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Angola travel guide

Little-visited Angola, nestling north of Namibia, is a place for pioneers - hike its deserts, visit its waterfalls and explore its cities with few other tourists

Yes, Angola endured decades of civil war, but it's come out the other side and is slowly returning to its former glory. Angola is not a country for beginners. As yet, there is limited infrastructure and accommodation, but for travellers looking for adventure without the crowds, it's a joy.

With terrain ranging from tropical rainforest in the north, desert dunes in the south and the third-highest waterfalls in Africa, there's plenty to see. The Tunda-Vala volcanic gorge near Lubango offers spectacular views of the valley below, while the fortress of Sao Miguel is the perfect vantage point from which to see Luanda in all its glory. For beaches and whale watching, colonial Namibe is the place.

Angolans are a fun-loving bunch and the nightlife in Luanda is jumping, especially around the carnival in February. Visit Angola now before everyone else does.

Wanderlust recommends

As substantial areas of Angola really haven't developed to accommodate any form of tourism, most travel is restricted along the coast south of Luanda towards the Namib Desert.

  1. Visit edgy Luanda, home to some fine colonial architecture, great dining, and good markets
  2. Shop at a local market at the coastal town of Namibe, also a good town for whale-watching
  3. Hang out with the elephants in Kissama National Park
  4. See unearthly landscapes and cave paintings in the Namib desert
  5. Fish, lounge or swim - there are many fine beaches around Lobito, especially Baia Azul and Praia Morena.
  6. Photograph the Kalandula Waterfalls, especially impressive at the end of the rainy season

Wanderlust tips

Angola is still recovering from a long civil war and infrastructure is basic. Have patience, be on your guard against crime and carry certified copies of your documents - there are on the spot fines for not carrying valid ID.

If you're camping in the wild, you should register with the nearest immigration office or with the local police - again, you risk being fined you don't.

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