|Republic of Angola
República de Angola
|Anthem: Angola Avante! (Portuguese)
(and largest city)
|Recognised regional languages||Kongo, Chokwe, South Mbundu (Umbundu), North Mbundu (Kimbundu)|
|-||President||José Eduardo dos Santos|
|-||Date||November 11, 1975|
|-||Total||1,246,700 km2 (23rd)
481,354 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2008 estimate|
|-||Total||$115.078 billion (62nd)|
|-||Per capita||$6,251 (98th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2008 estimate|
|-||Total||$95.945 billion (62nd)|
|-||Per capita||$5,054 (82nd)|
|HDI (2007)||▲0.564 (medium) (143rd)|
|Time zone||WAT (UTC+1)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+1)|
|Drives on the||right|
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República de Angola, pronounced [ʁɛˈpublikɐ dɨ ɐ̃ˈɡɔlɐ]; Kongo: Repubilika ya Ngola), is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean. The exclave province of Cabinda has a border with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Angola was a Portuguese overseas territory from the 16th century to 1975. After independence, Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002. The country is the second-largest petroleum and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa; however, its life expectancy and infant mortality rates are both among the worst ranked in the world . In August 2006, a peace treaty was signed with a faction of the FLEC, a separatist guerrilla group from the Cabinda exclave in the North, which is still active. About 65% of Angola's oil comes from that region.
Khoisan hunter-gatherers are some of the earliest known modern human inhabitants of the area. They were largely replaced by Bantu tribes during the Bantu migrations, though small numbers of Khoisans remain in parts of southern Angola to the present day. The Bantu came from the north, probably from somewhere near the present-day Republic of Cameroon. When they reached what is now Angola, they encountered the Khoisans, Bushmen and other groups considerably less technologically advanced than themselves, whom they easily dominated with their superior knowledge of metal-working, ceramics and agriculture. The establishment of the Bantus took many centuries and gave rise to various groups who took on different ethnic characteristics.
The BaKongo kingdoms of Angola established trade routes with other trading cities and civilizations up and down the coast of southwestern and West Africa but engaged in little or no transoceanic trade. This contrasts with the Great Zimbabwe Mutapa civilization which traded with India, the Persian Gulf civilizations and China. The BaKongo engaged in limited trading with Great Zimbabwe, exchanging copper and iron for salt, food and raffia textiles across the Kongo River.
The geographical areas now designated as Angola, first became subject to incursions by the Portuguese in the late 15th century. In 1483, when Portugal established relations with the Kongo State, Ndongo and Lunda existed. The Kongo State stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. Angola became a link in European trade with India and Southeast Asia. The Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda in 1575 as "São Paulo de Loanda", with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers.
Benguela, a Portuguese fort from 1587 which became a town in 1617, was another important early settlement they founded and ruled. The Portuguese would establish several settlements, forts and trading posts along the coastal strip of current-day Angola, which relied on slave trade, commerce in raw materials, and exchange of goods for survival. The African slave trade provided a large number of black slaves to Europeans and their African agents. For example, in what is now Angola, the Imbangala economy was heavily focused on the slave trade.
European traders would export manufactured goods to the coast of Africa where they would be exchanged for slaves. Within the Portuguese Empire, most black African slaves were traded to Portuguese merchants who bought them to sell as cheap labour for use on Brazilian agricultural plantations. This trade would last until the first half of the 1800s.
The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip during the sixteenth century by a series of treaties and wars forming the Portuguese colony of Angola. Taking advantage of the Portuguese Restoration War, the Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641 to 1648, where they allied with local peoples, consolidating their colonial rule against the remaining Portuguese resistance.
In 1648, a fleet under the command of Salvador de Sá retook Luanda for Portugal and initiated a conquest of the lost territories, which restored Portugal to its former possessions by 1650. Treaties regulated relations with Congo in 1649 and Njinga's Kingdom of Matamba and Ndongo in 1656. The conquest of Pungo Andongo in 1671 was the last great Portuguese expansion, as attempts to invade Congo in 1670 and Matamba in 1681 failed. Portugal expanded its territory behind the colony of Benguela in the eighteenth century, and began the attempt to occupy other regions in the mid-nineteenth century.
The process resulted in few gains until the 1880s. Development of the hinterland began after the Berlin Conference in 1885 fixed the colony's borders, and British and Portuguese investment fostered mining, railways, and agriculture. Full Portuguese administrative control of the hinterland did not occur until the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1951, the colony was designated as an overseas province, called Overseas Province of Angola. Portugal had a presence in Angola for nearly five hundred years, and the population's initial reaction to calls for independence was mixed. More overtly political organisations first appeared in the 1950s, and began to make organised demands for their rights, especially in international forums such as the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Portuguese regime, meanwhile, refused to accede to the nationalists' demands of separatism, provoking an armed conflict that started in 1961 when black guerrillas attacked both white and black civilians in cross-border operations in northeastern Angola. The war came to be known as the Colonial War. In this struggle, the principal protagonists were the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), founded in 1956, the FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), which appeared in 1961, and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), founded in 1966. After many years of conflict, Angola gained its independence on 11 November 1975, after the 1974 coup d'état in the metropole's capital city of Lisbon which overthrew the Portuguese regime headed by Marcelo Caetano.
Portugal's new revolutionary leaders began a process of democratic change at home and acceptance of its former colonies' independence abroad. These events prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal's African territories (mostly from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique), creating over a million destitute Portuguese refugees — the retornados.
After independence in November 1975, Angola faced a devastating civil war which lasted several decades and claimed millions of lives and refugees. Following negotiations held in Portugal, itself under severe social and political turmoil and uncertainty due to the April 1974 revolution, Angola's three main guerrilla groups agreed to establish a transitional government in January 1975.
