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Skyna Hotel
Skyna Hotel - dream vacation

Avenida de Portugal, No 29, IngombotasLuanda

Rouxinol Luxury Guesthouse
Rouxinol Luxury Guesthouse - dream vacation

Beco de Mocambique, n0 16, Bairro CruzeiroLuanda

Angola is a country in Central Africa. It shares borders with Namibia, Zambia, and the two Congos.

Formerly a Portuguese colony, travel allows one to explore the second-largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world. Since the end of the Angolan Civil War in 2002, the country's tourism industry has been steadily growing and continues to attract 500,000 - 600,000 people each year.

Endowed with beautiful waterfalls, rivers, national parks, and coastlines, there is plenty to do and see in Angola, a hidden gem.



  • Luanda — the massive, overcrowded, chaotic, and incredibly expensive capital of the country, filled with nightlife and culture, a jarring mix of wealthy expats in the oil industry and the masses of destitute migrants from the rest of the country.
  • Benguela — the most tourist-friendly city in one of the world's least touristy countries, with a strong Carnavale tradition, pretty oceanfront, and by the nation's best beaches.
  • Cabinda — the wealthy capital of oil-rich Cabinda Province
  • Huambo — the center of the Ovimbundu region, one of Angola's larger cities that suffered greatly during the civil war, surrounded by much natural beauty.
  • Lobito — a beachfront city, basically part of Benguela, which is the epicentre of Carnavale celebrations.
  • 6 M'banza-Kongo
  • Lubango — a good base for exploring the mountainous escarpment in the center of southern Angola.
  • Malanje — a destination owing to its proximity to tourist attractions like Kalandula Falls, Pungo Andongo, and Cangandala National Park.
  • Menongue — a small city in the remote southeast, the terminus of the Moçâmedes Railway, from Namibe.
  • Namibe — beachfront capital of the desert southwest, and jumping off point for exploring Iona National Park, and excursions to meet Khoisan peoples.

Other destinations

  • 1 Cangandala National Park — Angola's most famous park, a reserve designed to protect the critically endangered Giant Sable antelope, which is the national symbol of Angola.
  • Floresta do Maiombe — a rainforest reserve in Cabinda Province with very high biodiversity and many rivers and waterfalls.
  • Great Escarpment — the steepest mountains of Angola, with scenic drives (4x4 only), opportunities for adventurous hikers, and some spectacular views, most notably the Tundavala Gap.
  • 2 Iona National Park — adjacent to Namibia's Skeleton Coast, a sparsely inhabited desert region, accessible but short on infrastructure, home to some isolated and very traditional semi-nomadic peoples.
  • 3 Kalandula Falls — one of Angola's most famous sights, near Malanje.
  • 4 Kissama National Park — Angola's most accessible park, near Luanda, with accommodations for tourists.
  • 5 Mussulo Island — a beautiful extension of land in the south of Luanda that's famous for its natural beauty; explore some of its local cuisine such as ‘pirão’, funge, and moamba.
  • 6 Pungo Andongo — large, unusual black rock formations, reasonably easy to visit from Luanda or Malanje.
  • Sumbe Caves — beautiful caves in a jungle-filled canyon near the small city of Sumbe, about four hours south of Luanda.


The people of Angola are stoics. They have a deep understanding of patience, and avoid blaming the difficulties the country faces on the fact that there was war. In fact, Angolans behave as if there was no war although it is deeply rooted in every Angolan. Music is the heart and soul of Angolans, it can be heard anywhere and they use anything as an excuse to party. The country has a wide range of music, mainly Kuduro, Kizomba, Semba, and Tarrachinha, the latter being more sensual than all the others. In all, it is safe to say that Angolans are fun and loving people with a thirst for more of what life has to give.

Since the end of the brutal, horrific Angolan Civil War in 2002, the Angolan government is keen on improving the country's international image and opening up Angola to the world. Tourism is still in its nascent stages and it will take some time for things to get back to normal.


