Angola, Africa - Wontra

Angola

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Welcome to Angola

Angola
  • Angola (Republic of Angola)
  • Capital: Luanda
  • Currency: Angolan Kwanza (AOA)
  • Dailing Code: +244
  • Driving Side: Right
  • Land Area: 481,350 sq mi (1,246,699 sq km)
  • Languages: Portuguese (official), Kikongo, Chokwe, Umbundu, Kimbundu, Nganguela, Kwanyama
  • Population: 22.8 Million (2015)
  • Religion: Christianity (88%), Indigenous Beliefs
  • Time Zone: West African Time (WAT) – UTC+01:00

Sitting on the coastline along the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Angola (officially known as the Republic of Angola) is an oil-rich nation in Southern Africa. It is bordered by Botswana and Namibia to the South, Zambia to the East and the Republic of the Congo to the North. The coastal exclave province of Cabinda shares borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Until 1975 when it gained independence, Angola was a Portuguese overseas territory. The Colonial history is reflected in its Portuguese-influenced cuisine and its landmarks including Fortaleza de São Miguel. It is currently the second-largest petroleum and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa and the seventh-largest country in Africa.

Home to over 2 millions people, the capital, Luanda (São Paulo da Assunção de Luanda), is its largest city and the most populated. It is the main port and administrative centre of Angola, and sometimes reffered to as the ‘Paris of Africa’.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Where in Angola?

  • In Luanda: The Mussulo island for clean tropical beaches and water sports, the Benfica Market for Kwanza River.
  • Eco Tur Angola do various bespoke no tours Angola including Kissama with specialist game viewing vehicles.
  • In Benguela: Baia Azul for beautiful desert beaches. Art deco architecutre in Beguela. Lobito City for the Restinga Penisnula and ice cold draught Cuca beer, the Benguela Rail road, and fantastic scenery!
  • In Kwanza Sul - Cubal Canyon, Conde Hot springs and Cachoeiras / Binga Waterfalls, with the Cambambe Dam on River Kwanza. Waku Kungo plains has fantastic scenery!
  • In Malange - Kalandula Waterfalls and Pungo n'Dongo Black Stones.
  • In Huila - Serra de Leba, Tunbda Vala Gorge, Mumuila tribes people, fantastic scenery and much more!
  • In Namibe - Arco Lagoon, beaches and a desert, and Mucubais Tribes People.
  • In Huambo - City Tours, Alto Hama hot springs, and fantastic scenery.
  • In Cunene – the Himba tribes, Ruacana Falls, and fantastic scenery.

Climate

Angola, like the rest of tropical Africa, experiences distinct alternating rainy and wet seasons. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. Semiarid in south and along the coast; north has a cool, dry season (May - October) and a hot, rainy season (November - April).

Duty Free

The following items may be imported into Angola without incurring customs duty:

  • 400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco.
  • 2L of wine and 1L of spirits.
  • 3 x 250ml of eau de toilette or 50ml of perfume.
  • 3 phones, 1 camera and 1 computer.
  • General items for personal use, gifts or souvenirs up to the value of AOA142, 560 (around US$860).
  • Alcohol and tobacco allowances apply to travellers aged 18 and over only.
  • You must declare brand new electronic items.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are standard.

Getting Around

  • Due to the poor road infrastructure in Angola, bus services are limited, however, a private bus company – TURA, operates an efficient bus network. Taxis (private) and minibuses (white-blue painted) are also available to move around. The Rail services are also erratic and tickets could be hard to purchase
  • Luanda-based TAAG Angola Airlines operates flights within Angola. Private Jets and helicopters are also operated by some business interests particularly to and from the Cabinda enclave.
  • The port of Luanda is Angola’s largest port and connects the country to the rest of the world by sea. There are no official ferry services to other countries available.

Health

Medical facilities and services are available in Angola but are limited and often do not meet first world standards.  Payment for services is generally required before delivery of services, and medical providers will accept U.S. dollars or local currency.  A very small number of facilities accept credit cards.  

Language

Portuguese is the official language. The recognised national languages are Kikongo, Chokwe, Umbundu, Kimbundu, Nganguela and Kwanyama.

Money

The ‘Angolan Kwanza’ is the official currency of Angola. Notes are available in denominations of AOA2000, 100, 500, 200, 100, 50, 10, and 5. Until recently, it was illegal to attempt to take the Kwanza of the country as a souvenir. Credit Cards are not generally acceptable although ATMs can be found in major towns and cities especially in Luanda.

Passport Visa

A valid visa is required before travelling to Angola. Also, passport must be valid for a minimum of six months on entry. 

Safety

Security in Angola has improved remarkably since the end of the civil war, however, caution should still be exercised when travelling to or moving around (walkin and driving) the country. Travel in most parts of Luanda is generally safe by day but travelling at night is not advised.

Time

All of Angola uses the UTC+01:00 (West Africa Time) and has never observed Daylight saving time.

Tipping

Tipping is not a standard practice in Angola, hwever, if you do leave tips, it shouldn’t be more than 10% of the total bill. Asides cash, cigarettes are also acceptable as tips.

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