Within two months, however, the FNLA, MPLA and UNITA were fighting each other and the country was well on its way to being divided into zones controlled by rival armed political groups. The superpowers were quickly drawn into the conflict, which became a flash point for the Cold War. The United States, Portugal, Brazil and South Africa supported the FNLA and UNITA. The Soviet Union and Cuba supported the MPLA.
On February 22, 2002, Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA, was killed in combat with government troops, 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 began to stabilize, President Dos Santos has so far refused to institute regular democratic processes. 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). While most of the internally displaced have now returned home, the general situation for most Angolans remains desperate, and the development facing the government challenging as a consequence.
Angola's motto is Virtus Unita Fortior, a Latin phrase meaning "Virtue is stronger when united." The executive branch of the government is composed of the President, the Prime Minister (currently Paulo Kassoma) and the Council of Ministers. For decades, political power has been concentrated in the Presidency. The Council of Ministers, composed of all government ministers and vice ministers, meets regularly to discuss policy issues.
Governors of the 18 provinces are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president. The Constitutional Law of 1992 establishes the broad outlines of government structure and delineates the rights and duties of citizens. The legal system is based on Portuguese and customary law but is weak and fragmented, and courts operate in only twelve of more than 140 municipalities. A Supreme Court serves as the appellate tribunal; a Constitutional Court with powers of judicial review has never been constituted despite statutory authorization.
Parliamentary elections held on 5 September 2008, announced MPLA as the winning party with 81% of votes. The closest opposition party was UNITA with 10%. These elections were the first since 1992 and were described as only partly free but certainly not as fair. A White Book on the elections in 2008 lists up all irregularities surrounding the Parliamentary elections of 2008.
Angola scored poorly on the 2008 Ibrahim Index of African Governance. It was ranked 44 from 48 sub-Saharan African countries, scoring particularly badly in the areas of Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. The Ibrahim Index uses a number of different variables to compile its list which reflects the state of governance in Africa.
With an area of approximately 7,283 square kilometres (2,812 sq mi), the Northern Angolan province of Cabinda is unique in being separated from the rest of the country by a strip, some 60 kilometres (37 mi) wide, of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) along the lower Congo river. Cabinda borders the Congo Republic to the north and north-northeast and the DRC to the east and south. The town of Cabinda is the chief population center.
According to a 1995 census, Cabinda had an estimated population of 600,000, approximately 400,000 of whom live in neighboring countries. Population estimates are, however, highly unreliable. Consisting largely of tropical forest, Cabinda produces hardwoods, coffee, cocoa, crude rubber and palm oil. The product for which it is best known, however, is its oil, which has given it the nickname, "the Kuwait of Africa". Cabinda's petroleum production from its considerable offshore reserves now accounts for more than half of Angola's output. Most of the oil along its coast was discovered under Portuguese rule by the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (CABGOC) from 1968 onwards.
Since Portugal handed over sovereignty of its former overseas province of Angola to the local independentist groups (MPLA, UNITA, and FNLA), the territory of Cabinda has been a focus of separatist guerrilla actions opposing the Government of Angola (which has employed its military forces, the FAA – Forças Armadas Angolanas) and Cabindan separatists. The Cabindan separatists, FLEC-FAC, announced a virtual Federal Republic of Cabinda under the Presidency of N'Zita Henriques Tiago. One of the characteristics of the Cabindan independence movement is its constant fragmentation, into smaller and smaller factions, in a process which although not totally fomented by the Angolan government, is undoubtedly encouraged and duly exploited by it.
The Angolan Armed Forces (AAF) is headed by a Chief of Staff who reports to the Minister of Defense. There are three divisions—the Army (Exército), Navy (Marinha de Guerra, MGA), and National Air Force (Força Aérea Nacional, FAN). Total manpower is about 110,000. The army is by far the largest of the services with about 100,000 men and women. The Navy numbers about 3,000 and operates several small patrol craft and barges.
Air force personnel total about 7,000; its equipment includes Russian-manufactured fighters, bombers, and transport planes. There are also Brazilian-made EMB-312 Tucano for Training role, Czech-made L-39 for training and bombing role, Czech Zlin for training role and a variety of western made aircraft such as C-212\Aviocar, Sud Aviation Alouette III, etc. A small number of FAA personnel are stationed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) and the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville).
The National Police departments are: Public Order, Criminal Investigation, Traffic and Transport, Investigation and Inspection of Economic Activities, Taxation and Frontier Supervision, Riot Police and the Rapid Intervention Police. The National Police are in the process of standing up an air wing, which will provide helicopter support for police operations. The National Police are also developing their criminal investigation and forensic capabilities. The National Police has an estimated 6,000 patrol officers, 2,500 Taxation and Frontier Supervision officers, 182 criminal investigators and 100 financial crimes detectives and around 90 Economic Activity Inspectors.
The National Police have implemented a modernization and development plan to increase the capabilities and efficiency of the total force. In addition to administrative reorganization; modernization projects include procurement of new vehicles, aircraft and equipment, construction of new police stations and forensic laboratories, restructured training programs and the replacement of AKM rifles with 9 mm UZIs for police officers in urban areas.
At 481,321 square miles (1,246,620 km2), Angola is the world's twenty-third largest country (after Niger). It is comparable in size to Mali and is nearly twice the size of the US state of Texas, or five times the area of the United Kingdom.
