Angola’s modern capital city
Jim’s Perspectives: The country of Angola has been difficult to visit, mostly due to the process of obtaining a Visa to travel here has been so cumbersome. In 2018, I had to fly up to Washington DC, get fingerprinted, supply multiple documents, and then cross my fingers … hoping I’d be approved. Fortunately, that has all changed now, with most visitors able to get a visa-upon-arrival.
Angola has been one of Africa’s most war-torn countries, with rival factions battling between 1962-2002, and the country is just now beginning to recover.
Downtown Luanda, is a city of contrasts. New 5 star resorts sit next to apartment buildings which have long ago passed their expected life spans. The city, one of Africa’s most modern (surprisingly) reminded me a bit of Rio. The large sky scrapers dominate the skyline, however when seen up close … they aren’t nearly as impressive. Luanda’s streets are wide and many cars are new. Shops are plentiful and the commercial districts through out the city are teeming with people in this sea-side city.
I’ve noticed in my travels through Africa, that Angolans have a distinct character about them. Let me illustrate it this way: When I arrived at the airport at 5am, two taxi drivers were having a LOUD disagreement about who would transport an elderly couple I had been sitting near on my flight. The locals seemed to enjoy the sport of arguing … and did so vociferously, complete with highly exaggerated hand gestures.
Angola, one of Portugal’s five main colonies (along with Cape Verde, Sao Tome, Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique) is incredibly rich in natural resources, including oil, diamonds, iron, copper and gold. It too turned Communist after Portugal withdrew in 1975, and that alliance still continues with Russia even today.