Angola is a new country after the civil war (1975-2005) that ravaged the country. Open to tourism since 2008 Angola offers some of Africa’s most spectacular tribal groups, stunning natural landscapes, and a rich colonial heritage dating from the Portuguese era. Angola is still virgin, unique and in this tour we combine ethnography and nature so that the traveler understands this different Africa.
Date: 22 August - 10 September 2020
Duration: 21 days / 19 nights
Group: maximum 10 people
Price per person: € 7150
Single supplement: € 290
Day 1: WINDHOEK
We will arrive in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. Our local guide will come to meet us at the airport.
Day 2: WINDHOEK - NAMIBE DESERT (4h)
It is a clean and well organized city with a strong German flavor (Germany colonized Namibia until 1918). Lunch and shopping. AD
Day 3: NAMIBE DESERT
Morning departure (5h) to the entrance of the giant dune area to enjoy the best light (a whole show). It is worth it to reach the famous Dune 45 when the sun is still low, and to enjoy the stunning contrast of a sky of intense blue against the red of the dunes. We will visit the Death Valley, one of the most inhospitable and hot places on the planet and the mythical Big Dady dune (325 meters). In addition to landscape, in the Sossusvlei region it is possible to observe fauna adapted to the extreme conditions of the desert. We talked about the beautiful oryx and the elusive jackals. We can ascend on foot to one of the dunes that border Dead Vlei. The ascent will involve a small effort that will be rewarded with the panoramic views and the delicious descent sliding down the cold and soft sand of the dunes. We will return to the lodge through the Sesriem River Canyon. Accommodation at the Namib Desert lodge or similar. PC
Day 4: NAMIBE DESERT - SWAKOPMUND
Breakfast and road route to the Namib Desert. Accommodation at the Namib Desert lodge or similar. PC
Day 5: SWAKOPMUND
Breakfast. Safari ‘marine’ in the morning by Swakopmund Bay. We will observe sea lions, and with some luck, dolphins and whales. During the cruise you will enjoy a snack with sparkling wine and seafood. Overnight at the Swakopmund Sand Hotel. PC
Day 6: SWAKOPMUND - KAMANJAB (6h)
Breakfast and last talks with our tribal hosts. After saying goodbye to Himba, we will continue towards Swakopmund. Overnight at the Swakopmund Sand Hotel. PC
Day 7: KAMANJAB - ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK (5h)
Breakfast and route to Kamanjab. Today we will visit a Himba village, a noble and proud town that defends its semi-nomadic culture. Women are known for the color of their skin a reddish hue due to ‘otjize’, a mixture of butter fat and dirt that are spread to protect themselves from the scorching rays of the sun. Camping night with the Himba. PC
Day 8: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Morning breakfast and full day safari in Etosha, the best wildlife sanctuary in Namibia. During our safari route, we will tour the different areas of the large area of ??Etosha, crossing it from the center-south to the east, and enjoy the view of the herds in their natural habitat. It is estimated that in the 22,000 ha that form the surface of Etosha live about 300 lions, 3000 giraffes and about 2000 elephants, in addition to a large amount of gazelle and zebras, apart from wildebeest, buffalo, kudus, oryx and hopefully the elusive leopard . It should be noted that Etosha is home to some endangered species such as Black and White Rhinoceros, Black-faced Impala, Tssessebe and Orix. Lodge PC
Day 9: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK - NAMUTONI - ONDJIVA (5h)
Breakfast. Long route to Namutoni, northeast entrance of the Etosha National Park. We will arrive at the lodge and we will settle to prepare the safari the next day. Lodge PC
ANGOLA EXTENSION - from this day on, travelers returning to Spain will fly at night from Lubango to Luanda (home arrival day number 10 of the trip) and the others will continue to Angola (home arrival day number 20 of the trip ).
Day 10: ONDJIVA - XANGONGO - HUMBE - DIMBA - LUBANGO (4h)
Breakfast. Route to Ontitchau, small market where we can see another traditional Angolan tribe. The Dimba, which are characterized by speaking herero (the same language of the Himba) and for their curious multicolored skirts and the hairstyle of some of their women (Afro style). After the visit and have a soda, we will continue to Humbe, territory of giant baobabs and the Humbi tribe, famous for their "parabolic" style hairstyles. Angola is a land of hairstyles ... each more fascinating than the other. Ondjiva night, near the border with Namibia. Aguia Verde Hotel. AD
Day 11: LUBANGO - BIBALA - NAMIBE (3h)
Breakfast and farewell to the Angolan coast. Route to Garganta, former Portuguese settlement with train station. There we will meet the last traditional Angolan ethnic group of this trip; the Nguendelengo. It is a minority group (approximately 300 individuals) dedicated to goat grazing and hunting. Highlights the beautiful hairstyle based on bulky bows of some tribal women and the elevated architecture of barns housing. After visiting this tribe, we will continue to Bibala where we will have lunch. We will arrive late to Lubango. Kimbo do Soba Lodge. MP (lunch).
