Angola Destinations Travel Guide


Language: Portuguese

Currency: Kwanza (AOA)

Calling code: +244


Angola, officially Republic of Angola (Portuguese: Republic of Angola, Kikongo, Kimbundu and Umbundu: Repubilika and Ngola), is a country located in southern Africa that has borders with Namibia in the south, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo by the north and with Zambia by the east, whereas towards the west it has coast bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital is Luanda and in the north of the country is the exclave of Cabinda, which has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Portuguese were present in various parts of the coast that today belongs to Angola since the sixteenth century and interacted in various ways with the natives. The Portuguese presence was strengthened in the nineteenth century with its penetration into the territory and its effective occupation to consider it a colony of Europeans, as stipulated in the Berlin conference of 1884, did not occur until the 1920s, after the submission of the Mbunda people and the abduction of their king, Mwene Mbandu Kapova I.

Angola achieved its independence from Portugal in 1975, after a long war. However, once emancipated the new country was immersed in an intense and lasting civil war that lasted from 1975 to 2002. The country has abundant mineral and oil deposits and its economy has grown at a very high rate since the 1990s , especially since the end of the civil war. Despite this, the standard of living of most Angolans is very low and their life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the worst in the world. It is a country with great economic inequalities, since most of the wealth is in the hands of a very small percentage of its inhabitants.

Its system of government is multiparty democracy, with a presidential regime. He is a member of the African Union, of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, of the Latin Union and of the Southern African Development Community.


Travel Destinations in Angola

Cangandala National Park that is located in Malanje Province and covers 600 square km is the smallest national park in the country. Yet it is fairly well developed comparing to the rest of the country.

Iona National Park in Angola is a favorite destination for an african safari. It protects an area of 9,960 km² and it is by far the largest national park in Angola.

 Luanda is the largest city in Angola as well as its capital. It is situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in the Sao Paulo Province. Although it does have one of the highest crime rates in the country, it is the most civilized part of the country.

Quicama National Park is about 70 km from country's capital of Luanda and covers approximately 9,960 km² in North- west Angola. It protects an area of wetlands along with grasslands that is full of large animals.



The toponym "Angola" (port. Angola) comes from the name of the state of Ndongo, which existed on the modern territory of Angola in the 15th-17th centuries, or by the name of the ruler of the state, Zinga Mbandi Ngola, who organized resistance to the Portuguese colonizers. The Portuguese conquerors turned this name into the "Kingdom of Angola" (port. Reino de Angola). In particular, Paulo Dias de Novais, the first governor of Angola and the founder of Luanda, called the country this way in the documents of 1571.



The Atlantic coast of Angola is occupied by the coastal lowland, which rises in a steep ledge to the plateau, which occupies more than 90% of the country's territory. The central part of the plateau is occupied by the Bie massif with the highest point of the country - Mount Moko (2620 m). Of the minerals, Angola is rich in oil, diamonds, iron ores, bauxites, phosphorites, gypsum, gold, ores of uranium, copper, titanium, and manganese.

The climate of the seaside lowland is tropical trade wind, arid due to the cold Benguela current passing along the coast, which lowers the temperature of the coastal air to + 24 ... + 26 ° С in the warmest month (March) and to + 16 ... + 20 ° С in the coldest month ( July). The annual amount of precipitation on the coast decreases from north to south from 250-500 to 50-100 mm (in the Namib Desert). The climate of the plateau is equatorial monsoonal, with long wet summers (October-May) and dry winters (June-September). The air temperature, depending on the height of various parts of the plateau, varies from +13 ... + 23 ° С in winter to + 17 ... + 28 ° С at the beginning of the rainy season. The annual amount of precipitation decreases from north to south of the plateau from 1000-1500 to 600-800 mm.

The rivers flowing from the western slopes of the plateau flow into the Atlantic Ocean, from the northern slopes they flow into the Congo, from the southeast into the Zambezi, from the south they are lost in the sands of the Kalahari Desert. During the long rainy season, the rivers overflow strongly, become shallow in the dry season, and dry up in the south.

