Travel Report Namibia II - Weltenbummler Shumba - Weltreise mit dem Allrad Reisemobil

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               Travel Report Angola

                          01.07. - 04.10.2017



Currency:        1€ = 395 KW 07/17 Black Market

Diesel Price:    0,38 €Ct/Ltr
Entry:               Ruacana
Departure:       Cabinda
Total
km:          5.172    89 Tage
Visa:                 Angolan Embassy Windhoek / Matadi DR Congo for Cabinda

   our Route



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Part I >  Ruacana- Binga Bay     01.07. - 24.07.2017           1.982 km

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The South

When we arrive at the border post in Ruacana, the departure is quickly settled. Only the customs officer who is to stamp our carnet has to be requested from the nearest border station, Omahenene. It takes about 45 minutes until he arrives.

We had expected an usual uncomplicated departure from Namibia. But this customs officer is anything but uncomplicated. He is only willing to stamp out our carnet if Angola will let us enter into the country for sure. So we go, 6 persons, to the Angolan border and check with the local customs officials, if the carnet is accepted there. Yes, it is accepted, but we also need a "temporary import paper". It is not an issue for us, as they only ask a payment of 6,336 Kwanza, converted around € 16. The Namibian official is satisfied. So we return back to the Namibian side. Now we get all the stamps, we still have to sign in the departure book. And then all of a sudden he wants to see the motorcycle. This was, incidentally, the first time since the Iranian border that we had to show the motorcycle.

On the other hand, entry into Angola is easy. With the immigration we fill in a form, pay the 6.336 Kwanza at customs, against receipt, of course, receive a corresponding entry form for the vehicle, and everything is done. Then a sporadic check of the vehicle and we are kindly adopted. On a narrow gravel road we move into the inland, always thinking that as of now we have to drive on the right side again. After three years of left-hand traffic, this is not so easy.

Before us lies a country that is 3 times as large as Germany and in which about 40 years of civil war ruled up to the year 2002. It is still a country which is supposed to be one of the most contaminated by landmines in the world. It is a country that holds an absolute top spot in terms of corruption. Every year, tens of millions of US dollars disappear from the high-yielded oil business, despite a drop in oil prices, while a very large part of the population does not know what to live with. At this point it should be mentioned that the daughter of the current president, Santos, is officially regarded as the richest woman in Africa. Yes, we are very excited about Angola!     ...read more...



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Part II >  Binga Bay - Cabo Ledo/Mangais     24.07. - 25.08.2017          2.198 km

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The Heart of the Country

The city of Benguela surprised us positively. On the one hand, because we do not experience it as dirty as Lubango, on the other hand because it is comparable to a "proper" city. It is adorned with flags blowing in the wind Angola is in the middle of the election campaign. A new president will be voted in August. The result is already fixed, but it must be voted nevertheless. We pass large industrial areas, a (almost) new soccer stadium, the airport, new office buildings, many however vacant. In the background the simple houses of the normal population.

We do not stop in Benguela and continue to the neighboring town of Lobito, one of the most important ports in the country. Here, too, we find crumbling facades of houses on former colonial buildings, witnesses from another era stand between modern business and office buildings and quite a lot of vacant buildings. In between are residential blocks and official buildings, the emergence of which is very visible during a socialist era. Also this city does not seem as dirty as Lubango, looks much tidier.

The Zulu restaurant where we want to go is considered a kind of meeting place among travelers. We ask Louis, the owner, if we can stay at the beach. But he is not to be deterred from asking for US $ 10 per night, allegedly he has had bad experiences with too many travelers. Paying 10US $ only for the fact that we can stand next to the restaurant on the beach?

In the Alfa Bar, which also belongs to the Zulu restaurant, we first make contact with Mario. Mario is a friend of Varito and President of the Angolan Landcruiser Club. He also owns a tire dealer in Lobito. He comes to us at the Alfa Bar. He manages to persuade Louis not to charge us $ 10US. We can stay as long as we want, free of charge. Wow Super! Together we drive back to the Zulu restaurant and celebrate this success with a beer or two.

