Best Places to Visit in Angola, Angola may have its challenges, including a civil war that decimated the nation and several of its national parks, poaching issues, and a challenging visa application process, but that shouldn’t deter you from traveling there. After all, it is Africa’s largest country and has a lot to offer.
Springboks, lions, elephants, and gorillas can be seen in the most breathtaking natural settings, and there are also abandoned but stunning Portuguese colonial structures in this area. Angola has a lovely mix of grasslands, savannas, tropical forests, and urban stretches interior in addition to an expansive coastline with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Angola is a nation that is making an effort to establish itself internationally. The tourism sector is aiming to grow in a similar manner, and the country claims to have the fastest-growing economy in the world. This claim is supported by a variety of mining exports.
The country is frequently advised against travel, but there is also helpful information about sites that may be accessed and how to enjoy them safely.
Getting a visa might also be made simpler or more difficult depending on where you’re going and who you’ll be traveling with. Leaving the bureaucracy aside, Angola is surely a stunning and mystifying nation that will reward any traveler daring enough to set out on a trip there. So let’s investigate the top destinations in Angola.
Best Places to Visit in Angola
Iona National Park
Iona National Park, the largest national park in Angola, is located in the country’s most southwesterly point. It sprawls across a vast expanse of more than 15,000 square kilometers. Despite the fact that unlawful animal hunting during the American Civil War severely damaged the national parks, attempts are currently being made to replace and restore the park’s species. The park is home to indigenous people who, according to scientists, are the most “culturally intact” people on the continent, along with creatures like springbok, ostriches, and cheetahs.
Cangandala National Park
Even though the Cangandala National Park in Angola is the smallest of the country’s national parks, it nevertheless has a lot to offer. The incredible gigantic sable antelope, the rarest antelope in the world and Angola’s national animal, is found in this region. The park is well connected to the province’s airports and roadways. The park, like many others in Angola, is under attack from illegal poaching, and numerous attempts are being made to save the area and its native fauna.
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Mupa National Park
When the region was still a Portuguese territory, the Mupa National Park was initially established in 1964. The park’s primary goal was to preserve a subspecies of giraffe, but regrettably, all of them have been exterminated, mostly as a result of landmines left behind from the civil war. There are also wild dogs, lions, leopards, and hyenas in the park. Despite the fact that mineral extraction currently poses a threat to many species, the park is also a home for a diversity of unusual avian life.
With 11 municipalities and a population of about 1.7 million, Huambo is a sizable province in Angola. Huambo has a tropical climate with two seasons: a dry and chilly season and a hot, rainy season. The province is home to the Kavongue National Forest Reserve, which attracts a lot of adventurers who use it for sports like rappelling, canyoning, paragliding, and canoeing. Huambo is an industrial city with mining heritage.
The killing of the Togo national football team during the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations has left a mark on this oil-rich city in Angola.
The city and province have several outstanding locations worth visiting, despite the fact that getting a visa to visit might be a challenge. The M’Buco-M’Buadi Cemetery is home to a number of magnificent statues as well as the bones of Cabinda kings. In addition, the Kakongo forest reserve and church ruins from the sixteenth century are there.
The province of Malanje is home to the Cangandala National Park as well as the mysterious Black Stones of Pungo Adongo, a natural rock formation developed over millions of years.
The region is also home to a lot of forests, waterfalls, and natural landscapes, all of which are fantastic locations for safaris or trying out extreme excursions like canyoning or bungee jumping.
Angola’s capital is a city of sharp contrasts. Beautiful vistas of the Atlantic Ocean are obstructed by bustling ships, and lean-to huts constructed to house residents of the quickly growing city stand in stark contrast to the high rise, modern-looking buildings.
Other signs of overpopulation include the chaotic morning traffic and the persistent stench that plague the metropolis. Despite all of these issues, Luanda undoubtedly has its attractions and is a different aspect of Africa that is worthwhile exploring.
The Parque Nacional de Kissama, a wildlife refuge that has used breathtaking natural settings to protect and preserve numerous African species, lies just 70 kilometers south of Luanda. The park was first established as a wildlife reserve in 1938, and it became a national park in 1957.
Despite neglect and poaching throughout the Civil War, the park’s population of buffalo, elephants, and even sea turtles is currently healthy. Even 10 elephants were airmailed to the park from Russia in 2000.
The Tunda Vala Fissure
One of Angola’s most amazing natural beauties is the Tundavala Fissure. At a height of 2,600 meters above sea level, it may be located halfway between the cities of Lubango and Namibe. At this altitude, it should go without saying that the views are incredible and that the available vistas are among the best in Africa.
Frequently reached by adventure-seeking hikers, the view of the return trip to sea level is incredibly steep. The Tundavala also features areas of grassland, grass, and forest environments in addition to the sheer rock walls.
The location of this fabled lake is Moxico, in eastern Angola. It is the biggest lake in the nation and a popular tourist destination. The lake is alive with nature despite being located just outside the Cameia Park boundaries, featuring uncommon bird species and aquatic life. At about 1000m above sea level, the lake is an astounding 12km long.
The unique waves at this lake, which always face east, are the source of the local legends. Folklore holds that these waves are a mystical power sent to deter people from fishing in the lake. With comfortable temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius, September is the finest month if you want to have a swim in the lake.
The Dala Waterfalls in Lunda Sol are around 60 meters high and make a breathtaking image with the mist and spray they produce when the water crashes against the rocks below. For those who truly adore the scene, a hotel has been constructed only 50m from the waterfalls so they may be easily observed from a bridge close to the base of the falls. The Cassengo falls, which are smaller but located in the same region of Angola as the waterfalls known as the Chiumbe River falls, should not be mistaken with the waterfalls.
The city of Benguela is located in western Angola on a bay with the same name and is a popular travel destination for the nation. The city’s early economy was based on mining, followed by the export of slaves to Brazil and Cuba. The city actively promotes tourism, and there is a nearby international railway. The city’s stunning oceanfront position and breath-taking Portuguese architecture are its principal draws. The locals are quite nice, and the beaches are great places to relax.
One of Angola’s most beautiful natural places is the Maiombe Forest. It is considered to as the “Amazon of Africa” and has more than 400 square kilometers of forest. With hundreds of uncommon species, many of which are local to the area, the forest is a terrific destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Gorillas, elephants, chimpanzees, rare birds, and butterflies are some of the creatures. Ebony and mahogany are just as uncommon as the animals in the forest as are its woods. For those looking to spend as much time in nature as possible, there is a modest guesthouse in Buco Zau, the largest village in the reserve, with just the most basic amenities.
The Arch Lagoon
Benguela’s port and town of Lobito play a significant role in both the export and tourism industries. Anglers who want to catch a massive Giant Tarpon, which can weigh up to 200 pounds, frequently visit the port and nearby shoreline. For those who want something less extreme, this beach is a nice spot to unwind and watch the sunset. There are also several restaurants and historic Portuguese structures nearby that are worth spending a day or two exploring.
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The Arch Lagoon
Near the settlement of Tombwa, in the Namib Desert, is where you’ll find the Arch Lagoon. The spectacular natural arch rock formations that have been formed by nature over countless years give rise to the lagoon’s name. Due to its serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, the lagoon is a terrific spot to unwind in addition to providing the chance to witness these remarkable structures. Visitors to this oasis may catch a peek of some of the unique and unusual wildlife species that live in the area around the Arch Lagoon while they are unwinding there.