Forests and light forests occupy about 40% of the territory of Angola. Tropical rainforests are concentrated in the northeast of the country, the rest of the plateau is occupied by dry deciduous tropical woodlands and grass savannahs. The vegetation of the seaside lowland changes from grassy and shrubby savannahs with baobab in the north to velvichi deserts in the south.

Angola has significant natural resources, of which oil is of primary importance (in particular, the Begonia, Dahlia, Jasmine, Girasol, Kizomba, Nzanza, Pashflor, Rosa and Singuvu deposits) and diamonds, as well as iron ore, phosphates, copper, gold, bauxite , uranium, granites. In terms of oil production on the African continent, Angola is second only to Nigeria.

In addition, the republic has significant natural gas resources: in 2009, its reserves amounted to about 300 billion cubic meters. The deposits of Angola are characterized by a large depth of occurrence of layers and a shelf, which increases the cost of production.

Live nature
The fauna of Angola is typical of the savannas: elephants, zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, jackals, lions, cheetahs, leopards, warthogs, aardvarks, monkeys, various reptiles and insects. Coastal waters are rich in fish.


History of Angola

At the beginning of the VI century BC Bantu tribes came to the territory inhabited by the Bushmen, with skills in metal processing, ceramics, and agriculture.
In the XIII-XVI centuries. part of modern Angola was part of the Kingdom of Congo with the capital Mbansa-Congo. In the XVI — XIX centuries. part of the territory occupied the kingdom of Lund. In the north of Angola in the XVI-XVII centuries. was the state of Ndongo.
1482 - The Portuguese expedition of the navigator Diogu Cana opened the coast of Angola.
1576 - Portuguese establish Fort São Paulo di Luanda, which subsequently becomes the capital of Angola. Until the mid-19th century, the main occupation of the Portuguese in Angola was the slave trade; according to rough estimates, over 300 million people were exported from the country (mainly to Brazil) over 300 years. Angola as a whole was more associated with Brazil than with the mother country. After the proclamation of the Brazilian Empire, Angolan colonists have repeatedly expressed their desire to join it.
1641 - the capture of Luanda by the Dutch. Dutch occupation of Angola.
1648 - The Portuguese regain Luanda under their control. Dutch troops leave the territory of Angola.
1885-1894 - Portugal, Belgium, Germany and England conclude agreements defining the modern borders of Angola.
1951 - Angola receives the status of "overseas province" of Portugal.
1958 - An oil refinery was built in Luanda.
1950s - the first rebel groups emerge - MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola - Labor Party), UPA.
1961 - An anti-Portuguese uprising led by Holden Roberto (leader of the UPA and then the FNLA). The rebel camps are located in neighboring Congo (Kinshasa). The outbreak of the war of independence, which lasted 14 years. At the same time, the confrontation between MPLA and FNLA begins.
1962 - the provisional government of the Angolan Republic in exile was formed, led by Holden Roberto. An Angola National Liberation Army was established under the command of Roberto.
1966 - the creation of UNITA led by Jonasch Savimbi, a left-wing radical nationalist of the Ovimbundu, a former associate of Holden Roberto in the FNLA. The military operations of the military wing of UNITA - the Armed Forces of the Liberation of Angola (FALA) begin.
1974 - The “Carnation Revolution" in Portugal. Portugal provides freedom to all its colonies.
1975 - MPLA uses the help of the regular Cuban army, UNITA - the help of South Africa, FNLA - neighboring Zaire. The offensive of the FNLA and UNITA on Luanda, supported by Zaire and South Africa, was foiled at the Battle of Kifangondo. MPLA troops launch a successful counterattack.
1975, November 11 - the independence of Angola is proclaimed. The first president of Angola is the leader of the pro-Soviet MPLA group Agostinho Neto, whose troops occupy Luanda - the administrative center of Angola. However, independence does not bring Angola peace. A long-standing civil war began for power in the country, between the pro-Soviet MPLA and the pro-American UNITA and FNLA. This war is complicated by interethnic contradictions. Streams of weapons are pouring into the country. Government troops are trained by Soviet and Cuban instructors.
1976 - MPLA troops win the first stage of the civil war. FNLA defeated, the troops of South Africa and Zaire leave the territory of Angola. In Luanda, the trial of a group of mercenaries FNLA. UNITA goes over to a long-term guerrilla war.
1977 - May rebellion of "factionalists" led by orthodox communist Nito Alvish. Suppressed by President Neto and General E. Carreira with the help of Cuban troops. Tens of thousands have been targeted by DISA State Security.
1977, 1978 - units of the pro-Angolan organization FNLC, under the command of General Mbumba, with the sanction of the MPLA government, invade the Zaire province of Shaba. The 1977 invasion was repelled by the Zaire army with the decisive help of the Moroccan troops. The following year, FNLC formations were defeated in Kolwezi by paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion. After two defeats in Shaba, the Angolan government goes to normalize relations with Zaire.
1979 - the death of Agostinho Neto. The president of Angola is the new leader of the MPLA, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. DISA was disbanded a little earlier, functions are divided between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of State Security.
1980 - Enrique Carreira, the second member of the party-state hierarchy during the time of Agostinho Neto, is removed from the post of Minister of Defense. Power is concentrated in the hands of President dos Santos. FNLA leader Holden Roberto stops fighting in Angola. UNITA led by Jonas Savimbi activates guerrilla warfare.