Before colonial rule, northern Angola was home to the Kingdom of Kongo, and the capital of it was M'banza-Kongo. The Kingdom of Kongo also had several vassal states, including the kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba, which would unite into a powerful entity in its own right under the rule of Queen Nzinga in the 17th century.

Angola as a Portuguese colony (15th century - 1975)

A Portuguese explorer, Diogo Cão, first discovered the country in 1484. Sometime later, the Portuguese established a trading post at the mouth of the Congo River. The Portuguese colonialists gradually expanded their control over the region, establishing a colonial administration and exploiting Angola's resources for economic gain.

Under Portuguese rule, Angola's society and economy underwent significant transformations. The Portuguese aimed to exploit the region's vast natural resources, including minerals, timber, and agricultural products. They introduced commercial farming, particularly in the fertile northern part, focusing on cash crops such as coffee, cotton, and sisal. The Portuguese even traded enslaved people for plantations, mainly to Brazil.

The Portuguese also forced their language, culture, and religion on the people of Angola. The official language became Portuguese, and the school system was designed to integrate Angolans into Portuguese culture. Christianity, primarily Roman Catholicism, was pushed, resulting in widespread Angolan conversion. Furthermore, the influence of Portuguese culture and religion eroded native African beliefs and practices.

As the winds of change blew over Africa in the mid-twentieth century, nationalist movements in Angola arose, demanding independence from Portuguese control. The most visible of them were the Popular Movement for Angolan Liberation (MPLA), the National Front for Angolan Liberation (FNLA), and the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). These movements fought for independence by armed confrontation, resulting in a lengthy and violent fight.

Finally, on November 11, 1975, Angola gained independence, and the MPLA established a socialist government with support from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

Angolan Civil War (1975 - 2002)

Following independence, Angola was divided into three major factions: the Marxist-Leninist People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA). Each faction had a different vision for the country's future and tried to capture power.

The civil war swiftly grew into a full-fledged struggle marked by guerilla fighting, military offensives, and massive human rights violations. The war's impact on civilians was severe, with millions displaced and massive casualties. The nation's infrastructure was severely damaged, and the war significantly influenced Angola's socioeconomic progress.

Present day (2002 - present)

Since the conclusion of the Angolan Civil War, the country's economy has grown, and the political situation has stabilised considerably; however, the government is still feeling the damaging effects of the civil war. Poverty, malnutrition, and disease are widespread, the standard of living for many Angolans is poor, and the country suffers from high corruption and inequality. Over 70% of Angolans live below $3.20 a day.

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.

Since 2017, the government has made fighting corruption its main agenda. Numerous corrupt politicians have either been jailed or are awaiting trial.


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, while winters are mild. The northern part has a cool, dry season (May to October) and a hot, rainy season (November to April). In the interior, above 1,000m (3,300 ft), 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.


Officially 220 V, 50 Hz. 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 travellers should pack a transforming 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.

Books about Angola

There is very little literature on Angola available 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. His account is a fascinating look at the people and the nature of life there during the war.

John Frederick Walker's A Certain Curve of Horn, documents the history of a sub species of Antelope unique to Angola - "Palanca Negra Gigante" (Hippotragus níger variani).

Ryszard Kapu?ci?ski authored a journalistic narrative called 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 travel writer Paul Theroux visited Angola and wrote about it in his book The Last Train to Zona Verde (2013).

Get in

Entry requirements

Passport holders of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Angola when the purpose of the visit is tourism for up to 90 days (unless otherwise noted): Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Singapore, Zimbabwe.

From 30 March 2018, Angola started issuing tourist visas valid for 30 days in a simplified procedure to visitors from the following 59 countries: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela and Zambia.

Visitors must first apply for a pre-visa online with the Migration and Foreigners Service and after such pre-visa is granted they can obtain a visa on arrival at Luanda Airport. In order to obtain a pre-visa applicants must submit proof of accommodation and subsistence means, a return ticket and the international certificate of vaccination. Visa costs US$120, paid on arrival.

