Angola is an eye-opener – in more ways than one. Scarred painfully by years of debilitating warfare and untouched by foreign visitors since the early 1970s, the country remains remote and undiscovered, with few observers privy to the geographic highlights and vast cultural riches that lie hidden behind an ostensibly violent veneer. But, with the recent cessation of a 40-year civil conflict ushering in a prolonged period of peace and stability, opportunities for exploration are quietly opening up. For outsiders the attractions are manifold. Despite widespread poverty, inbred corruption and an infrastructure devastated by decades of indiscriminate fighting, Angola holds a lure that few other countries can match. Here in the heady heat of equatorial Africa you’ll encounter some of the continent’s most gracious people and discover many of its most closely guarded secrets.
Chill out on expansive beaches, sample the solitude in virgin wildlife parks or sift through the ruins of Portuguese colonialism. From Luanda to Lubango the nuances are startling.
Despite advancements in infrastructure and a dramatically improved security situation, travel in Angola remains the preserve of adventurers, diehards or those on flexible budgets.But with the transport network gradually recovering and wildlife being shipped in to re-populate decimated national parks, the signs of recovery are more than just a mirage.
Angola is halfway along the road to political and economic atonement and it would be a shame to miss out on its dramatic rebirth.