Angola is bordered by Namibia to the south, Zambia to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north-east, and the South Atlantic Ocean to the west. The exclave of Cabinda also borders the Republic of the Congo to the north. Angola's capital, Luanda, lies on the Atlantic coast in the north-west of the country. Angola's average temperature on the coast is 60 °F (15.6 °C) in the winter and 70 °F (21.1 °C) in the summer.
Angola's economy has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, moving from the disarray caused by a quarter century of civil war to being the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest in the world. In 2004, China's Eximbank approved a $2 billion line of credit to Angola. The loan is being used to rebuild Angola's infrastructure, and has also limited the influence of the International Monetary Fund in the country.
Growth is almost entirely driven by rising oil production which surpassed 1.4 million barrels per day (220,000 m3/d) in late-2005 and was expected to grow to 2 million barrels per day (320,000 m3/d) by 2007. Control of the oil industry is consolidated in Sonangol Group, a conglomerate which is owned by the Angolan government. In December 2006, Angola was admitted as a member of OPEC. The economy grew 18% in 2005, 26% in 2006 and 17.6% in 2007 and it's expected to stay above 10% for the rest of the decade. The security brought about by the 2002 peace settlement has led to the resettlement of 4 million displaced persons, thus resulting in large-scale increases in agriculture production.
The country's economy has grown since achieving political stability in 2002. However, it faces huge social and economic problems as a result of the almost continual state of conflict from 1961 onwards, although the highest level of destruction and socio-economic damage took place after the 1975 independence, during the long years of civil war. The oil sector, with its fast-rising earnings has been the main driving force behind improvements in overall economic activity – nevertheless, poverty remains widespread. Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International rated Angola one of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world in 2005. The capital city is the most developed and the only large economic centre worth mentioning in the country, however, slums called musseques, stretch for miles beyond Luanda's former city limits.
Before independence in 1975, Angola was a breadbasket of southern Africa and a major exporter of bananas, coffee and sisal, but three decades of civil war (1975–2002) destroyed the fertile countryside, leaving it littered with landmines and driving millions into the cities. The country now depends on expensive food imports, mainly from South Africa and Portugal, while more than 90 percent of farming is done at family and subsistence level. Thousands of Angolan small-scale farmers are trapped in poverty.
Transport in Angola consists of:
Angola is composed of Ovimbundu 37%, Mbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, mestiços (mixed European and native African) 2%, European 1%, and 22% 'other' ethnic groups. The two Mbundu and Ovimbundu nations combined form a majority of the population, at 62%.
It is estimated that Angola was host to 12,100 refugees and 2,900 asylum seekers by the end of 2007. 11,400 of those refugees were originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) who arrived in the 1970s. As of 2008 there were an estimated 400,000 DRC migrant workers, at least 30,000 Portuguese, and 100,000+ Chinese living in Angola. Prior to independence in 1975, Angola had a community of approximately 500,000 Portuguese.
Portuguese is spoken as a first language by 80% of the population, and as a second language by another 20%. The dominance of Portuguese over the native Kimbundu and other African languages is due to a strong influence from Portugal, as opposed to in Mozambique, which being more remote from the Lusosphere, retained a majority of Bantu language speakers.
Christianity is the major religion in Angola. The World Christian Database states that the Angolan population is 93.5% Christian, 4.7% ethnoreligionist (indigenous), 0.6% Muslim, 0.9% Agnostic and 0.2% non-religious. However, other sources put the percent of Christians at 53% with the remaining population adhering to indigenous beliefs. According to these sources, of Christians in Angola, 72% are Roman Catholic, and 28% are Baptist, Presbyterian, Reformed Evangelical, Pentecostal, Methodists and a few smaller Christian denominations.
In a study assessing nations' levels of religious regulation and persecution with scores ranging from 0–10 where 0 represented low levels of regulation or persecution, Angola was scored 0.8 on Government Regulation of Religion, 4.0 on Social Regulation of Religion, 0 on Government Favoritism of Religion and 0 on Religious Persecution.
The largest Protestant denominations include the Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists (United Church of Christ), and Assemblies of God. The largest syncretic religious group is the Kimbanguist Church, whose followers believe that a mid-20th century Congolese pastor named Joseph Kimbangu was a prophet. A small portion of the country's rural population practices animism or traditional indigenous religions. There is a small Islamic community based around migrants from West Africa.
In colonial times, the country's coastal populations primarily were Catholic while the Protestant mission groups were active inland. With the massive social displacement caused by 26 years of civil war, this rough division is no longer valid.
Foreign missionaries were very active prior to independence in 1975, although the Portuguese colonial authorities expelled many Protestant missionaries and closed mission stations based on the belief that the missionaries were inciting pro-independence sentiments. Missionaries have been able to return to the country since the early 1990s, although security conditions due to the civil war have prevented them from restoring many of their former inland mission stations.
The Roman Catholic denomination mostly keeps to itself in contrast to the major Protestant denominations which are much more active in trying to win new members. The major Protestant denominations provide help for the poor in the form of crop seeds, farm animals, medical care and education in the English language, math, history and religion.
A 2007 survey concluded that low and deficient niacin status was common in Angola. Epidemics of cholera, malaria, rabies and African hemorrhagic fevers like Marburg hemorrhagic fever, are common diseases in several parts of the country. Many regions in this country have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates. Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in the region. Angola has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world and the world's 2nd lowest life expectancies.
Although by law, education in Angola is compulsory and free for 8 years, the government reports that a certain percentage of students are not attending school due to a lack of school buildings and teachers. Students are often responsible for paying additional school-related expenses, including fees for books and supplies.
