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Angola - Top Tips

Super Seven

Luanda City Tour Although the main Angola highlights lie outside of the capital, Luanda is the main entry point into the city, so it's worth spending half a day here to admire the sites. The main points of interest I'd recommend are The Iron Palace by Gustave Eiffel, The Church of Our Lady of Remedies, The National Assembly Building of Luanda, and a walk along the harbour.

Ship Cemetery Located around 40 minutes East of Luanda is Panguila is "Cemiterio de Navios" which is translates to Ship Cemetery.Here you'll find around 50 ships washed up ashore along the beach where they're slowly rusting away and sinking further into the sand. When the Angolan Civil War ended in 20212, Port of Luanda was built. Although the ships washed up ashore here in this notoriously rough patch of open sea have been here ever since. Some of the ships are on the sand, so you can even climb on top of them.

Kalandula Falls The falls are a 360km 5 hour drive from Luanda, but in my opinion, Kalandula Falls were breathtaking and the absolute highlight of Angola. At 105 meters high and 400 meters wide, these falls are a beast! The volume of water flowing through the falls every second is incredible. You can view the falls from both the top for panoramic views, but you can also take a walk to the base for a completely different panorama.

Pedras Negras Located in the same region as Kalandula Falls are The Black Rocks at Pungo Andongo, referred to as "Pedras Negras". These are a series of mysterious rock formations that tower over the African Savanna. Many of the rocks are shaped like animals, so see how many you can spot. There is a simple hiking path that you can take from the main entrance which will lead you to the top of the rocks for panoramic views.

Miradouro da Lua This is a unique stunning viewpoint which is rightfully compared with the moon. These are tricolor karst cliffs overlooking the sea and are located right next to the roadside, so no hike is necessary. Eroded over time by rain and wind, the ravines continue for around 1km before they reach the sea. Located a one hour drive from Luanda by following the coastal road South. This is a stunning photography point, especially at sunset.

Village Visit The deeper you head into Angola, you'll pass by many local villages. I chose to visit a village in the Malanje Province en route to Kalandula. Obviously this needs arranging via a local in advance, but this is a worthwhile experience to see how the locals live, their houses, as well being a great spot to make donations.

St. Michaels Fortress Located in Luanda, but deserves a separate mention entirely. St. Michaels Fortress is a Portuguese Fort built back in 1576. It was also a major outlet in the slave trade era with traffic heading to Brazil. There's a large courtyard with imposing statues of Portugal's first king. The Museum of the Armed Forces is also located inside. Due to it's location, you can also get nice panoramic city views.

Accommodation Advice I chose to stay at Thomson Art House in Luanda as I'm a huge fan of quirky hotels and guest houses. This place is a basic hotel, which doubles up as an art gallery. The rooms are clean with private bathroom, and above all, the price is reasonable in an expensive city. The staff are also very helpful in arranging local tours and transport.

Food Factor Whilst in the capital, Restaurant Cafe Del Mar is a winner of a spot for lunch or dinner. There's an extensive menu with many international options. Also a perfect place to relax and unwind, as well as enjoying the pink sky at sunset. The local curries on the menu are very flavoursome, but you can view the whole menu in advance here

Good Guide

Angola is a vast country with many of the top attractions spread over long drives, albeit with good road conditions. On this basis, I used a recommended local contact, and I was very pleased with the service offered. Joao Garcia operates a company called Pure & Authentic Tourism. You can reach him via Whatsapp on +244 949613990.


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