Mario, it seems, knows everyone and everything here. On the same evening, he contacted his friend, Feliciano, from the immigration office "SME", who shortly afterwards arrived at the Restaurant to check our passports and discuss a visa extension.

The next morning we meet, in almost a conspiratorial manner, Feliciano's superintendent at Marios's workshop. Passports, passport copies, photos and € 60 Euro in an envelope are prepared.   ...read more...



        

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Part III >  Cabo Ledo/Mangais - Noqui  25.08. - 24.09.2017          852 km

                  Cabinda                                   30.09. - 04.10.2017          140 km

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Luanda and the North

The election is largely counted and it has remained quiet. As expected, the party of the current president has won. So finally we can make our way to Luanda with no worries.

We are looking forward to what awaits us in the 7 million city the most expensive city in the world. We have heard so many different things. The road along the ocean is good. Already far from the city center the simple settlements with the street vendors begin, in between there are "better" houses. The city welcomes us with the usual stench and bustle of a big city. It is not a beauty, but it could become one, at least in places. Years ago was already invested in the avenue in the center along the ocean. The result is a palm tree lined boulevard along a beautiful bay, behind which a skyscraper skyline completes the view. Unfortunately, many of these high-rise buildings, owing to the economic crisis, are under construction. In between there are beautiful, partly even renovated, houses from the Portuguese colonial period. Entire neighborhoods with new, chic residential buildings and hotels are, as a matter of course, next to planks and corrugated barracks. Nowhere else have we seen anything similar. Again and again the question bothers us how this city works? Who can pay 10,000US $ rent for a "normal house"?

Before we’re settling down, we check out the new Avenida Mall with the Calando supermarket. But we are not allowed to drive the truck through the entry gates to the parking lot. So the Mall Director brings us with his private car to the next car park and later he also brings us back to the truck with our purchases. Not, without first inviting us to a cake specialty. What a great service!

We arrive late at the Marina "Club Naval". The owners have a heart for travelers and allow free parking, using the showers and the internet. It is the only place in Luanda, where you can safely park longer. But this night we cannot sleep. From next door loud party music booms the whole night until morning at 07.00 clock there also no ear plugs help. This will be no laughing matter. ...read more...


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Conclusion

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Angola - for many of us, evokes the gray memories of war since the 1960s, when Angola still fought for independence, and when 1974 the rugged colonialist Portugal retreated, one of the most cruel civil wars began. Only since 2002 the country is pacified. But apart from the oil and diamond companies no one seemed really interested in Angola.

Large areas are very bad to travel due to devastating road conditions. In large areas, the country is still destroyed. Especially in the north, the regions have to fight with the war refugees from the civil war zones in the DR Congo. Only in the west the reconstruction is noticeable and quite good. But there are still many challenges to master.

For that one is compensated with endless, fantastic beaches, solitude, tropical rainforests, desert .... and some of the nicest and most amiable people in Africa.
 
After 3 months in Angola, we say that it is definitely not a holiday destination for Africa beginners. There is virtually no tourist infrastructure. No question, Angola is developing, expanding its infrastructure with Chinese and Brazilian help. But that still takes a long time.

Getting a visa is often a challenge. We cannot confirm the tale of annoying police checks in the country, when they have realized that we have a foreign license plate we have always been waved through in a friendly manner.

The supply in the country is good, the Portuguese or South African supermarkets in the cities well stocked, the markets offer fresh goods.

To camp wild is not a problem people are very respectful and tolerant, only every now and then someone comes to look at what people with the strange vehicle want there.

It is a country you have to get involved with, in which you have to improvise, for which one has to take time and in which one needs patience, not only because of the bad roads.

We liked Angola very much!


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PICTURE GALLERY     

>> Angola - The South

>> Angola - The Heart of the Country

>> Angola - Luanda and the North

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Continue Reading....

    >>> DR Congo

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