mark the Portuguese military presence.

In 1640, the Ngola queen N’jinga attacked the fort. In the unsuccessful attempt, two of the queen’s sisters, Cambu and Fungi, fell into Portuguese captivity, and Fungi was eventually executed.

When Luanda fell to the Dutch in 1641, the Portuguese retreated to Massangano, which served as the capital of Portuguese Angola until the reconquest of Luanda in 1648.

In 1923, the fortress was listed as a Monumento Nacional. Since 1996, it has applied for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Slavery history

Massangano has a significant history intertwined with the transatlantic slave trade. The region was originally inhabited by the Mbundu people and served as a major trading center long before the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 15th century.

The Portuguese established their presence in Massangano in the early 16th century, primarily for trade purposes. The region was strategically located along the Kwanza River, which provided access to the interior of Angola and the slave trade routes. Massangano became a significant hub for the capture, enslavement, and transportation of African slaves to the Americas.

In Massangano, Portuguese traders and colonizers established plantations where they cultivated crops like sugarcane and produced goods such as rum and textiles. The labor for these plantations was primarily supplied by African slaves, captured from various regions of Angola and neighboring territories. The slaves were subjected to brutal conditions and forced labor, working in plantations, mines, and other industries.

During the height of the transatlantic slave trade, Massangano served as a central point for the shipment of African slaves to Brazil and other Portuguese colonies in the Americas. Thousands of enslaved individuals were transported from Massangano across the Atlantic Ocean, enduring the horrific Middle Passage journey and facing untold suffering.

As the 19th century progressed, the transatlantic slave trade began to decline due to international pressure and abolitionist movements. In 1836, the Portuguese government officially abolished the slave trade in Angola. However, the institution of slavery persisted until 1878 when slavery was finally abolished throughout Portuguese territories, including Massangano.

The legacy of slavery still impacts Massangano and Angola as a whole. The trauma, economic disparities, and cultural upheaval caused by centuries of slavery are deeply ingrained in the region’s history and continue to shape social dynamics today. Efforts to remember and address this painful history, promote healing, and achieve social justice are ongoing in Massangano and throughout Angola.


Trip Details


8 - 10 Hours

Group Size

From 2 People



Trip Type

History, Culture

Important to know

Long drive

Landmarks and Places:

  • Village of Massangano

  • Fortaleza de Massangano

  • Church of Nossa Senhora da Victoria



  • Snacks during drive


Get an insight into the deep history of Angola.


Get to know the inhabitants of the village of Massangano.


Enjoy the view of the Cuanza River from Massangano Fort.


Excelente tour for photography enthusiasts.

What to see

Visit the small but historic village of Massangano and learn more about this place steeped in history.

You will visit the old ruins of the fortress, the nearby church and the remaining ruins of the village. Meet the Soba (village elder) and the people of Massangano in person.

Are You Ready

Explore with us Massangano

Get your personalised offer and a detailed itinerary right here.

Angola Tourism – Travel different


Pure and Authentic Tourism Lda

Avenida 21 de Janeiro

N° 14, s.e.q. 3, 1° piso, loja 1

Bairro Morro Bento

Distrito Urbano da Samba

Luanda – Angola

Copyright © 2023 Pure & Authentic Tourism Lda