1985 - in the city of Jamba, in the territory controlled by UNITA rebels, an international conference of anti-communist partisans took place.
1987-1988 - The Battle of Quito Kwanaval, a turning point in the war. South African troops leave the territory of Angola.
1989 - In accordance with international agreements, Cuban and South African troops leave the territory of Angola. Direct military support from outside the Angolan warriors officially ends.
1990 - Under the influence of perestroika in the USSR, the MPLA proclaims a rejection of communist ideology and declares its intention to carry out radical democratic and market reforms.
1991 - Lisbon signed the Biessse Agreement on a political settlement between the ruling MPLA and the opposition UNITA. Holden Roberto returns to Angola.
1992 - having lost Soviet support, the MPLA is reoriented to the United States. In autumn, the first multi-party elections are held in the country's history. Announced the receipt of the MPLA majority in parliament and the first place souls Santos following the results of the first round. UNITA disputes the announced election results. MPLA responds with a Halloween carnage. The civil war resumes with new fierceness.
1993 - 55 days war, the last major military victory of UNITA. Savimbi's troops once again capture Huambo.
1994 - New peace agreements between the MPLA and UNITA are signed in Lusaka. A ceasefire and the creation of a coalition government are supposed. Both parties ignore the agreement, the agreement is broken.
1998 - the aggravation of the political situation, the resumption of clashes between the MPLA and UNITA. Creation of a pro-government party Updated UNITA.
1999 - a massive offensive by government forces in the position of UNITA, on December 24, the city of Jamba was captured.
2002 - February 22, Jonas Savimbi dies in a battle with government forces near the town of Lucousse (eastern province of Moshiko). On March 15, negotiations begin between representatives of the government and the new leadership of UNITA, headed by Paulo Lukmba and Isaias Samakuva. On April 4, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed - a new peace agreement. UNITA basically accepts the terms of the settlement put forward by the ruling MPLA and becomes the legal opposition.
2010 - The African Nations Cup is held in Angola.
2011 - protests by opposition youth led by rapper Iconoclast, influenced by the Arab Spring. The authorities oppose them with mass demonstrations of civil servants with an expression of loyalty to President dos Santos.
2012 - MPLA again receives a large majority of seats in parliament. According to constitutional amendments, Jose Eduardo dos Santos automatically retains his presidency.
2013 - a new wave of protests organized by the KASA party (Wide Convergence for the Salvation of Angola) led by former UNITA activist Abel Shivukuvuku. Authorities respond with stiff suppression using firearms. The killings of opposition activists are noted. The Government declares priority protection for the Angolan “spiritual and cultural heritage”. In Luanda and some other localities, mosques are demolished.
2016 - The MPLA Central Committee approved the list of party candidates in the parliamentary elections coming in August 2017. The first number on the list is the Minister of Defense of Angola, vice-chairman of the MPLA, Juan Lawrence. Thus, Lawrence was declared the successor to President dos Santos.
The elections were held on August 23, 2017, at which the MPLA again received the parliamentary majority, although the opposition - UNITA and KASA - significantly strengthened their positions. On September 26, Juan Lawrence became the new president of Angola (José Eduardo dos Santos remained chairman of the MPLA).
2018 - September 8, President Lorenzo is replaced by the soul of Santos as chairman (president) of the MPLA. Dos Santos leaves Angola. The new president announces major liberal reforms and criticizes his predecessor.


