Dangers & Annoyances

Angola has found it hard to shake off its unsavoury reputation as a hotspot of conflict and civil unrest. But, with the war confined to the history books, there are far more dangerous countries in Africa these days. That’s not to say that travel here is straightforward or problem-free. Poverty is still widespread, the transport network is often abysmal, there is almost no tourist infrastructure and crime rates remain high in big cities such as Luanda. To top it all off, the country is prohibitively expensive (Luanda is regularly listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world). Most official travel advice recommends that travellers exercise a high degree of caution in Angola and avoid high-risk areas, such as Cabinda, altogether. Land mines are still a problem in rural areas. Check on your home country’s foreign office travel advice website before travelling for current warnings and updates.

Security aside, the main issue thwarting travellers from visiting Angola is visas. Procuring an Angolan visa is a complicated, expensive and long-winded affair with no guaranteed chance of success. Visas fall into nine different categories and most applicants require a ‘letter of invitation’ from someone in Angola before they can start tackling the rest of the paperwork (all of which must be translated into Portuguese). Do your homework before applying and be prepared for long delays.

Entry & Exit Formalities

Along with a visa, a yellow-fever certificate is a prerequisite for entry.

Visas

Thirty-day visas must be obtained well in advance. Angola doesn't issue many tourist visas and the application process is costly and complicated.

Emergency & Important Numbers

Angola's country code244
Ambulance112/116
Fire115
Police113