Day 12: NAMIBE - VIREI - NAMIBE (3h)
Breakfast. Route to the heart of the Cuval territory, the last tribe to be submitted by the Portuguese colonial administration in 1936. We will arrive to Virei, administrative center of the region. Visit of the animist cemetery and towns Cuval and Cuis around Virei. After ethnographic visits, we will return to Namibe to spend the night. Hotel Infotour. MP (lunch)
Day 13: NAMIBE - TOMBWA - NAMIBE (2h)
Breakfast and exploration of the desert, its fragile and unknown ecosystems and the human culture that has developed in the various oases that dot Iona. We will pass through the oases of Curoca and Arco before having lunch in Tombwa, a colonial port with shipyards still active. Hotel Infotour. AD
Day 14: NAMIBE
Breakfast. Day to explore this interesting port city. We will start with the port and the old paleolithic caves (in poor condition and with waste but a historical place that we must know). Here lived a fishing village and gatherer known as Cuepe (currently 150 Cuepes are still living in a couple of oases in the interior of Namibe). After the arrival of the Portuguese sailors this tribe disappeared from the coast and the caves were used as a warehouse and as shelters during the civil war. After a walk around the port and the fish market, we will continue to the Namibe Cinema in Art Deco style. Around the cinema we can visit the Historical Museum, as well as other buildings of different architectural styles. Hotel Infotour. AD
Day 15: NAMIBE - OASIS - CARACULO - LEBA - LUBANGO (3h)
Breakfast and route to Namibe, main port of southern Angola and interesting colonial center. Stop at the settlement of Caraculo, curious project of the dictatorship of Salazar to populate the desert (1947) and the oasis of Giraul to meet the community of Ilha Mungongo (beautiful views). When we arrive in Namibe we will move to the hotel to rest. Dinner on the seafront. Hotel Infotour. MP (picnic lunch).
Day 16: LUBANGO - TUNDA VALA - HOQUE - LUBANGO
Breakfast. In the morning we will visit the Ethnological Museum of Lubango with interesting pieces of tribal art and some historical photos of tribes from the southwest of Angola. Urban tour through the colonial center of the city and route to the Hoque Market to meet Handa women, another tribe of the Huila Plateau that is characterized as its Muila neighbors for its complex hairstyles and necklaces (in this case white and green ). Afternoon return to Lubango to visit the sights of Tunda Vala. Kimbo do Soba Lodge. MP (lunch included)
Day 17: LUBANGO - MUILA - CHIBIA - LUBANGO (2h)
Breakfast. Day dedicated to the most spectacular tribe in the Angolan south; The Muila We will visit the tribal market where the Muila of the plain come. Their headdresses, immense necklaces and their bearing make these women unique. After the visit, we will continue to the colonial population of Chibia for lunch. After an afternoon walk to the art deco church, we will go to a tribal market to meet the mountain Muila, more clinging to animist cults than their plain neighbors. The mountain muila women smear their hair with a paste (oncula) obtained with grease, stone, crushed red, vegetable bark and manure. They decorate it with cowrie shells and beads. Its large necklaces vary in color and material according to age and marital status. Thanks to the fact that they sleep supporting the neck on wooden headrests like the ancient Egyptians and some cattle tribes of the Rift Valley, the hairstyles and necklaces are not damaged. Afternoon return to Lubango. Kimbo do Soba Lodge. MP (lunch included)
Day 18: LUBANGO - LUANDA
Breakfast. Visit in the morning of the boat cemetery of Playa Santiago. Lunch and internal flight that will take us to Lubango, capital of Huíla and the most important city in southern Angola. The guide will come to find us at the airport. Transfer to the Kimbo do Soba Lodge. MP (dinner)
Day 19: LUANDA
Arrival to Luanda. A trustworthy person will come to look for us at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Rest and urban city tour. Visit of the Barrio de Ilha, talk with its inhabitants (Kimbundu ethnic group). We will continue to the fortress of Sao Miguel (1575) and after the visit of the military precinct we will explore the Baixa neighborhood (colonial zone) with buildings of different eras and styles. We will spend the night at the Hotel Ilha Mar. AD
Day 20: Arrival home.
A valid passport and a visa are required for travel to Angola. Applications for visas can be made online (pre-visa) or in advance in the travelers’ home country. Last Places assists all travelers that need any type of help applying for the online visa or at the embassy. We recommend that passports be valid for six months from date of arrival.
Vaccines and Travel Health
A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is essential for entry to Angola. Malaria is prevalent in the country. It is wise to take Malaria prophylaxis when travelling through Angola. Water supply is unsafe to drink, visitors should drink bottle water. Visitors should also avoid eating unpeeled, unwashed fruit and vegetables. The milk in Angola is unpasteurized and should be boiled; alternatively use tinned milk reconstituted with bottle water.
Security in Angola
Angola is a safe country in general terms. Land mines have been removed from most of the country except in some remote regions of Cuando Cuvango where Last Places does not normally travel to. We recommend to be aware of pick pocketing in crowded streets of Luanda and not to walk around city centre too late in the night if you are not accompanied by a local guide or group of local friends that are familiar with the streets of Luanda. It is strongly recommended not to drive during the night in the countryside because of the potential risk of your car hitting a wild or domestic animal.
When to go to Angola
Travelers can visit Angola all year around. Last Places Angola offers trips to Angola all year around. Said this, dry season –from June till November- allows the traveller visit all tribal areas while whet season – from December till May- may limit the visit to certain region such as Oncocua. Southwest Angola, where most of the tourism attractions are concentrated, enjoys mild weather during most of the year with daylight temperatures of 24-30 ? that can come down to 10 ? during the night and early hours.
Currency in Angola
The unit of currency is the Kwanza (AOA). Visitors should bring enough cash for their needs. Money can be exchanged at the airport or at the bank. Euros and newly issued US dollars are changed without any problem. Credit cards are only accepted in larger hotels, and cash withdrawals are not possible. Few ATMs in Luanda accept foreign cards.
Time in Angola
Electricity in Angola
Electrical current in Angola is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round pin attachment plugs are in use.
Communications in Angola
The international dialing code for Angola is +244. There are many more mobile telephones than fixed lines and the mobile coverage around Luanda and other main centers is much more reliable than fixed lines. Internet access is available at most major hotels.
Language in Angola
The official language of Angola is Portuguese. About 60 other African languages are spoken. Some French and Spanish is also spoken.
Prohibitions in Angola
Do not take photographs of government buildings, or use binoculars near them, as this could lead to arrest.