When obtaining a visa from countries to the north, you will often only be issued a 5-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 4 days to get another five day transit visa. If you're coming into Angola from the DR Congo, you may well need an Angolan visa before entering DR Congo.

By plane

Luanda-4-de-Fevereiro is situated 4 km outside Luanda. There are public phones and bank facilities at the airport.

The most reliable taxi system from the airport is Afritaxi. Their white vehicles are clearly marked, and they charge per km or per minute, depending on how bad traffic congestion is. They only operate during daylight hours. Eco Tur also runs reliable airport transfers, but you'll need to book in advance.

  • 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 has three weekly flights to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
  • Air France flies from Paris
  • Airlink flies directly from Johannesburg
  • British Airways offers direct connections between London
  • Brussels Airlines flies from Brussels.
  • Emirates flies directly from Dubai
  • Ethiopian Airways flies from Addis Ababa
  • Lufthansa flies from Frankfurt.
  • Iberia flies from Madrid.
  • Kenya Airways from Nairobi
  • Qatar Airways from Doha
  • TAP Air Portugal flies daily from Lisbon
  • TAME flies from Conakry

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)/Ondjiva(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 occurrence. Also, keep a look out for livestock and the overloaded vehicles of the Angolan residents.

By bus

There are no bus links between Angola and other nations.

By boat

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 DR Congo. 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 [1]. Be warned - these planes are unsafe. Use them at your own peril.

Get around

By bus

There are some bus private companies which offer services as MACOM and SGO being the biggest ones. Those companies offer a wide range of services dealing with locations one wants to travel, especially inter-provincial courses. There are lines that connect most of the major cities of the country, from the coast to the interior. Local minibus transport is not safe.

By train

Angola’s rail system is finally being restored with the help of Chinese firms after more than 30 years of disuse. There are three main lines reflect the country's colonial past, running from the resourceful interior to the coast. They do not connect with each other.

  • The northern line Caminho de Ferro de Luanda (CFL) between the capital Luanda and Malenje is back to full service. There are three classes, Primeira, with reclining leather seats with individual television sets; Exspresso, with comfortable chairs arranged in fours around tables and communal televisions; and Tramway, the cheapest option fitted out with benches to maximize passenger numbers. Ticket prices hover around 2,500 kwanzas ($26; £17). Carriges are clean and modern carriages with functioning toilets and a restaurant car. There are daily departures.
  • The middle line, Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB) have just started services between Lobito, Cubal and Huambo with some trains continuing to Luau at the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. There are several departures per week.
  • The southern route Caminho de Ferro de Mocamedes (CFM) runs between NamibeLubango and Menongue.

By ferry

A passenger ferry links Luanda with the oil port of Soyo and the enclave of Cabinda. Timetables and operators haft shifted over the years, inquiring directly at the harbor is probably the easiest way to get information.

By plane

TAAG Angola Airlines offers scheduled flights around the country departing from Luanda to Cabinda, Catumbela, Dundo, Harare, Huambo, Kuito, Lubango, Luena, Menongue, Moçâmedes, Ondjiva, Saurimo, Soyo and Uíge

By car

The main roads in Luanda and the provinces are in relatively good condition. However, during the rainy season (November to April), bridges and even roads can be washed away by water. When travelling outside Luanda, travel with someone who knows the local conditions, as conditions can be difficult. When travelling in rural areas, beware of landmines. There may be a shortage of petrol. Avoid driving after dark.


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 architecture in BenguelaLobito City for the Restinga Peninsula and ice cold draught Cuca beer, the Benguela Rail road, and fantastic scenery.

In Kwanza Sul - Cubal Canyon, Conde Hot springs and Cachoeiras and 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 tribespeople, fantastic scenery.

In Namibe - Arco Lagoon, beaches and a desert, and Mucubais tribespeople.

