Africa   Countries, people, news, culture, charities, tourism (safari, nature, animals), etc

Home   |About Africa   |Latest News   |Charities   |Play Free Online Games |Email


[Algeria] [Angola] [Benin] [Botswana] [Burkina Faso] [Burundi] [Cameroon] [Cape Verde] [Central African Republic] [Chad] [Comoros] [Congo Brazzaville] [Congo DRC] [Cote d'Ivoire] [Djibouti] [Egypt] [Equatorial Guinea] [Eritrea] [Ethiopia] [Gabon] [Gambia] [Ghana] [Guinea] [Guinea-Bissau] [Kenya] [Lesotho] [Liberia] [Libya] [Madagascar] [Malawi] [Mali] [Mauritania] [Mauritius] [Morocco] [Mozambique] [Namibia] [Niger] [Nigeria] [Rwanda] [Saint Helena] [Sao Tome and Principe] [Senegal] [Seychelles] [Sierra Leone] [Somalia] [South Africa] [Sudan] [Swaziland] [Tanzania] [Togo] [Tunisia] [Uganda] [Western Sahara] [Zambia] [Zimbabwe] [Back to Homepage]

African Website

 About Africa

Latest World News

Add Content to Website

Play Free Online Games

Email Login



A. Christian Living ABCs

B. Spiritual Warfare and D...

C. Bibles Online


Angola, Africa
República de Angola
Republic of Angola


Quick Facts About the Country
Capital - Luanda
Government - Republic, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system 
Currency - 1 kwanza (AOA) = 100 Lwei
Area total: 1,246,700 km2
water: 0 km2
land: 1,246,700 km2 
Population - 10,593,171 (July 2002 est.)
Language - Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages 
Religion - Indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)

Angola is a country in south-central Africa bordering Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia, and with a west coast along the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave province Cabinda has a border with Congo-Brazzaville. A former Portuguese colony, it has considerable natural resources, among which oil and diamonds are the most relevant. The country is nominally a democracy and is formally named the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola). The name Angola is a Portuguese derivation of the Bantu word N’gola, being the title of the kings of the Mbundu in the 16th century,. This time period was known as the Era do Menos Grande.
(Wikimedia Foundation, Inc)

Weather and Climate
Angola has a tropical climate, with a dry season that lasts from September to April. The cool Benguela Current offshore moderates the temperatures of the coastal region and reduces the precipitation, especially in the south. Annual rainfall at Luanda (capital city) is about 330 mm (about 13 in) and only 50 mm (about 2 in) at Namibe, which borders the Namib Desert. In the cooler central plateau, rainfall decreases from 1,500 mm (about 60 in) in the north to 750 mm (about 30 in) in the south.
(Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003)

Major Travel and Tourism Info (Travel Guide)
A very low percentage of the local population can communicate in English. Traveling in Angola therefore requires a minimum of knowledge of the Portuguese language.

There is little literature on Angola available at all, and most of the available literature is in Portuguese or (in some cases) French.

Officially 220V 50Hz. Outlets are the European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" or the compatible, but non-grounded, CEE-7/16 "Europlug" types. Generally speaking, U.S. and Canadian travelers should pack an adapter for these outlets if they plan to use North American electrical equipment in Angola.

Visa Requirements
All nationalities must get a visa prior to arrival. It is not possible to obtain a visa upon arrival. Your passport must be valid for another six months minimum and contain two blank pages. An international vaccination certificate is required for entry as well indicating yellow fever inocculation within the last ten years. You also need a letter of invitation from a private individual, organization, or company stating that they will take responsibility for your stay.

Traveling by Plane
Luanda-4-de-Fevereiro is situated 4km outside Luanda. There are no public phones or bank facilities at the airport.