In 1999, the gross primary enrollment rate was 74 percent and in 1998, the most recent year for which data are available, the net primary enrollment rate was 61 percent. Gross and net enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. There continue to be significant disparities in enrollment between rural and urban areas. In 1995, 71.2 percent of children ages 7 to 14 years were attending school. It is reported that higher percentages of boys attend school than girls. During the Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), nearly half of all schools were reportedly looted and destroyed, leading to current problems with overcrowding.
The Ministry of Education hired 20,000 new teachers in 2005, and continued to implement teacher trainings. Teachers tend to be underpaid, inadequately trained, and overworked (sometimes teaching two or three shifts a day). Teachers also reportedly demand payment or bribes directly from their students. Other factors, such as the presence of landmines, lack of resources and identity papers, and poor health also prevent children from regularly attending school. Although budgetary allocations for education were increased in 2004, the education system in Angola continues to be extremely under-funded.
Literacy is quite low, with 67.4% of the population over the age of 15 able to read and write in Portuguese. 82.9% of males and 54.2% of women are literate as of 2001. Since independence from Portugal in 1975, a number of Angolan students continued to be admitted every year at high schools, polytechnical institutes, and universities Portuguese, Brazilian and Cuban through bilateral agreements; in general these students belong to the Angolan elites.
Portugal ruled over Angola for 400 years and both countries share cultural aspects: language (Portuguese) and main religion (Roman Catholic Christianity). The Angolan culture is mostly native Bantu which was mixed with Portuguese culture.
|Institute for Economics and Peace ||Global Peace Index||100 out of 144|
|United Nations Development Programme||Human Development Index||143 out of 182|
|Transparency International||Corruption Perceptions Index||162 out of 180|
|Government||Republic, nominally a multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system|
|Area||total: 1,246,700 km2
water: 0 km2
land: 1,246,700 km2
|Population||12,127,071 (July 2006 est.)|
|Language||Portuguese (official), Bantu and other African languages|
|Religion||Indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 est.)|
Mussulo Island is a beautiful extension of land situated in the south of Luanda. It is famous for its natural beauty. It is a place one has to visit, one of the most known tourist attractions in Luanda. There we can find everything, from fishermen to the most beautiful and modern restaurants, you can have your sun tan, hide below the shadows of coconut trees and palm trees, relax with peace of mind, have fun with diverse aquatic sports, find accommodations in paradisiac motels, and explore some of the typical food like: ‘pirão’, funge, moamba.
The people of Angola are stoics. They have a deep understanding of patience, and they know that it will always turn out right, no matter what, because now peace has been brought. They can go to school, play, dance, work, and live without fear. One thing that isn't there today will arrive and be here tomorrow. Life is a truly Angolan art.
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.
Also, be aware of the power related problems in Angola. If you plan to rent a house, you for sure should rent a house with a generator. Power outages are quite frequent.
Almost 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. According to the Angolan government, you need an international vaccination certificate is required for entry as well indicating yellow fever inoculation within the last ten years. However, at least on the Namibian/Angolan border, this is not an issue. You also need a letter of invitation from a private individual, organization, or company stating that they will take responsibility for your stay. Namibians don't need a visa for Angola. When obtaining a visa from countries to the north you will often only be issued a five day transit visa for Angola, if travelling by road this will only give you enough time to get to Luanda where it takes up to four days to get another five day transit visa. If your coming into Angola from DR Congo you may well need an Angolan visa before entering DR Congo.
Luanda-4-de-Fevereiro is situated 4km outside Luanda. There are public phones and bank facilities at the airport.
Reliable Taxi facilities are pretty much non-existent Eco Tur do run reliable airport transfers.
From the United States: Sonair's Houston non-stop Express. The company is the first to provide direct transportation of passengers and cargo between Angola and the United States. The airline provides three times weekly service from Houston to Luanda on a specially equipped MD-11, operated in a wet lease arrangement with Global Aero Logistic's certificated World Airways, with 12 super first class seats, 78 Business class seats, and 23 super coach seats. 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 the Congo (Kinshasa) and the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). TAAG recently started to have two or three weekly flights to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
There are no railroad links between Angola and other nations.
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. Off the beaten track, road conditions might not be quite what you are used to so be prepared, particularly during the rainy season where potholes are likely to be a frequent occurence. Also, keep a look out for livestock and the overloaded vehicles of the Angolan residents.
There are no bus links between Angola and other nations.
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. There are (as of 2007) ferries running from the enclave of Cabinda to Luanda, which can be useful to avoid the unstable DRC. They carry cars as well. Seek local advice for when they depart. Sources claim that they run twice a week, cost $180 per person (bike included), and take 14 hours to do the trip (2005). If there are no ferries, there might be cargo planes that you (and your car) can ride on between Cabinda and Luanda . Be warned - these planes are unsafe. Use them at your own peril.
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. Benguela Rail road. fantastic scenery !
In Kwanza Sul - Cubal Canyon, Conde Hot springs and Cachoeiras / Binga Waterfalls, Cambambe Dam on River Kwanza. Waku Kungo plains, fantastic scenery!
In Huila - Serra de Leba, Tunbda Vala Gorge, Mumuila tribes people, fantastic scenery and much more !
In Namibe - Arcao, Beaches and Desert, Mucubais Tribes People,
In Huambo - City Tours, Alto Hama hot springs, fantastic scenery.
In Cunene - Himba tribes peoople, Ruacana Falls, fantastic scenery.
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. Also, due to the fact that lots of people migrate from neighbouring countries to Angola, it is sometimes possible to use French and Afrikaans (for Namibian / South African people).
There is little literature on Angola available at all, and most of the available literature is in Portuguese or (in some cases) French. Bay of Tigers: An Odyssey through War-torn Angola by Pedro Rosa Mendes was translated from the Portuguese and published by Harcourt in 2003. Mendes traveled across the country by train in 1997 while the war was still going on in Angola, very fascinating look at the people and the nature of life there during the war.