In Huambo - City Tours, Alto Hama hot springs, and fantastic scenery.

In Cunene - Himba tribes people, Ruacana Falls, and fantastic scenery.



See also: Portuguese phrasebook

Portuguese is the official language of Angola and is understood by virtually everyone. For clarity, Angolans speak standard Portuguese (European Portuguese).

Other commonly spoken languages include Umbundu, Kikongo, and Kimbundu. This said, those languages have been largely supplanted by the growth of Portuguese among Angolan youth.

English is not widely spoken in Angola, even though it is the most commonly studied foreign language in the country. A solid knowledge of Portuguese is essential if you wish to travel outside of Luanda or travel to Angola independently.



The currency of Angola is the Angolan kwanza, denoted by the symbol "Kz" (ISO code: AOA). It used to be prohibited to import or export any sum of kwanza, but now you can carry up to Kz50,000 out of the country. The kwanza (sometimes called the "new kwanza") replaced the kwanza reajustado at a rate of 1000:1 in 1995. The kwanza reajustado had replaced the novo kwanza at a rate of 1,000,000:1 in 1990. Watch out for old notes and coins.

Coins of Angola are issued in denominations of 10 and 50 cêntimos, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 kwanzas. Banknotes of Angola are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 kwanzas.


Just south of Luanda, the Benfica Handcrafts Market offers the best prices for handicrafts 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 jewellery, batik cloths and accessories.


Generally, dining out is not very easy in Angola, since even in Luanda restaurant food is expensive and many of the less well equipped restaurants have poor hygiene. 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 because artisan production has maintained organic methods so that rich fruit flavours, unusual to the Western palate accustomed to industrially produced tropical fruits, predominate. 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. Restaurants in Luanda grew in numbers and quality after the 2002 ceasefire brought stability and significant investment to the country.

Be careful: when eating out, do not drink tap water, ask for bottled mineral water instead.

Not all restaurants accept US dollars in cash; ask before ordering. Credit cards will not be accepted at most restaurants, although that is rapidly changing.

Signature and national dishes

  • Doro Wat
  • Muamba de galinha (Chicken Muamba)
  • Mufete de cacusso - fish rubbed with fresh lemon and pepper
  • Mufete - grilled fish of your choice (type of fish subject to availability) with boiled sweet potatoes and a mixture of raw finely chopped onions, peppers and tomatoes. Locals like to add beans as a side dish.
  • Calulu a maneira com Funge de bombo
  • Pirão ou funge - polenta made of corn meal and cassava roots. It is also served as the main meal in homes during Christmas.



World class hotels include the Tropico Hotel, the Alvalade Hotel, Le President Meridien Hotel, the Continental Hotel, the Skyna Hotel, the Epic Sana hotel, and the Palm Beach Hotel, among others.

Stay safe

You should consider hiring a trusted and knowledgeable local guide for travel within Angola, although if you follow some basic rules then travelling in Angola isn't dangerous. Travelling 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 of spare parts. Carry a satellite telephone in the case of a breakdown or other emergency. Be aware, that while Iridium [2] satellite phones have global coverage, Thuraya satellite phones have coverage in most of Angola, but may not have coverage in the southern parts of the country.

For the city of Luanda, other rules apply. Stay in your car (with the doors locked) while you're out of 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.

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.

Stay healthy

Medical care is poor and is far below western standards. In addition, due to Angola's location and geography, the country is ideal for many tropical diseases.

Angola is a highly malarial country. To lower your chances of contracting malaria, regularly use insect repellent and consider draping a mosquito net over your bed. You may also want to consider getting vaccinated against the disease before travelling to the country.

Do not drink tap water. There is no water purification system in Angola, which means you should only drink bottled water.

Yellow fever is prevalent in the country. You are normally required to get vaccinated against the disease before applying for an Angolan visa and/or travelling to the country.

Dengue fever is another major health threat.