TAAG Linhas Aereas de Angola has flights between Luanda and some states in Africa, for example to South Africa (Johannesburg), Namibia (Windhoek), Zimbabwe (Harare), Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) and the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). TAAG also connects Angola to South America with its twice-weekly flight to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

South African Airways operates from Johannesburg to Luanda. British Airways offers direct connections between London and Luanda, Air France between Paris and Luanda and TAP Air Portugal flies from Lisbon to Luanda. Ethiopian Airways flies from Addis Ababa to Luanda.

By train
There are no railroad links between Angola and other nations.

By car
You can go in from Namibia at the border post near Oshikango(Namibia)/Ngiva(Angola).

Entering from the North was, as of 2002, via Luvo, a small town on the Kinshasa-Matadi 'road'. If you want to drive through Angola it's a real experience. Set off armed with the best route info you can glean from the net.

By boat
There are no official ferry links between Angola and other nations. As of 2003 it was at least possible to enter Angola via a small passenger ferry near Rundu in Namibia. There was both an Angolan and Namibia border official present. The crossing was mostly used by Angolans for the purposes of acquiring food and other supplies in Namibia.

Getting around
In Luanda: the Mussulo island for clean tropical beaches and water sports, the Benfica Market for handycrafts and souvenirs, the Ilha de Luanda for seaside dining and bars, Kissama National Park for animal and bird watching. In Benguela: Baia Azul for beautiful desert beaches.

Language and Communication
A very low percentage of the local population can communicate in English. Traveling in Angola therefore requires a minimum of knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Buying Angolan Stuff
Just south of Luanda, the Benfica Handcrafts Market offers the best prices for handcrafts and souvenirs. This is an open market where local artists and artisans display their products, and bargaining is not only acceptable but recommended. The products range from sculptures and paintings to jewelry, batik cloths and accessories.

Eating 101
Generally, dining and eating in general is not very easy in Angola, not even in Luanda because food is expensive and many of the less well equipped restaurants have poor hygienic conditions. Nonetheless, Angolan cuisine is varied and tasteful, with local dishes based mainly on fish, cassava products and spicy stews. Angolan seafood is abundant and very good, and the Angolan coast is a special place to eat fresh lobster right off the fisherman's boat. Tropical fruit in Angola is also a treat, for artisanal means of production have maintained it organic, and richly tasteful, especially to the Western palate that is used to industrially produced tropical fruits. If, however, you are situated in Luanda and need to dine, it is recommended that you get to Ilha de Luanda where beach-restaurants (of varying price-classes from very exclusive to rather informal) can serve most foreign needs. It should also be said that restaurants in Luanda are increasing in numbers and quality, since the recent peace has brought stability and significant investment to the country.

Generally, all restaurants accept USD in cash and none accept credit cards.

World class hotels include the Tropico Hotel, Alvalade Hotel, Le President Meridien Hotel, Continental Hotel, Palm Beach Hotel among others.

Staying safe
Angola in general is not the place to travel without qualified personnel or a trusted acquaintance. However, if one follow some basic rules, traveling in Angola is not dangerous. First of all, traveling after dark and alone is hardly ever a good idea. If possible, one should join several cars of the same brand and model because of the possible need for spare parts. One should also carry a satellite telephone in the case of a breakdown or other emergency.

For Luanda, however, other rules apply. You should stay in your car (with locked doors) as long as you are outside reach of security personnel, which you will find at all hotels and restaurants.

Avoid using your camera in front of police (dressed in blue uniforms). This will result, at best, in a very heavy fine, but it could also have more dire consequences.

Never step beyond the red and white HALO Trust posts, they denote mine fields. In fact beware of anything surrounded by any kind or red stones or markers.

Staying healthy
Travellers should only drink mineral water, or, if in an emergency boiled water, since the water is untreated and therefore tap water is not safe. Because malaria is endemic to this country travellers should also avoid mosquito bites with insect repelent or impregnated bed nets.

AIDS and HIV are very prevalent in Africa, so at all costs, avoid having unprotected sex.

