Why travel to Angola
Travel to Angola to discover a unique and lively mix of African traditions and Portuguese charm. Once a colony of Portugal, Angola only became an independent country in 1975. Its capital, Luanda, located on the west coast, is the ideal base from which to explore Angola’s fascinating – and still mostly undiscovered – tourist attractions, including beautiful beaches, wildlife parks and nature reserves.
Its landscapes are incredibly diverse – you’ll find desert and tropical rainforests, dramatic rocky highlands, pristine beaches and savannah plains. Angola is home to numerous towns that have a distinct Portuguese influence, tribespeople with traditions that have remained unchanged for centuries and prehistoric rock art. After decades of conflict, the country is now peaceful and is waiting for holidaymakers to enjoy its numerous offerings.
Why travel to Angola
- It’s home to the 16th-Century fortress of Sao Miguel in its capital, Luanda.
- Angola boasts some incredible sites for surfing.
- There are many fascinating shipwrecks to explore on its coastline.
- It features magnificent untouched places like the paradise island of Isla du Mussulo.
- There are remarkable geological treasures, such as the fossilised footprints at Pungo Andongo and the impressive Tundavala Gorge.
- The wildlife parks are teeming with game.
- You can laze on 1,600km of beautiful beaches along the coast.
- The Kalandula Waterfalls are magnificent, the second-largest in Africa next to Victoria Falls.
Ideal for culture and history buffs, adventurers who want to enjoy adrenaline sports or go fishing, families who want to experience the magic of a new country together and laze on the beach, friends who are keen to explore together…whatever type of holiday you are looking for, you will find something exciting and fun in this undiscovered, beautiful country. Let Thompsons Holidays put together a holiday package to Angola for you and take you on an adventure to a destination that is just begging to be explored.
What to do in Angola
A country with a rich history and vibrant contrasts, Angola is home to tropical jungles in the north, an arid southern region, wetlands and so much more. With so many diverse landscapes, it offers numerous exciting travel experiences. Visitors can look forward to lazing on gorgeous sandy beaches, communing with nature in a selection of wildlife parks and exploring the ruins of Portuguese colonialism.
Angola holiday packages allow you to explore an undiscovered treasure. Experience the excitement of the capital, Luanda, located on the Atlantic coastline with its fabulous beaches and cultural treasures. Or go on safari in one of the country’s National Parks to enjoy breathtaking scenery and natural attractions such as waterfalls and volcanic fissures. Immerse yourself in traditional tribal culture or make the most of the coast on fishing tours. And that’s just a taste…
Things to do in Angola
- Explore the capital, Luanda, including the 16th-Century Fortress of Sao Miguel.
- Go on safari in a choice of national parks.
- See the dazzling marble statues of Christo Rei in Lubango.
- Discover otherworldly desert landscapes.
- Go fishing, diving, parasailing and hiking near the mouth of the Rio dos Flamingo river.
- Try surfing at Cabo Ledo, one of Africa’s best surfing beaches.
- Visit Moon’s Lookout, the English translation for Miradouro da Lua, with its extraordinary lunar landscape.
- Sunbathe on Angola’s best beaches, in Benguela.
- Travel along Serra da Leba, a legendary mountain pass road with 56 curves.
- Travel the recently refurbished Benguela Railway on an old trade route that goes inland.
Angola is the ideal holiday destination for families, friends, couples or solo travellers. Let Thompsons Holidays be your travel guide and put together an exciting holiday package for you.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Angola is in the cooler months, June to October.
- The hottest months are February, March and April, and the rainy season from November to April.
- Average annual temperatures in Luanda are 25.8°C.
- There are regular flights from South Africa to Angola.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Luanda is 3 hours, 30 minutes. You will fly or drive from there to your destination.
- South African passport holders do require a visa to enter Angola. These are available online or through the Embassy of Angola in South Africa.
- Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your trip.
- Angola is 1 hour behind South Africa.
- The official currency is the Angolan Kwanza (AOA).
- US dollars are widely accepted in Angola.
- There are no ATMs so bring enough cash in US currency with you.
- Tipping is not officially encouraged in Angola, but is appreciated. If a service charge is not included in the bill, 10% is acceptable.
- There are 39 languages spoken in Angola, including 6 traditional Bantu languages.
- Portuguese is very widely spoken (by 80% of the population).
- English is learned at school but not widely spoken.
- Christianity is the predominant religion in Angola.
- Roman Catholics constitute about half of the population.
- It is not recommended to drink tap water in Angola. Bottled water is readily available.
- Yellow fever vaccinations are required to enter Angola. Check with your travel clinic about other recommended vaccinations before you go.
What must I pack?
- Lightweight clothing for summer, warmer layerable clothing for winter. Rain gear and beach wear.
- If going on safari, take khaki or light coloured clothing.
- Comfortable walking shoes, sandals, flip flops.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for the beach.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- Transport within Angola is by hire car and taxi.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Avoid single-use plastic; rather take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Out of season
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