The country's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among adults is at 1.80% or 1 in 50 people, and some 300,000 - 400,000 Angolans live with the disease. Stay safe and be aware of your surroundings.


Since Angola is rarely visited by tourists, you may attract unwanted attention. This isn't to indicate hostility, it is to indicate curiosity.

Respect for elders is very important. When visiting an Angolan home, it is customary to greet the oldest person first. If you're waiting to enter a building, allow someone older to go in first. If you're on public transportation, give up your seat for someone older than you. As obvious as it may sound, it would be seen as rude manners to directly challenge someone or behave inappropriately in front of someone older than you.

Angolans are extremely hospitable and they consider it impolite to not give someone a good welcome. Therefore, you can expect to be treated with immense respect as a visitor. If you've been invited for a meal at an Angolan person's home, bear in mind that the oldest person in the house starts eating first.

Angolans are attentive listeners. They consider it extremely rude to interrupt someone's conversation.

If travelling to rural areas, take some time to greet the local soba (chief with government-backed authority). Words of kindness will allow you to enjoy your journey in peace.

Angolans are generally amiable, and it is important to greet everyone respectfully and immediately upon seeing them. A simple hello ("Bom dia") will do.


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.

Exercise a high degree of caution; see also regional advisories.

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Province of Cabinda (see Advisory)

Militant groups claiming independence are active in this province and clashes with security forces are possible. Murders and kidnappings have occurred and foreigners have been targeted. This province is remote and access to basic goods and services is restricted. Because the area is not easily accessible, the ability of the Embassy of Canada in Harare (Zimbabwe) and the Consulate of Canada in Luanda to offer assistance is severely limited or non-existent.

Province of Lunda North (see Advisory)

The presence of foreigners in this diamond-producing area may create some tensions, and security forces engaged in the expulsions of illegal diamond miners may be suspicious of foreign observers. Occasionally travellers are asked for a letter from their employer, an organization or an individual explaining the reasons for their travel.

In this remote province, there is restricted access to basic goods and services. Because the area is not easily accessible, the ability of the Embassy of Canada in Harare (Zimbabwe) and the Consulate of Canada in Luanda to offer assistance is severely limited or non-existent.


Crime is a concern throughout the country, including in the capital, Luanda, where it is a regular occurrence. Muggings (particularly for mobile phones) and armed robberies have been reported. Carjackings are also a problem. Four-wheel-drive and luxury vehicles are targeted. Pickpockets are active outside the arrivals and departures gates at the Luanda airport.

Do not show signs of affluence. When withdrawing money, whether from an automated banking machine (ABM), an exchange bureau or a bank, be aware that criminals with phones may be observing, even from inside the building, and may attack you afterwards.

Be vigilant when travelling after dark, particularly to and from the airport. You should not resist if threatened by carjackers or robbers. Do not make eye contact with assailants or indicate that you might be able to identify them.

Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.


Demonstrations occasionally occur and could turn violent without warning. You should avoid large crowds, follow the advice of security forces and monitor the local media for up-to-date information.


You should be aware of the high risk of landmines and unexploded ordnance, especially near bridges and on unpaved roads outside major cities. Many areas of the countryside, including secondary roads, are heavily mined. Even roads that have been frequently travelled and are thought to be landmine-free may be unsafe.

Road travel

Roads, especially secondary and tertiary roads, and bridges are generally in very poor condition. Drivers under the influence of alcohol are common, especially on weekends, and the return trip to Luanda from beach outings can be particularly hazardous due to reckless driving habits. Be extremely careful of unexpected hazards on the road, such as pedestrians and animals.

Door-to-door taxis are scarce and expensive, so it is advisable to hire a car with driver. Local drivers can overcome the problem of few parking spaces and can negotiate heavy traffic and the idiosyncrasies of local traffic flows, including any accidents.

It is recommended that visitors avoid using public transportation, including buses and van taxis.