State structure

Angola is a presidential republic. The head of state is the president. Since 1979, this post has been held by José Eduardo dos Santos. On September 26, 2017, he was replaced by Juan Lourenço.

The government is led by a vice president who is appointed by the president. Since September 26, 2017, Bornito de Sousa has been Vice President.

The legislature is a unicameral parliament (People's Assembly) consisting of 220 deputies elected for 4 years. Since September 27, 2012, Fernando da Piedade dos Santos, who previously held this post in 2008-2010, again became the President of the Parliament.

Political parties represented in parliament (based on August 2017 election results):
UNITA (National Union for the Complete Independence of Angola) - 51 seats;
MPLA (People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola) - 150 seats;
CASA (Wide Convergence to Save Angola) - 16 seats;
Party of Social Renewal - 2 seats;
FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola) - 1st place.
According to the new constitution of 2011, direct presidential elections are canceled in the country, and the leader of the party that won the parliamentary elections becomes president. The post of prime minister was also abolished, as a result of which all power passed to the president.


Population and demographics

The first census of the population of Angola since independence was carried out on May 16-31, 2014. The previous census was conducted by the Portuguese colonial administration in December 1970. The 2014 census results recorded a population of 25,789,024. The population estimate for 2022 is 34,795,287.

The main part of the people of Angola are three ethnic groups: Ovimbundu (37%), Northern Mbundu (25%) and Bakongo (13%). The remaining Bantu-speaking peoples inhabiting the country are Lunda, Chokwe, Gangela, Nyaneka-Umbe, Ovambo, Herero and Shindonga. Bushmen belong to non-Bantu-speaking peoples. About 2% of the population are African-European mulattoes, 1% are white, mostly assimilated Portuguese.

The demonym is Angolans, Angolans and Angolans.

Population growth in the country but as of 2022 is 3.36% annually (6th in the world). The average fertility rate for 2022 is 5.83 births per woman (2nd in the world). As of 2022, infant mortality is very high in Angola - an average of 58.86 out of 1000 die in the first year of life (12th in the world).

The average life expectancy is 62.11 years (2022).

In 2007, 2.1% of the population was infected with the immunodeficiency virus (HIV). About 11 thousand people die from this disease every year.

The official state language is Portuguese. The population uses African Bantu languages: southern Mbundu, northern Mbundu, Kongo, Chokwe, Kwanyama.

Of all African countries, Angola is the country with the highest percentage of speakers of Portuguese as their first language: across the country, about 71.15% of the nearly 25.8 million inhabitants speak Portuguese at home, according to the population census conducted in 2014. Angola is the second country with the most Portuguese speaking people in the world after Brazil.