Try also John Frederick Walker's "A Certain Curve OF Horn" documenting the history of the magnificent and sub species of Antelope unique to Angola - "Palanca Negra Gigante" (Hippotragus níger variani).
Another excellent read is Ryszard Kapuściński's compelling journalistic narrative Another Day of Life in which he reports on the chaotic period leading up to Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975. As one of the only journalists in Angola during this very dangerous period his perspective is rare and full of insight.
The official currency of Angola is the kwanza (AOA). It is prohibited to import or export any sum of kwanza, and attempting to do so will result in confiscation of the currency and penalties levied.
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.
Generally, eating and dining out 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 tasty, 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 organic methods, and rich fruit flavors, unusual to the Western palate accustomed 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. Credit cards will not be accepted.
World class hotels include the Tropico Hotel, Alvalade Hotel, Le President Meridien Hotel, Continental Hotel, Palm Beach Hotel among others.
In general, you shouldn't travel within Angola without the assistance of qualified personnel. However, if you follow some basic rules, traveling in Angola isn't dangerous. First of all, traveling after dark and alone is never a good idea. If possible, join with several cars of the same make and model because of the possible need for spare parts. Carry a satellite telephone in the case of a breakdown or other emergency. Be aware, that while Iridium  satellite phones has global coverage, Thuraya satellite phones has coverage in most of Angola, but may not have coverage in the southern parts of the country (check the Angola Thuraya coverage  map for details).
For the city of Luanda, other rules apply. Stay in your car (with the doors locked) while you're 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). Photography will result, at best, in a very heavy fine, but could also have more dire consequences. Throughout Angola, taking photographs of sites and installations of military or security interest, including government buildings, may result in arrest or fines and should be avoided.
Travelers should also be advised that the Angolan currency (the Kwanza) may not be taken out of the country, and travelers are subject to confiscation of local currency at the airport.
NEVER step beyond the red and white HALO Trust posts. These denote mine fields. In fact, beware of anything surrounded by any kind of red stones or similar markers.
Travelers should only drink mineral water or, in an emergency, boiled water, because water in Angola is untreated and therefore tap water is not safe. Because malaria is endemic to this country, travelers should also avoid mosquito bites by using with insect repellent and repellent-impregnated bed nets. Futhermore, there is a risk of being bitten by the tse tse fly while in Angola, which causes sleeping sickness; consult a doctor immediately if you start having insomnia.
AIDS and HIV is prevalent among adults in Angola at 4.0% or 1 in 25. Avoid having unprotected sex.
Avoid speaking of Angolan & Namibian relations;
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.
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ANGOLA, the general name of the Portuguese possessions on the west coast of Africa south of the equator. With the exception of the enclave of Kabinda the province lies wholly south of the river Congo. Bounded on the W. by the Atlantic Ocean, it extends along the coast from the southern bank of the Congo (6° S., 12° E.) to the mouth of the Kunene river (17° 18' S., 1 1° 50' E.). The coast-line is some 900 m. long. On the north the Congo forms for 80 m. the boundary separating Angola from the Congo Free State. The frontier thence (in 5° 52' S.) goes due east to the Kwango river. The eastern boundary - dividing the Portuguese possessions from the Congo State and Barotseland (N.W. Rhodesia) - is a highly irregular line. On the south Angola borders German South-West Africa, the frontier being drawn somewhat S. of the 17th degree of S. latitude. The area of the province is about 480,000 sq. m. The population is estimated (1906) at 4,119,000.
The name Angola (a Portuguese corruption of the Bantu word Ngola) is sometimes confined to the 105 m. of coast, with its hinterland, between the mouths of the rivers Dande and Kwanza, forming the central portion of the Portuguese dominions in West Africa; in a looser manner Angola is used to designate all the western coast of Africa south of the Congo in the possession of Portugal; but the name is now officially applied to the whole of the province. Angola is divided into five districts: four on the coast, the fifth, Lunda, wholly inland, being the N.E. part of the province. Lunda is part of the old Bantu kingdom of Muata Yanvo, divided by international agreement between Portugal and the Congo Free State.
The coast divisions of Angola are Congo on the N. (from the river Congo to the river Loje), corresponding roughly with the limits of the "kingdom of Congo" (see History below); Loanda, which includes Angola in the most restricted sense mentioned above; Benguella and Mossamedes to the south. Mossamedes is again divided into two portions - the coast region and the hinterland, known as Huilla.
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The coast is for the most part flat, with occasional low cliffs and bluffs of red sandstone. There is but one deep inlet of the sea - Great Fish Bay (or Bahia dos Tigres), a little north of the Portuguese-German frontier. Farther north are Port Alexander, Little Fish Bay and Lobito Bay, while shallower bays are numerous. Lobito Bay has water sufficient to allow large ships to unload close inshore. The coast plain extends inland for a distance varying from 30 to zoo m. This region is in general sparsely watered and somewhat sterile. The approach to the great central plateau of Africa is marked by a series of irregular terraces. This intermediate mountain belt is covered with luxuriant vegetation. Water is fairly abundant, though in the dry season obtainable only by digging in the sandy beds of the rivers. The plateau has an altitude ranging from 4000 to 6000 ft. It consists of well-watered, wide, rolling plains, and low hills with scanty vegetation. In the east the tableland falls away to the basins of the Congo and Zambezi, to the south it merges into a barren sandy desert. A large number of rivers make their way westward to the sea; they rise, mostly, in the mountain belt, and are unimportant, the only two of any size being the Kwanza and the Kunene, separately noticed. The mountain chains which form the edge of the plateau, or diversify its surface, run generally parallel to the coast, as Tala Mugongo (44 00 ft.), Chella and Vissecua (5250 ft. to 650o ft.). In the district of Benguella are the highest points of the province, viz. Loviti (7780 ft.), in ¶2° 5' S., and Mt. Elonga (7550 ft.). South of the Kwanza is the volcanic mountain Caculo-Cabaza (3300 ft.). From the tableland the Kwango and many other streams flow north to join the Kasai (one of the largest affluents of the Congo), which in its upper course forms for fully 300 m. the boundary between Angola and the Congo State. In the south-east part of the province the rivers belong either to the Zambezi system, or, like the Okavango, drain to Lake Ngami.