Air travel

Contact the Embassy of Canada in Harare, Zimbabwe, for the latest security information, and consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General security information

You should be careful at all times and carry locally certified copies of the identification page of your passport as well as original travel documents issued by Angolan authorities, such as resident or work permits, visas and driver's licences. Make sure they are all up-to-date. Police checkpoints are common in both urban and rural areas. You should be prepared to present copies of your identification documents and not challenge the authority of requesting officials. Failure to produce identification documents can result in a large fine.

When travelling in the provinces always carry original documentation. If photocopies are to be used in place of originals, the copies will need to be notarized by an Angolan notary public to have validity. Note, however, that notarized photocopies are normally not acceptable for travel outside Luanda.

Foreigners travelling into the interior of Angola sometimes require an internal travel document. This is normally provided by the Angolan organization or individual that invited the foreigner to Angola.

Shortages of food, lodging, medicine, transportation, electricity and water affect most of the country. While Luanda does not experience shortages of food, lodging is scarce and tourist facilities are very expensive. The cost of living in Luanda is very high.

Poisonous snakes are a potential danger in the countryside.


Breaks in telephone, Internet and fax communications are common. International calls are difficult to place from outside the capital. Most personal cellular phones are not compatible and must be reprogrammed for use within Angola.

Emergency assistance

In case of an emergency, dial 113. Please note that you should speak Portuguese.


Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.


Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.


Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.


There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.


Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers from all countries.
  • Vaccination is recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!


There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.

Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.


Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.


Insects and Illness

In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

African trypanosomiasis

African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse fly bites are painful and if the disease is left untreated it is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas during the day. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common during the daytime and close to running water. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.



  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.


Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.


HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.


Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Medical treatment is very expensive and payment in advance is required. Medical facilities are very poor throughout the country, including in Luanda. Many doctors do not speak English or French, including in Luanda. Serious medical emergencies should be treated outside the country.

Ensure that you have medical insurance coverage and that you understand your policy; keep the information with you and also leave it with your emergency contact.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Please refer to our Arrest and Detention FAQ for more information.

Laws and illegal activities

Involvement in black-market currency conversion could lead to arrest.

Importing any genetically modified organisms is illegal in Angola.

Some handicrafts considered of cultural value may be retained by customs. It is illegal to remove turtle shells and ivory from the country.

Avoid photography of airports, major roads, bridges, communications installations, military personnel and government buildings. Taking photos of urban areas may be frowned upon by police.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Dual citizenship

Although dual nationality is legally recognized in Angola, Angolan nationality takes precedence according to local law. Holding dual nationality may limit the ability of Canadian officials to provide consular services. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.


The currency in Angola is the kwanza (AOA). It is not convertible on the international market. Dollars can be converted into kwanzas, or vice versa, at the few exchange bureaus in Luanda or at local banks. Receiving foreign currency is often very difficult due to present scarcity (even for those with foreign currency accounts). Kwanzas cannot be taken out of the country. No more than US$5,000 may be taken out by non-residents (US$15,000 for residents), unless they have made an official declaration upon entry into Angola.

Newer U.S.-dollar bills are favoured due to the ease with which the older bills are counterfeited. Credit cards are accepted at only a few of Luanda’s largest hotels and restaurants, and it varies as to which cards are accepted. You should check in advance. Leave a copy of your card information with a trusted family member or friend in case of emergency.

Traveller's cheques are difficult to cash in Angola; normally they are accepted only at some of the top hotels.

Automated banking machines (ABMs) dispense kwanzas only. Some ABMs in Luanda accept cards from VISA, American Express or MasterCard, but only to withdraw kwanzas. Note that machines often malfunction or run out of cash. Debit cards do not work.


The rainy season extends from November to April. Heavy rains can cause sudden flooding throughout the country and may damage infrastructure. Expect delays and allow for more time to reach your destination, as roads may be affected. Canadians residing in or travelling to affected areas should exercise caution, monitor local news and weather reports, and follow the advice of local authorities.

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