Angola is not a country you should travel to unless you are willing to make the proper arrangements. This a country that was torn by war until 2002, although people there do not talk about it. They are the most positive people you will ever meet. While the war still remains in everyone’s souls, they will find any excuse to play music and celebrate. The first time you approach them, the smiles on their faces will not give away the aftermath of war. They do not like to blame poverty, but prefer to be optimistic. Talking with the locals will show you just how strong people can be, even when they are torn apart by conflicts.
As you can imagine, you have to do quite a bit of research before traveling to Angola. But that is what we are here for. The information below should help you get ready for a trip to Angola.
The first aspect we are going to cover is the entry requirements. The chances of you needing a visa before departure are pretty high. Only 11 nationalities are visa exempt: the citizens of Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe can travel to Angola without having to obtain a visa if their stay does not exceed 30 days. All they need is a valid passport that will remain valid for at least another 9 months from the date of arrival. The passport must also have one blank page available for stamping.
Angola also issues visas on arrival. However, the method of obtaining one is not exactly conventional. In order for you to get an Angola visa on arrival, you must first apply online for a pre-visa. That is something Fast track Visa can help you with. You fill in an online application form, and the pre-approval will allow you to acquire the visa on arrival once you land in Angola. To successfully apply for an Angola pre-visa, you must have a valid passport with at least 9 months of validity left, proof of accommodation, means of subsistence, a return flight ticket, and an International Certificate of Vaccination. This type of visa is valid for 30 days. There are only 59 countries whose citizens can apply for an Angola pre-visa and get a visa on arrival.
All the other nationalities that are neither visa-exempt nor eligible for an Angola visa on arrival must go to the nearest Angolan embassy or diplomatic mission and submit a visa application there.
If you plan to travel to Angola, it is best if you avoid going in April. That is when it rains the most, and the weather can turn really violent.
While Angola does not have the most developed tourism sector, you will find plenty of things to do if you look hard enough. It also depends on which region of the country you wish to visit. If you are heading for Luanda, you will come across Mussulo Island. It has beautiful, clean, tropical beaches. You can practice various water sports there. In Luanda, you can also see the Benfica Market for Kwanza River; you may find some interesting things there.
If you go to Benguela, you have to see Baia Azul. You will come across beautiful desert beaches that look like nothing you have ever seen before. The view is spectacular, and you can take some of the most amazing photos there. In case you want to check out Kwanza Sul, do not forget to visit the Cubal Canyon, the Conde hot springs, and Cachoeiras/Binga Waterfalls. You will enjoy gorgeous sights. The Cambambe Dam can be seen on the Kwanza River. You will also find here the Waku Kungo plains, which give you the opportunity to see some fantastic scenery. There are many other places in Angola that can provide amazing things to see. In Malange you can see the Kalandula Waterfalls and Pungo n’Dongo Black Stones. In Huila, the Mumuila tribespeople will be more than happy to share some of their culture. Tribespeople can also be found in Namibe. They are called the Mucubais. Namibe is also a place that has desert beaches. Last but not least, in Cunene, the Himba tribespeople will welcome you and give you a tour of the region. The Ruacana Falls will surely catch your eye.
The official language in Angola is Portuguese. As an old Portuguese colony, all people in Angola speak Portuguese. As you can imagine, other dialects can be found. What you should keep in mind that English is uncommon, and if you want to spend some time in Angola, you must either learn some basic Portuguese or hire an interpreter. Otherwise, you will not be able to get around very easily.
One of the most important things you need to remember when traveling to Angola is that many locations still have active mines. You should never step beyond the red and white HALO trust posts. That is how mines are signaled. But you should avoid any red stones or other such signs.
When in Angola, you should also avoid taking photos while the police are around; you will see them in blue uniforms. It is strictly prohibited to take pictures of anything related to the military. The best-case scenario is that you receive a substantial fine if you are caught. You should have a satellite phone on you at all times. Please research the areas that do not get coverage before you leave for Angola. As with many other African countries, you should avoid tap water at all costs. If you cannot find bottled water, you should consume only boiled water. Malaria is also prevalent in Angola, which is why you should carry malaria medication. Using mosquito nets and mosquito-repellent sprays are also recommended, so that you do not come in contact with the virus at all.
The people in Angola are incredibly friendly. Even the ones that have been blasted by mines and left disabled are happy. You could say that they are incredibly stoic, given their recent history. When you approach them, do not forget to put a big smile on your face; they will be more open to talking to you.
While Angola does not have plenty to offer when it comes to tourism, you will likely still find it interesting to visit. Just make sure that you take all necessary precautions before you plan a tour of the country. It is best if you hire qualified personnel to accompany you. As long as you do that and do your research, your trip to Angola should not be dangerous at all.