==Geology== The rock formations of Angola are met with in three distinct regions: (1) the littoral zone, (2) the median zone formed by a series of hills more or less parallel with the coast, (3) the central plateau. The central plateau consists of ancient crystalline rocks with granites overlain by unfossiliferous sandstones and conglomerates considered to be of Palaeozoic age. The outcrops are largely hidden under laterite. The median zone is composed largely of crystalline rocks with granites and some Palaeozoic unfossiliferous rocks. The littoral zone contains the only fossiliferous strata. These are of Tertiary and Cretaceous ages, the latter rocks resting on a reddish sandstone of older date. The Cretaceous rocks of the Dombe Grande region (near Benguella) are of Albian age and belong to the Acanthoceras mamillari zone. The beds containing Schloenbachia inflata are referable to the Gault. Rocks of Tertiary age are met with at Dombe Grande, Mossamedes and near Loanda. The sandstones with gypsum, copper and sulphur of Dombe are doubtfully considered to be of Triassic age. Recent eruptive rocks, mainly basalts, form a line of hills almost bare of vegetation between Benguella and Mossamedes. Nepheline basalts and liparites occur at Dombe Grande. The presence of gum copal in considerable quantities in the superficial rocks is characteristic of certain regions.
With the exception of the district of Mossamedes, the coast plains are unsuited to Europeans. In the interior, above 3300 ft., the temperature and rainfall, together with malaria, decrease. The plateau climate is healthy and invigorating. The mean annual temperature at Sao Salvador do Congo is 72.5° F.; at Loanda, 74.3 0; and at Caconda, 67.2°. The climate is greatly influenced by the prevailing winds, which are W., S.W. and S.S.W. Two seasons are distinguished - the cool, from June to September; and the rainy, from October to May. The heaviest rainfall occurs in April, and is accompanied by violent storms.
==Flora and Fauna== Both flora and fauna are those characteristic of the greater part of tropical Africa. As far south as Benguella the coast region is rich in oil-palms and mangroves. In the northern part of the province are dense forests. In the south towards the Kunene are regions of dense thorn scrub. Rubber vines and trees are abundant, but in some districts their number has been considerably reduced by the ruthless methods adopted by native collectors of rubber. The species most common are various root rubbers, notably the Carpodinus chylorrhiza. This species and other varieties of carpodinus are very widely distributed. Landolphias are also found. The coffee, cotton and Guinea pepper plants are indigenous, and the tobacco plant flourishes in several districts. Among the trees are several which yield excellent timber, such as the tacula (Pterocarpus tinctorius), which grows to an immense size, its wood being blood-red in colour, and the Angola mahogany. The bark of the musuemba (Albizzia coriaria) is largely used in the tanning of leather. The mulundo bears a fruit about the size of a cricket ball covered with a hard green shell and containing scarlet pips like a pomegranate. The fauna includes the lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, buffalo, zebra, kudu and many other kinds of antelope, wild pig, ostrich and crocodile. Among fish are the barbel, bream and African yellow fish.
The great majority of the inhabitants are of Bantu-Negro stock with some admixture in the Congo district with the pure negro type. In the south-east are various tribes of Bushmen. The best-known of the Bantu-Negro tribes are the Ba-Kongo (Ba-Fiot), who dwell chiefly in the north, and the Abunda (Mbunda, Ba-Bundo), who occupy the central part of the province, which takes its name from the Ngola tribe of Abunda. Another of these tribes, the Bangala, living on the west bank of the upper Kwango, must not be confounded with the Bangala of the middle Congo. In the Abunda is a considerable strain of Portuguese blood. The Ba-Lunda inhabit the Lunda district. Along the upper Kunene and in other districts of the plateau are settlements of Boers, the Boer population being about 2000. In the coast towns the majority of the white inhabitants are Portuguese. The Mushi-Kongo and other divisions of the Ba-Kongo retain curious traces of the Christianity professed by them in the 16th and 17th centuries and possibly later. Crucifixes are used as potent fetish charms or as symbols of power passing down from chief to chief; whilst every native has a "Santu" or Christian name and is dubbed dom or dona. Fetishism is the prevailing religion throughout the province. The dwelling-places of the natives are usually small huts of the simplest constuction, used chiefly as sleeping apartments; the day is spent in an open space in front of the hut protected from the sun by a roof of palm or other leaves.
The chief towns are Sao Paulo de Loanda, the capital, Kabinda, Benguella and Mossamedes. Lobito, a little north of Benguella, is a town which dates from 1905 and owes its existence to the bay of the same name having been chosen as the sea terminus of a railway to the far interior. Noki is on the southern bank of the Congo at the head of navigation from the sea, and close to the Congo Free State frontier. It is available for ships of large tonnage, and through it passes the Portuguese portion of the trade of the lower Congo. Ambriz - the only seaport of consequence in the Congo district of the province - is at the mouth of the Loje river, about 70 m. N. of Loanda. Novo Redondo and Egito are small ports between Loanda and Benguella. Port Alexander is in the district of Mossamedes and S. of the town of that name.