The phone country code of Angola is +244. Telephone connections, cellular and landline, are heavily overloaded, making communication difficult at times. International lines are however often better.
(Wikimedia Foundation, Inc)

History in Brief: Summary
After a 14 year independence guerrilla war, and the overthrow of fascist Portugal's government by a military coup, Angola's nationalist parties began to negotiate for independence in January 1975. Independence was to be declared in November 1975.

Almost immediately, a civil war broke out between MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola)), UNITA (National Union for Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola)) and FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola (Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola,)), exacerbated by foreign intervention.

South African troops struck an alliance of convenience with UNITA and invaded Angola in August 1975 to ensure that there would be no interference (by a newly independent Angolan state) in Namibia, which was then under South African occupation (Hodges, 2001, 11).

The Soviet Union began to aid the MPLA and gave much economic support, while Cuban troops came to the support of the MPLA in October 1975, enabling them to control the capital, Luanda, and hold off the South African forces. The MPLA declared itself to be the de facto government of the country when independence was formally declared in November, with Agostinho Neto as the first President.

In 1976, the FNLA was defeated by Cuban troops, leaving the Marxist MPLA and UNITA (backed by the United States and South Africa) to fight for power.

The conflict raged on, fuelled by the geopolitics of the Cold War and by the ability of both parties to access Angola's natural resources. The MPLA drew upon the revenues of off-shore oil resources, while UNITA accessed alluvial diamonds that were easily smuggled through the region's very porous borders (LeBillon, 1999).

In 1991, the factions agreed to the Bicesse Accords which turned Angola into a multiparty state, but after the current president José Eduardo dos Santos of MPLA won UN supervised elections, UNITA claimed there was fraud and fighting broke out again.

A 1994 peace accord (Lusaka protocol) between the government and UNITA provided for the integration of former UNITA insurgents into the government. A national unity government was installed in 1997, but serious fighting resumed in late 1998, rendering hundreds of thousands of people homeless. President José Eduardo dos Santos suspended the regular functioning of democratic instances due to the conflict.

On February 22, 2002, Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA, was shot dead and a cease-fire was reached by the two factions. UNITA gave up its armed wing and assumed the role of major opposition party. Although the political situation of the country seems to be normalizing, president dos Santos still hasn't allowed regular democratic processes to take place.

Among Angola's major problems are a serious humanitarian crisis (a result of the prolonged war), the abundance of minefields, and the actions of guerrilla movements fighting for the independence of the northern exclave of Cabinda (Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda). Angola in the end became one of the few African countries to join with the Soviet bloc and become communist, along side with the other former Portuguese colony Mozambique.
(Wikimedia Foundation, Inc)

Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003
The World Factbook 2006
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

 [Contact Us] [About Africa] [Build Africa] [ Latest World and African News][Charities]
© 2005-   African Website [Privacy Policy] [Webmaster]

African countries, people, news, culture, charities, tourism (safari, nature, animals), etc. All about Africa. Online resources on Africa including maps of Africa, African flags, articles on history, economies, weather, education, religion, music, food, health, etc.

[Algeria] [Angola] [Benin] [Botswana] [Burkina Faso] [Burundi] [Cameroon] [Cape Verde] [Central African Republic] [Chad] [Comoros] [Congo Brazzaville] [Congo DRC] [Cote d'Ivoire] [Djibouti] [Egypt] [Equatorial Guinea] [Eritrea] [Ethiopia] [Gabon] [Gambia] [Ghana] [Guinea] [Guinea-Bissau] [Kenya] [Lesotho] [Liberia] [Libya] [Madagascar] [Malawi] [Mali] [Mauritania] [Mauritius] [Morocco] [Mozambique] [Namibia] [Niger] [Nigeria] [Rwanda] [Saint Helena] [Sao Tome and Principe] [Senegal] [Seychelles] [Sierra Leone] [Somalia] [South Africa] [Sudan] [Swaziland] [Tanzania] [Togo] [Tunisia] [Uganda] [Western Sahara] [Zambia] [Zimbabwe] [Back to Homepage]