Angola is an underdeveloped agrarian state. The economy of Angola is based on the production and export of oil - 85% of GDP. Thanks to the oil component, the country's economy is the fastest growing among the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. So, in 2008, Angola's GDP growth was 15%, while in general, the countries of Black Africa showed only 5% growth. Per capita gross domestic product in 2008 was $5,020, a very high achievement for this region of the world. The oil fields of Angola represented (as of the beginning of the 2010s) 50 concession blocks, with an area of ​​approximately 5 thousand km² each. This number included 30 concession blocks on the shelf (13 deep water and 17 ultra deep water zones): only 11 of them were actually producing in 2011. The concession for oil production in Angola was issued (as of the early 2010s) for 20 years. In 2013, the country produced 87.4 million tons of oil, part of which was processed at the plant in Luanda (its capacity is 65 thousand barrels per day).

In addition, the economy of Angola received from China and Hong Kong in 2003-2009. loans totaling $17.4 billion. Large loans also came from Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain and the European Union.

Agriculture employs over 80% of the workforce, but about 80% of the food consumed is imported. Bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, cassava, tobacco, and vegetables are cultivated. Livestock is bred.

Oil, diamonds, granite, marble, inert building materials, and natural asphalt are being extracted. Old refineries are being reconstructed and new ones are being built. Export of natural gas (in liquefied form): the plant for its liquefaction went into operation in 2013, and the first batch was sent in June of the same year.

There is an intensive preparation of iron ore and manganese deposits for the resumption of their export. Detailed geological exploration is carried out on previously recorded manifestations of phosphates, bauxites, copper, gold.

New enterprises for the production of cement, processing of granite and marble, production of food products (beer, cigarettes, coffee, mineral water, meat and dairy products) have been restored or built. Textile production is being revived, which will work on local raw materials.

There are more than 6 hydroelectric power plants in Angola:
HPP Lomaum
HPP Cambambe
HPP Lauka
HPP Gove

International trade
Exports ($30.3 billion in 2017) are crude oil (88%), natural gas (4.5%), diamonds (4.3%), a small amount of raw fish and timber.

Major buyers: China 61%, India 12%, USA 7.9%, South Africa 4.4% and Spain 3.2%.

Imports ($10.4 billion in 2017) - machinery and equipment, vehicles (up to 35% of the value), chemical products, including medicines (11.5%), metals (8.6%), and products food and other consumer goods (shoes, clothes, furniture)

Major suppliers: China 21%, Portugal 19%, Brazil 6.4%, South Africa 6.1%.



Most of the inhabitants of Angola profess Christianity (according to various estimates, from 88 to 94% in 2010).

The country remains predominantly Catholic (57%), but the proportion of Protestants is noticeably increasing (more than 30% in 2010). The latter are represented primarily by the Assemblies of God (2 million), the Kingdom of God World Church (0.4 million) and other Pentecostal denominations. There are several hundred thousand believers in the Congregational, Adventist, Baptist, Reformed, and Plymouth Brethren communities. There are 115,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in the country, united in 1,565 congregations.

Local traditional beliefs are followed by 4.5% of the population of Angola, but the number and proportion of supporters of these cults continues to decline.

Migrants from West Africa and the Middle East practice Islam. The number of Muslims in the country is estimated at 80-90 thousand people. Among foreigners living in the country there are Buddhists, supporters of the Chinese folk religion, Hindus and Jews.

On August 31, 2015, President José Eduardo dos Santos launched a law ordering the closure of all mosques in the country. “This is the final completion of Islamic influence in our country,” the head of state said. The culture minister added to the president's words: "The process of legalizing Islam has not been approved by the country's Ministry of Justice and mosques will be closed until further notice."

mass media
The state television company of Angola TPA (Televisão Pública de Angola - Public Television of Angola), founded in 1973 under the name RPA (Radiotelevisão Portuguesa de Angola - Portuguese Radio Television of Angola) as part of RTP, launched its second channel TPA 2 in 2000.

The state radio company of Angola RNA (Rádio Nacional de Angola - National Radio of Angola) was founded in 1977, includes 6 radio stations - Canal A, Radio Cinco, Radio N'gola Yetu, Radio Luanda, Radio Estereo and Canal Internacional.