Angola Highlights 1550 , 9 Days

Angola is a Southern African country whose varied terrain encompasses tropical Atlantic beaches, a labyrinthine system of rivers and Sub-Saharan desert that extends across the border into Namibia. Country's colonial history is reflected in its Portuguese-influenced cuisine and its landmarks including Fortaleza de São Miguel, a fortress built by the Portuguese in 1576 to defend the capital, Luanda. For most people, Angola is one of Africa’s last great travel mysteries. Despite its elemental landscapes and boom-bust oil-dependent economy, the country remains closed off to all but the most adventurous travelers thanks to stringent visa policies, high prices and a history that’s been more about war than peace.

It’s a shame. Angola has the potential to be one of Africa’s dazzling highlights. Lurking within its wild borders lies the continent’s second-largest waterfall, scattered remnants of Portuguese colonial history, a handful of emerging national parks, beaches galore and a diverse and unbelievably stoic cross-section of people.
Whether Angola will open up to outsiders any time soon is anyone's guess. The underdeveloped tourist industry has yet to spread it wings and take flight. The sooner the government tackles the country's nagging political issues, the quicker it can emerge from its protracted slumber and show the world what's it's been missing.

Highlights:
Luanda
Angola’s capital, Luanda (on the country’s Atlantic coast) is blessed with beautiful beaches, colonial ruins, historic monuments, museums, and a wide range of things to do and places to explore.
Leba Mountain Pass
Daredevils shouldn’t miss the spiraling roads of Leba Mountain Pass. Reaching as high as 1850 m in altitude, the trip from Lubango to Namibe is a thrilling joy ride.
Arco Lagoon
A freshwater oasis with superb rock formations, home to a diverse range of bird life, flora and fauna
Namib Desert
Dubbed the oldest desert on earth, Namib is a spectacular stretch of sand dunes and rock formations spanning from Tombwa to Walvis Bay in Namibia.
Kalandula Falls
The second largest in Africa


Itinerary:

Day 1: Luanda - Lubango.
Arrive Luanda. Evening flight to Lubango at 19.15 hrs. transfer to our hotel for overnight.

Day 2: Lubango
Sightseeing in Lubango, the main city in southern Angola. Set in a lush valley guarded by a statue of Christ, Lubango is rich in colonial heritage mixed with the vibrancy of local culture.
The sightseeing tour includes the palace of government, the cathedral of Sé and the church of Huíla mission built in 1880.

Day 3: Lubango – Kimbo – Huila Waterfalls
We drive about 30 km to the village of Kimbo where we visit the local community of Mwila tribe.
The Mwila people are a cluster of semi-nomadic ethnic group living on the Huila Plateau. Women coat their hair with a red paste called oncula, which is made of crushed red stone. They also put a mix of oil, crushed tree bark, dried cow dung and herbs on their hair. On top of this they decorate their hair with beads, cowrie shells and even dried food. After a short lecture by a local guide about Mwila customs and cooking we continue to Huila waterfalls. Free time to relax and take a swim. Back to Lubango and hotel overnight.

Day 4: Lubango –Sierra da Leba – Mangueiras - Namibe
A long day driving across Serra da Leba mountain range and pass to Namibe. The road is called Estrada Nacional 280 (EN280). The drive is definitely worth it. Legend has it that the Serra da Leba pass is named after a Portuguese woman who designed and built the road, who died after she viewed it on the very day the project was finished. Being one of the country's postcard images for decades, the road is a marvel of engineering given the era of its construction. After crossing the pass we visit the Mangueiras village where we spend some time for lunch before continuing to Namibe. Hotel overnight.

Day 5: Namibe Desert and Lagoa do Arco.
After breakfast we head to Namibe desert, which stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. Namibes sand dunes, some of which are 300 metres high and span 32 kilometres long, are the second largest in the world after the Badain Jaran Desert dunes in China. Namibe is a home of some endemic plants like Welwitschia Mirabilis, named after Friedrich Welwitsch who "discovered" the plant in 1859. Some of the specimen are estimated to be between 1000 and 1500 years old.
We visit Lagoa do Arco, which is a beautiful inland lake that appears in the middle of nowhere, fed by the waters of rio Curoca. Arco is a hidden treasure located within a canyon on the banks of this freshwater oasis, magnificent sandstone rock formations form the backdrop for lush aquatic vegetation, water lilies and a diversity of birds. Back to Namibe. Hotel.

Day 6: Namibe - Luanda
Free time to explore the city visiting the highest point of Namibe Farol (the light house) before we catch the flight back to Luanda at 17.00 hrs. Transfer and hotel overnight.

Day 7: Luanda
The oil boom has made Luanda one of the most expensive cities on the planet. The centre is divided into three distinct sections – Baixa de Luanda (lower Luanda) from the port to the fortress, Cidade Alta, the upper part of the city, home to the presidential palace, and Ilha do Cabo, a peninsula surrounding the bay with beaches, nightclubs and restaurants.
Upon arrival in Luanda, it is impossible to miss the towering obelisk-like structure shooting above the rest of the city, a mausoleum dedicated to Augustinho Neto, the first President of Angola. Other sites worth visiting include the Fortaleza de Sao Miguel, a 16th century building built during the earliest period of colonial rule and a self contained city for the military garrison, as well as a holding point for slaves – the highlight here are the ornate hand painted wall tiles. The National Museum of Anthropology is home to an impressive array of traditional masks and other artefacts, while the 15th century Igreja Nossa Senhora do Populo is the first Anglican church in Angola, built in 1482. Hotel in Luanda.

Day 8: Luanda – Kalandula Falls
Early start of the day as we have to reach the falls before sunset. The trip will take about seven hours. We stop for lunch and visit to the Botanical Garden (Rosas de Porcelana) in Ndalatando.
The Kalandula Falls lie in the course of the Lucala River and are one of the highest in Africa with a drop of 105 m. Although the waterfalls outside Angola are not yet well known, they are among the most impressive natural wonders of Angola. We spend the night in the town of Melanje, about 1.5 hour drive from the waterfalls

Day 9: Kalandula Falls -Pedras Negras- Luanda. Departure
We visit the falls from the other side and then continue to the impressive rock formation of Pedras Negras before driving back to Luanda to catch our evening flight home.


Price Includes:
8 nights in standard hotels and guest houses
rooms with private facilities and breakfast
local English-speaking guides in Luanda and Lubango
all ground transport and and airport transfers in connection with Air Portugal flights from/to Lissabon
tour-leader from Penguin Travel (at min. 8)

Not Included:
International flights
domestic flight Luanda-Lubango/Namibe-Luanda (ca. 240 EUR)
entrance fees
tips
personal expenses


Angola Highlights (Rated 4.74 / 5 Based on 3 Reviews.)
Price
1550 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
180 EUR
Status
A few places left
Price
1550 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
180 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Group Size
6-12
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