Country 58/196: Angola
Destinations: Luanda, Viewpoint of the Moon
Our visit to Angola turned out to be very diverse and productive. We managed to visit some of the country’s top attractions, two orphanages, where we met some extraordinary people, to plant some trees, and to address one of the biggest issues in Luanda – litter, by organizing an extensive beach clean-up. We had a great time in Angola! 🙂
Things to see and things to do
Due to the long-lasting civil war, tourism in Angola is only starting to develop. However, the country has a lot to offer. It is known for its spectacular landscapes, beautiful nature, great biodiversity, and as the second-largest oil and diamond producer in the world. It is home to some amazing national parks, spectacular waterfalls, lively culture, and friendly people.
Angola’s capital city is a vibrant cultural and industrial center with a rich history, delicious cuisine, and friendly people. It is the most populous Portuguese-speaking capital city in the world and its Portuguese colonial heritage is reflected in architecture, art, as well as the welcoming locals. We’ve spent quite some time in Luanda. We went sightseeing (we mainly focused on the fabulous Fortress – Fortaleza de São Miguel, which was built in 1576 and eventually became the administrative center of the colony), strolling down the wonderful seaside Avenida 4 de Fevereiro – home to some of the city’s biggest attractions, we visited some fine Portuguese restaurants and even a super fun festival on Naxixi Street.
We also visited Luanda’s less developed neighborhoods, which display some of the city’s biggest issues, like poverty and pollution. The gap between the rich and the poor areas is vast.
We were staying at the lovely Hotel Residencial Dura Barato, which is located near the city center. It is currently under renovation, but they offer some very nice, romantic, and comfortable rooms for reasonable prices.
The viewpoint of the Moon
Once we got tired of touring the city, we took a ride to the famous Viewpoint of the Moon. As we didn’t find any public transportation, we found a local to take us there and back to the capital for 70 USD. The place is located at an hour’s ride from Luanda and it offers several viewpoints of the spectacular moon-like landscape and cliff. The shapes and colors are extraordinary, which makes the place one of the most popular destinations in the country. Most tourists come, take a shot or two, and leave, but if you’re up for it, you can also go hiking through this unique piece of land by the ocean. Just make sure to return back to the city before sunset as Luanda is considered the safest place in the country. By the way, keep in mind that the landscape is fragile and that it took centuries of rains and erosion to create something this remarkable. Therefore, make sure not to go climbing up or down the cliffs. 😉
Where to stay
Tourism in Angola is underdeveloped, however, it’s possible to find all kinds of accommodation options for all kinds of travelers in Angola.
Are you planning a trip to Angola? Here you can get a room with a 10% discount!
Luanda is one of the most expensive cities in the world and the rest of Angola is pretty pricey as well. It’s hard to get a room for two for less than 30 USD (25 EUR). Food prices start at 9 USD (7.5 EUR) a meal. Taxi fares are rather expensive. Visa prices tend to be high as well.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Angola is from June to October. The weather tends to be mild, sunny, and dry this time of year. Angola’s rainy season is from November until May.
One of the biggest environmental problems in Angola is the severe destruction of its tropical rainforest due to the international demand for timber and the domestic demand for fuel. The uncontrolled deforestation is causing soil erosion, desertification, water siltation, agricultural productivity loss, and biodiversity loss. Angola is also battling water shortage and general pollution. Even though Angola is rich in resources and materials, the lack of public awareness of the country’s environmental issues contributes to ongoing mismanagement.
We were overwhelmed by the amount of trash in Luanda, especially on the beach. Thanks to Big Muxima – a wonderful organization investing in children and young adults from orphanages to contribute to a more sustainable, peaceful, solidary, and prosperous future, we were able to do something about it. We visited two orphanages, met some incredible people, planted some fruit trees at the orphanages, and organized a big beach clean-up. As litter is a huge problem in Luanda and as we talked about it a lot with the participants from one of the orphanages, they have decided to perform a big clean-up every Sunday and to encourage others to join in. Meeting these amazing, determined, and positive people was a true privilege. ♥
Romance and adventure
Angola may not be one of the most popular destinations in Africa, but it still has lots to offer. You can go visit the spectacular Kalandula falls or Ruacana falls, explore the Portuguese architecture and coastal forts, go on a safari in Quicama national park, or relax on a lovely beach.
Found lots of LOVE in Angola. 😉 ♥
Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♡♡♡♡
* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.
** Follow our journey on Instagram. 😉 There you can see our clean-up stories and check out our peace and sustainable tourism promo photos/videos. 😉
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