In the interior Humpata, about 95 m. from Mossamedes, is the chief centre of the Boer settlers; otherwise there are none but native towns containing from 1000 to 3000 inhabitants and often enclosed by a ring of sycamore trees. Ambaca and Malanje are the chief places in the fertile agricultural district of the middle Kwanza, S.E. of Loanda, with which they are in railway communication. Sao Salvador (pop. 1500) is the name given by the Portuguese to Bonza Congo, the chief town of the "kingdom of Congo." It stands 1840 ft. above sea-level and is about 160 m. inland and 100 S.E. of the river port of Noki, in 6° 15' S. Of the cathedral and other stone buildings erected in the 16th century, there exist but scanty ruins. The city walls were destroyed in the closing years of the 19th century and the stone used to build government offices. There is a fort, built about 1850, and a small military force is at the disposal of the Portuguese resident. Bembe and Encoje are smaller towns in the Congo district south of Sao Salvador. Bihe, the capital of the plateau district of the same name forming the hinterland of Benguella, is a large caravan centre. Kangomba, the residence of the king of Bihe, is a large town. Caconda is in the hill country S.E. of Benguella.
Agriculture and Trade. - Angola is rich in both agricultural and mineral resources. Amongst the cultivated products are mealies and manioc, the sugar-cane and cotton, coffee and tobacco plants. The chief exports are coffee, rubber, wax, palm kernels and palm-oil, cattle and hides and dried or salt fish. Gold dust, cotton, ivory and gum are also exported. The chief imports are food-stuffs, cotton and woollen goods and hardware. Considerable quantities of coal come from South Wales. Oxen, introduced from Europe and from South Africa, flourish. There are sugar factories, where rum is also distilled and a few other manufactures, but the prosperity of the province depends on the "jungle" products obtained through the natives and from the plantations owned by Portuguese and worked by indentured labour, the labourers being generally "recruited" from the far interior. The trade of the province, which had grown from about 800,000 in 1870 to about 3,000,000 in 1905, is largely with Portugal and in Portuguese bottoms. Between 1893 and 1904 the percentage of Portuguese as compared with foreign goods entering the province increased from 43 to 201 70, a result due to the preferential duties in force.
The minerals found include thick beds of copper at Bembe, and deposits on the M'Brije and the Cuvo and in various places in the southern part of the province; iron at Ociras (on the Lucalla affluent of the Kwanza) and in Bailundo; petroleum and asphalt in Dande and Quinzao; gold in Lombije and Cassinga; and mineral salt in Quissama. The native blacksmiths are held in great repute.
There is a regular steamship communication between Portugal, England and Germany, and Loanda., which port is within sixteen days' steam of Lisbon. There is also a regular service between Cape Town, Lobito and Lisbon and Southampton. The Portuguese line is subsidized by the government. The railway from Loanda to Ambaca and Malanje is known as the Royal Trans-African railway. It is of metre gauge, was begun in 1887 and is some 300 m. long. It was intended to carry the line across the continent to Mozambique, but when the line reached Ambaca (225 m.) in 1894 that scheme was abandoned. The railway had created a record in being the most expensive built in tropical Africa-8942 per mile. A railway from Lobito Bay, 25 m. N. of Benguella, begun in 1904, runs towards the Congo-Rhodesia frontier. It is of standard African gauge (3 ft. 6 in.) and is worked by an English company. It is intended to serve the Katanga copper mines. Besides these two main railways, there are other short lines linking the seaports to their hinterland. Apart from the railways, communication is by ancient caravan routes and by ox-wagon tracks in the southern district. Riding-oxen are also used. The province is well supplied with telegraphic communication and is connected with Europe by submarine cables.
The administration of the province is carried on under a governor-general, resident at Loanda, who acts under the direction of the ministry of the colonies at Lisbon. At the head of each district is a local governor. Legislative powers, save those delegated to the governor-general, are exercised by the home government. Revenue is raised chiefly from customs, excise duties and direct taxation. The revenue (in 1904-1905 about £350,000) is generally insufficient to meet expenditure (in 1904-1905 over £490,000) - the balance being met by a grant from the mother country. Part of the extra expenditure is, however, on railways and other reproductive works.
The Portuguese established themselves on the west coast of Africa towards the close of the I 5th century. The river Congo was discovered by Diogo Cam or Cao in 1482. He erected a stone pillar at the mouth of the river, which accordingly took the title of Rio de Padrao, and established friendly relations with the natives, who reported that the country was subject to a great monarch, Mwani Congo or lord of Congo, resident at Bonza Congo. The Portuguese were not long in making themselves influential in the country. Gon9alo de Sousa was despatched on a formal embassy in 1490; and the first missionaries entered the country in his train. The king was soon afterwards baptized and Christianity was nominally established as the national religion. In 1534 a cathedral was founded at Bonza Congo (renamed Sao Salvador), and in 1560 the Jesuits arrived with Paulo Diaz de Novaes. Of the prosperity of the country the Portuguese have left the most glowing and indeed incredible accounts. It was, however, about this time ravaged by cannibal invaders (Bangala) from the interior, and Portuguese influence gradually declined. The attention of the Portuguese was, moreover, now turned more particularly to the southern districts of Angola. In 1627 the bishop's seat was removed to Sao Paulo de Loanda and Sao Salvador declined in importance. In the 18th century, in spite of hindrances from Holland and France, steps were taken towards re-establishing Portuguese authority in the northern regions; in 1758 a settlement was formed at Encoje; from 1784 to 1789 the Portuguese carried on a war against the natives of Mussolo (the district immediately south of Ambriz); in 1 791 they built a fort at Quincollo on the Loje, and for a time they worked the mines of Bembe. Until, however, the "scramble for Africa" began in 1884, they possessed no fort or settlement on the coast to the north of Ambriz, which was first occupied in 1855. At Sao Salvador, however, the Portuguese continued to exercise influence. The last of the native princes who had real authority was a potentate known as Dom Pedro V. He was placed on the throne in 1855 with the help of a Portuguese force, and reigned over thirty years. In 1888 a Portuguese resident was stationed at Salvador, and the kings of Congo became pensioners of the government.
