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Travel Guide: Angola Highlights

12th Oct 2011 1:55am | By Editor

Waterfalls, wildlife and beaches are all on offer in Angola.

The Calandula Waterfalls

Located in the large central Angolan province of Malanje, the Calandula Falls in the Lucala River tumbles more than 100 metres down and is said to be Africa’s second largest waterfall after the Victoria Falls. It is only 85 kilometres from the provincial capital Malange, which is a small, calm and clean town.

A trip to the falls without a car can be a challenge, but the destination is very popular, so a day or two of networking should earn you a ride.

Pedras Negras

These huge black stones called Pedras Negras by the locals (a Khoisan word meaning “empty, bald, naked or nothing”) are also near Malanje on the road back to Luanda. About 70 kilometres from Malanje turn south at the town of Cacuso. The stones cannot be missed if you continue another 35 kilometres down the road.

Kissama National Park

The Kissama National Park is only 70 kilometres from Luanda in the northwest of Angola’s coast. The park, established in 1938 is almost 10,000 square kilometres. This is most probably the only place in the world you will find a Baobab tree on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean
   
The park is known for Operation Noah’s Ark when the government shipped, flew and trucked in numerous animals to repopulate and rebuild the park after the devastating civil war and years of poaching. The beaches offer bathing and an opportunity to soak in the scenery.

Luanda

The Angolan Capital offers various places to visit. Don’t miss the Fortaleza de Sao Miguel, a fortress built by the Portuguese in 1576 containing the Museum of Armed Forces, the National Museum of Anthropology and the Museum of Slavery.

Also try Benfica Market for crafts and souvenirs and the Ilha de Luanda for seaside dining and bars.

Luanda is built adjacent to a beautiful bay with the enchanting Ilha beach only five minutes from the city centre. The nearby Mussulo Island also offers clean tropical beaches and water sports, but only 45km south of Luanda is Palmeirinhas, a long deserted beach where the scenery is especially magnificent. It is great for fishing, but bathing can be dangerous.

Note - Crime can be a problem in Luanda. Be careful at night.