Angola Avante (Angola advance)! And so shall we. Welcome to our pioneering tour of Angola! This pearl of Africa has been closed off to tourism for years and has been infamous as an incredibly expensive destination. But YPT is here to the rescue, recently Angola’s visa policy has changed drastically and we managed to make a tour in sync with the true YPT-spirit!
We start the tour in the capital Luanda. This city of 2.5 million has had its fair share of turbulent history of Angola during the Portuguese times and afterwards with José Eduardo dos Santos. We’ll see the military museum, including its North-Korean-like propaganda, and the famous Iron Palace. After Luanda we’ll be one of the first foreigners on the train towards Malanj, in the middle of the country. Here, you can find one of the most famous landmarks of Angola: Kalandula Falls. We will experience the harsh life people are living here and will be learning more about their mystical beliefs.
Upon our return in Luanda we’ll make sure to be ready for a full day of drinks and party, because it’s carnival! This is the biggest day in Angola and we’ll make sure to get a good spot to watch the colorful parade. A trip to Africa isn’t complete without a safari, so slightly hungover we’ll make our way to Kissama National Park, which is just outside Luanda. We’ll surely see some wildlife during our boat trip!
In the second part of the trip, we’re taking things to a next level. First we’ll fly out to the South to encounter local tribes like the Mumhila and Mucubal. They are still living (and dressed) in a traditional way. Along the way we’ll make several stops to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the South. Expect big canyons and welcoming people.
Upon our return to Luanda we’ll make our way all the way north. The exclave of Cabinda is one of a kind. Rich in oil, this area feels quite different then the rest of Angola. For years there have been struggles here for independence but in the end it never came fully into realization. We’ll see the main city and head into the rainforest, the biggest in Angola. After the tour has been finished you can return to Luanda or cross the border into Congo or DR Congo.
This tour is capped at 10 people so book fast, and as always return Pioneer discounts apply!
Arrival in Luanda Airport, airport pick-up and money exchange
Meet the others at the hotel and get to know them!
Fortaleza de Sao Miguel (military museum), including its famous propaganda which almost looks North Korean!
Visit to the Mausoleum of Augostinho Neto. A Sovjet-style concrete tower for the first president of Angola
The Iron Palace, with the local art scene, wild stories surround the origin of the building. It was supposedly designed by Gustav Eiffel and supposedly was found on the beach.
Old colonial church of Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Nazaré, build on the famous 4 de Fevereiro avenue.
Angolan dinner in the city with a nice cold beer (or juice!)
Overnight in Luanda
Tuesday 25 February – Luanda – CARNAVAL
Shipwreck Beach, here you’ll find long lost forgotten ships from all over the world
Monument to the Kifangondo Battle, our military guide will help us understand the importance of this spot in the struggle for the independence of Angola.
We might be in Africa, but Luanda is just as famous in Africa for its carnival as Rio is in South America! We’ll try to get a good spot so we can clearly see the amazing colorful carnival parade.
At night we’ll hit the town for some good Angolan live music and dinner
Overnight in Luanda
Wednesday 26 February – Luanda – Malanje
Early wake-up (breakfast along the way) as we embark for the train station
Today we’ll be mostly on the train (7 hours) in order to reach Malanje. Along the way you’ll truly get to experience rural Angola with several stops along the way.
Depending on our arrival time we’ll take a walk around town or head straight to our lodge
Dinner and overnight at our lodge
Thursday 27 February – Malanje
Today we’ll head for the Kalandula Falls, one of the most famous landmarks in Angola! We’ll have a local guide who will go below the falls with us to see the falls from down.
See the local neighborhood of Kalandula
Kwanza Rapids, here you can see the women wash their clothes and see the well-known gaps which drag the water down at phenomenal speed
Relaxing at the lodge, where we’ll have a campfire with the locals who surely have some storytelling prepared for us.
Overnight at our lodge
Friday 28 February – Malanje/Luanda
We’ll visit the Pedras Negras do Pungo Andongo. The black stones were a place of resistance surrounded by mystery and magic against the Portuguese colonizers.
Drive to Cacuso, where we’ll visit a regional training initiative. Hear more about how the locals live in this remote area of Angola.
Time to head back to Luanda by car
Late dinner and overnight in Luanda
Saturday 29 February – Luanda/Kissama National Park
Morning visit to Kilamba, this used to be known as a Chinese built ghost town, but today’s a lively area of Luanda
Short visit to see some amazing street art. It’s a big thing in Luanda and often there’s a political touch to it.
Drive to Kissama National Park
Of course we’ll start with a safari, to see if we can spot some wildlife (like zebras, elephants and giraffes).
We’ll make our wait to the famous Moon Viewpoint for a great sunset.
Traditional Angolan goodbye dinner
Overnight in Luanda
Sunday 1 March – Luanda
Visit Ilha do Cabo, a small landstrip in Luanda
Forget about break dance or your EDM moves, in Angola it’s all about the Kizomba. We’ll show you how to move that body!
Drive to Cacuaco for a stroll around a local fishing village
Late lunch / early farewell dinner before we head to the airport.
Group A: Airport drop off based on your flight details – end of the tour
Group B: continues, 19:30 flight to Lubango (arrival 20:30)
Overnight in our lodge in Lubango
Monday 2 March – Lubango – Chibia – Namibe
Early morning drive to Tundavala Gap, an amazing viewpoint on the edge of the Serra da Leba cliff.
Drive to Chibia
Visit to the local market, here you can meet a lot regional tribes. Including one of the most famous ones: Mumhila. We’ll take our time here so you can take photos of all the different tribes. Of course, we’ll organize this in a respectful way with the locals.
We continue our tour to Namibe, along the way we stop at the famous Christo Rei statue. Yes, the same one as in Rio.
Serra da Leba pass
Overnight in Namibe
Tuesday 3 March – Namibe – Luanda
We drive to Tchitundo Hulo, a spot with special cave paintings.
Visit to the market in Namibe, another good spot for meeting beautiful dressed local tribes, like Mucubal.
21:30 Flight to Luanda (arrival 22:50).
Overnight in Luanda.
Wednesday 4 March – Luanda – Cabinda
6:00 flight to the exclave of Cabina (arrival: 7:00). Here things are starting to get rough in Angola. Cabinda is well-known as the area that tries to be independent from the rest of Angola. The area is rich in oil and is one of the wealthiest parts of the country. During our stay in Cabinda you’ll see more police and military presence then in the rest of the country. However, the last few years it has been relatively calm here.
City tour of Cabinda, including;
1 May Park
Church of the Immaculate Conception
Monument to the Treaty of Simulambuco
Overnight in Cabinda
Thursday 5 March – Cabinda
Early morning drive to Maiombe Forest Reserve. The biggest rainforest in Angola. You’ll see what local life is here in this tiny strip of Angola. A very interesting and unique experience, as not many tourists have ventured here!
Along the way we pass through Cacongo and Malongo.
Short stop at Buco Zau
Visit the Maiombe Forest Reserve
Drive to Cabinda Airport
Optional: flight to Luanda (20:50), or we can support you with transport to the border crossing to DR Congo / Congo.