Angola proper, and the whole coast-line of what now constitutes the province of that name, was discovered by Diogo Cam during 1482 and the three following years. The first governor sent to Angola was Paulo Diaz, a grandson of Bartholomew Diaz, who reduced to submission the region south of the Kwanza nearly as far as Benguella. The city of Loanda was founded in 1576, Benguella in 1617. From that date the sovereignty of Portugal over the coast-line, from its present southern limit as far north as Ambriz (7° 50' S.) has been undisputed save between 1640 and 1648, during which time the Dutch attempted to expel the Portuguese and held possession of the ports. Whilst the economic development of the country was not entirely neglected and many useful food products were introduced, the prosperity of the province was very largely dependent on the slave trade with Brazil, which was not legally abolished until 1830 and in fact continued for many years subsequently.
In 1884 Great Britain, which up to that time had steadily refused to acknowledge that Portugal possessed territorial rights north of Ambriz, concluded a treaty recognizing Portuguese sovereignty over both banks of the lower Congo; but the treaty, meeting with opposition in England and Germany, was not ratified. Agreements concluded with the Congo Free State, Germany and France in 1885-1886 (modified in details by subsequent arrangements) fixed the limits of the province, except in the S.E., where the frontier between Barotseland (N.W. Rhodesia) and Angola was determined by an Anglo-Portuguese agreement of 1891 and the arbitration award of the king of Italy in 1905 (see Africa: History). Up to the end of the 19th century the hold of Portugal over the interior of the province was slight, though its influence extended to the Congo and Zambezi basins. The abolition of the external slave trade proved very injurious to the trade of the seaports, but from 1860 onward the agricultural resources of the country were developed with increasing energy, a work in which Brazilian merchants took the lead. After the definite partition of Africa among the European powers, Portugal applied herself with some seriousness to exploit Angola and her other African possessions. Nevertheless, in comparison with its natural wealth the development of the country has been slow. Slavery and the slave trade continued to flourish in the interior in the early years of the 10th century, despite the prohibitions of the Portuguese government. The extension of authority over the inland tribes proceeded very slowly and was not accomplished without occasional reverses. Thus in September 1904 a Portuguese column lost over 300 men killed, including 114 Europeans, in an encounter with the Kunahamas on the Kunene, not far from the German frontier. The Kunahamas are a wild, raiding tribe and were probably largely influenced by the revolt of their southern neighbours, the Hereros, against the Germans. In 1905 and again in 1907 there was renewed fighting in the same region.
Authorities.-E. de Vasconcellos, As Colonias Portuguesas (Lisbon, 1896-1897); J. J. Monteiro, Angola and the River Congo (2 vols. London, 1875); Viscount de Paiva Manso, Historia do Congo. (Documentos) (Lisbon, 1877); A Report of the Kingdom of Congo (London, 1881), an English translation, with notes by Margarite Hutchinson, of Filippo Pigafetta's Relatione del Reame di Congo (Rome, 1591), a book founded on the statements and writings of Duarte Lopez; Rev. Thos. Lewis, "The Ancient Kingdom of Kongo" in Geographical Journal, vol. xix. and vol. xxxi. (London, 1902 and 1908); The Strange Adventures of Andrew Battell of Leigh in Angola and the Adjoining Regions (London, 1901), a volume of the Hakluyt Society, edited by E. G. Ravenstein, who gives in appendices the history of the country from its discovery to the end of the 17th century; J. C. Feo Cardozo, Memorias contendo. ... a historia dos governadores e capitaens generaes de Angola, desde 1575 ate 1825 (Paris, 1825); H. W. Nevinson, A Modern Slavery (London, 1906), an examination of the system of indentured labour and its recruitment; Ornithologie d'Angola, by J. V. Barboza du Bocage (Lisbon, 1881); "Geologie des Colonies portugaises en Afrique," by P. Choffat, in Corn. d. service geol. du Portugal. See also the annual reports on the Trade of Angola, issued by the British Foreign Office.
|The 1922 extension to the 1911 encyclopedia has updated
information on this subject.
See Angola (Portuguese West Africa) for this information.
Declension of Angola (type kulkija)
|Republic of Angola|
|National motto:|| Virtus Unita Fortior |
(Latin: Unity Provides Strength)
|National anthem:|| Angola Avante!|
(Portuguese: Forward Angola!)
|About the people|
|Population: (# of people)|
|- Total:||10,978,552 (estimated) (ranked 72)|
|- Density:||8.6 per km²|
|Geography / Places|
|[[Image:|250px|none|country map]] Here is the country on a map.|
|- Total:||1,246,700 (ranked 22)|
|- Water:||n/a km² (n/a%)|
|Politics / Government|
|Established:|| Independence from Portugal |
on November 11, 1975
|Leaders:|| President José Eduardo dos Santos|
Prime Minister Paulo Kassoma
|Economy / Money|
(Name of money)
|Telephone dialing code:||244|
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