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Located in Central Africa, the Republic of Angola sits along the Atlantic Coast and has numerous Portuguese influences throughout its culture.
Each ethnic community within the nation follows its own traits and traditions, but a combined heritage from the colonial period has gained in dominance as well.
Visiting Angola often means reserving time to explore Luanda. This island features tropical beaches that are clean and well-kept. Marine sports are available and you won’t want to miss the Benfica Market.
Beautiful desert beaches can be found in Baia Azul. Namibe features eco-tourism opportunities with the Mucubais people, as well as a chane to explore the Arco Lagoon. Many of the cities offer guided tours to see the primary sites while providing glimpses and interactions with local ethnic influences.
If you have the time, be sure to make your way to Kalandula Falls. Located in Malanje, on the Lucala River, the falls are over 100m in height and they are 400m across. By volume, it is one of the largest waterfalls on the African continent. Even if the visit occurs during the dry season, when the falls are mostly inactive, the trek is worth the effort.
There can be certain challenges to a stay in Angola with its history of conflict. Designated HALO zones, for example, denote mine fields, so watch for red stones or similar markers while you travel. Having a qualified guide can be very helpful and make your stay much more enjoyable. That way you can enjoy all of the natural wonders Angola and coastal Africa can offer.
More information about Angola.
Angola is bordered by Namibia in the south, Zambia in the east and the Republic of Congo, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the north.
The regions of Angola
The population centre of the country and home to the capital Luanda
Northern area mostly bordering Democratic Republic of the Congo with significant areas of rainforest
A series of irregular, high escarpments which drop steeply to the nation’s best beaches on the Atlantic coast
the most arid region of the country with savanna plains and the northern continuation of the Namibian desert
The “empty” party of Angola, savannah plains intersected by five great rivers
Northern exclave on the Atlantic ocean with a huge proportion of the nation’s oil reserves, beautiful rainforests, and an active secessionist movement
Angola was a Portuguese overseas territory from the 16th century to 1975. The Portuguese were nearly all exiled convicts who became slave traders and later participants in the “forced labour” trade. 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, these riches are in the hands of the “big people”: Angola’s politicians, miners, oilmen and the associated multinational corporations. Angola’s 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.
Like the rest of tropical Africa, Angola experiences distinct, alternating rainy and dry seasons.
The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela Current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Peru or Baja California. It is semiarid in the South and along the coast to Luanda. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry,the country do not have winter. The northern part has a cool, dry season (May to October) and a hot, rainy season (November to April). In the interior, above 3,300 ft (1,006 m), the temperature and rainfall decrease. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October.
The heaviest rainfall occurs in April, and is accompanied by violent storms. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.