The end of civil war in 2002 and post-war construction is allowing Angola to promote itself as a new destination for travel and tourismin Sub-Saharan Africa.
Angola’s main attractions for international travelers are its beaches and national parks. Its Atlantic coastline stretches over 1,650 kilometers, with impressive beaches at Ilha do Cabo, Mussulo, Palmeirinhas, Corimba, and Santiago in the capital of Luanda. Its natural parks are some of the finest in Africa, boasting a huge diversity of flora and fauna. The National Integral Park of Kwando and the National Park of Cangandala, for example, are home to the giant sable, or Palanca Negra, a species only found in Angola. The growth of the tourism industry is adding a new dimension to the Angolan economy, helping to reduce its dependence on revenues from the energy and mining sectors.
For those weekends in Luanda
La Ilha is probably the best place to go. Cais de 4 is really nice at night, with a great view of Luanda on the water. Lookal is a great place to go to the beach – pretty clean, good music – though the food is not the best. Your best option is the pizza (though it is not very cheap). Chill Out is really good for dinner and then to hang out after. It usually turns into a mini nightclub on the beach. Caribe has good food as well.
For PR dinners: Pimm’s has great food and great service, but it is expensive! Make sure you make a reservation before you go. Portofino (in Deana Spa) has great food too, and it is usually empty, so no need for reservations.
Belas Shopping is great to go to the movies – but beware: it gets packed on the weekends, and especially on holidays!
If you want to relax, try Tropico hotel, you can have a massage and use the sauna and the swimming pool.
TOP 9 RESTAURANTS FOR US:
– Cais de Quattro: On the island of Luanda, perfect view, good food. For dessert try the petit gateaux, delicious.
– Asia lounge: Is surprising to find such good sushi so far from Asia, a great and pleasant environment.
– Pinto’s: A high-class restaurant with really interesting dishes.
– Pimm’s: Good Portuguese food. Well known place.
– Coconuts / Cafe del Mar: A fantastic place to enjoy a drink and snacks on the beach.
– Tambarino: A perfect little restaurant for a nice lunch.
– Mangais: Very private and expensive; you can find some Ministers of the government of Angola eating here.
– Oondah. Our favourite, as you could be anywhere else in the world.
– La Vigia. A humble restaurant with great fish at good prices, just for informal meals.
The nightlife offer is increasing a lot in Luanda. Here are some of our favourites:
Bars and Clubs:
– LXL: Near Tivoli hotel, good to start the night, luxurious atmosphere.
– Chillout: Located on the island, you will find every expat in the city having a nice time here. They have a VIP area if you don’t want to get crushed. Avoid Saturday Kizomba Night, only for the locals.
– Dom Q: A local club, perfect to enjoy local life and to mingle with the locals. A must!
– W: A really interesting native local club. A different experience, ask your Angolan friends to show you this place so they can teach you how to dance Kizomba.
– Teatro Elinga: The best option for Thursdays, really good DJ’s and electro music.
– Lookal: Same style as Chill Out, by the beach. Remember to not arrive late, the place gets crowded easily.
Out of Luanda
Cabo Ledo has the best surfing, and you can also camp out there. Remember: there are no bathrooms or restaurants here! Mussulo has a really cute restaurant, BarSulo, that has decent food and good music.
If you want to get away for the whole weekend, you can go to Malanje, Rio Longa, Lobito, as Cachoeiras de Sumbe, Lubango, or Namibe. Some of these require longer weekends because they are further away.
If you don’t feel like enduring the traffic in order to go out of the city on weekends, then you have beautiful Mussulo. To go there you need to drive to Embarcadouro and from there take the boat to Mussulo. You can choose between: Bar Ssulo, Sol Dourado and our favourite one, Roça das Mangueiras (quite expensive but perfect). If you want to drive, the closest one is Caboledo (beach), all the surfers go there and they have some nice bungalows hotels.
If you can spend a long weekend, go for it! Take a plane, enjoy the provinces: Benguela, Namibe, or Malange
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