How to plan a trip to Angola?

things to do on a trip to Angola
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At Passporter we will help you plan your trip to Angola so you can enjoy your vacation without complications. In this post we have gathered all the aspects you should take into account when looking for accommodation and making decisions on your itinerary. We will tell you the best time to travel, the essential dishes of the local cuisine and the necessary documentation that you will need to enter the country.

If you are about to embark on a trip to Angola be sure to read this post carefully and take notes of all the little details that will make your trip perfect. Angola is a country that has a lot to offer, but it is also a very different country where it can be complicated to move around. So read on and enjoy your vacation.

1. Keep your travel documents for Angola at hand in the Passporter App

To enter Angola you will need a passport with a validity of at least 6 months and a visa issued by the Angolan embassy in your country. This document can be obtained online by filling out a form and submitting a passport photo. It will also be necessary to have a ound-trip ticket, a hotel reservation or a formal invitation from an Angolan resident to your home, and to be able to prove that you have sufficient income for your stay. You also need to bring a certificate stating that you have the yellow fever vaccination.

It is recommended to apply for the visa in advance as the process can take up to a month. And remember that with the Passporter App you will be able to save your visa and the rest of the documents so that you always have it at hand and without running the risk of losing it.

plan a trip to Angola
Plan your trip to Angola @shutterstock

2. Taste the gastronomy in Angola and find the best restaurants with Passporter

Angolan gastronomy is famous for the fusion of Portuguese elaborations with indigenous African flavors resulting in delicious and very aromatic dishes. Although in cities like Luanda there is more variety of imported foods, in rural areas people eat their crops and meats are reserved for special occasions.

Some of the most common ingredients in their cuisine are fish, rice, corn, cassava, gombo and beans. Here’s a list of the must-try foods in Angola:

  • Muamba de Galinha: is a chicken stew cooked with palm oil and a mixture of herbs and spices.
  • Palm oil feijão: beans cooked in palm oil, served with rice and fish.
  • Calulu: is a stew that combines meat, fish or seafood with vegetables such as okra and eggplant.
  • Mufete: grilled meat or fish accompanied by various sauces and side dishes, such as fried plantains and rice.
  • Cachupa: corn and bean stew with meat and vegetables, slow-cooked.
  • Funge: baked dough made from cornmeal, often served with sauces and stews.
  • Doce de Ginguba: peanut candy typical of Angola.
  • Camarão Grelhado: grilled shrimps, a coastal delicacy.
  • Moamba de Ginguba: chicken stew in peanut sauce.
  • Caril: is an Indian-influenced dish, a meat and vegetable based curry.

In some areas it is difficult to find a place to eat. For this reason, we recommend that you check it beforehand and take water and food with you. In the Cabo Ledo area, for example, there are not many restaurants, so the most common thing to do is to eat in the hotels and resorts in the area.

There are few drinking water points in the country, especially in rural areas, so we recommend that you always drink bottled water.

plan a trip to Angola
Traditional barbecue from Angola @pixabay

3. Choose the date and plan your trip to Angola

There are two distinct climatic seasons in Angola, the dry and cold season from June to September, and the hot and rainy season from November to April. Temperatures are warm all year round, and we recommend to avoid the rainy season because of its intensity.

The low season coincides with the rainy season, and the high season runs from June to August. If you’re looking for a little more peace and quiet, we recommend going in May, September and October.

4. How to get to and around Angola

The main airport in Angola is located in Luanda, and is the Quatro Fevereiro International Airport, where flights arrive from Europe. Once in the country you have several options to move from one destination to the other:

  • Candongueiros or mini bus: is the most common way to move around Angola. They only leave when they are full and although it is not the most comfortable mean of transport, they are perfect for medium distances.
  • Bus: There are bus routes that frequently connect the main urban centers. The routes are long, lasting several hours. The main company in the country is Macon.
  • Train: The train is a good option for travel, but the service is very limited as they do not have a good infrastructure, so it is difficult to match the routes with your needs. It is recommended to book in advance.
  • Moto-taxi: is the best option for short trips. They are cheap and fast.
  • Taxis: Finding a cab can be complicated as they are not identified. They are usually private cars that fill up with more passengers.
  • Airplane: You may also choose to take local flights. Communications are good, but be sure to book in advance to get good prices.

The great thing about Passporter is that it allows you to compare and buy airline tickets through Skyscanner from the App itself, where you can also save them to have all your travel documents saved in the same place. From the Passporter App you can also book a car for transfers with MyTransfer.

plan a trip to Angola
Angola coast @shutterstock

5. Plan a trip with friends to Angola

Traveling with friends is wonderful, but it can also be a real challenge when there are conflicts of interest or you’re simply a very large group.

With the Passporter App, organizing such trips is easier as you can plan your travel itinerary from start to finish with everyone’s input. Add your friends, get inspired by the experiences of other travelers and create the route together. Later you can share your experience and the photos you take during the trip. We have also prepared this post where we leave you some useful tips for traveling with friends: Group Travel: The best way to travel with your group of friends.

6. Compare and find accommodation with Passporter

Finding accommodation in Angola can be a real challenge as most establishments do not have a website and are not present on accommodation search platforms such as Booking or Trivago. In addition, the few accommodations that you can find online are somewhat overpriced. A good way to find where to spend the night at a good price is to ask the locals.

In your search you will see that there are many resorts, especially in the coastal area, but be aware that they have nothing to do with the European standard of hygiene and comfort.

Another good option to stay is through Couchsurfing, where you will also learn about the local culture and customs.

If in the end you decide to book accommodation from your home country remember that with the Passporter App you will be able to book on Booking and save your reservations in an organized way.

How to create your travel itinerary with Passporter.
Lobito Beach @pixabay

7. Other essential travel tips to plan a trip to Angola

When planning a trip to Angola you have to take into account other small details that will make your stay more pleasant and help you get along with the local population. Here is a summary with the essentials, and if you want to read more in detail we invite you to read this post: The best travel tips to Angola.

  • The Angolan Kwanza is the official currency of Angola. However, U.S. dollars are generally accepted in the same manner.
  • It is illegal to take currency out of the country, you will need to change it before arriving at the airport if you don’t want to be penalized or even detained.
  • The international vaccination certificate is very important when traveling to Angola and must include the yellow fever vaccine. However, it is also recommended to have received other vaccines such as hepatitis, tetanus, typhoid, polio and meningitis C, although these are not mandatory.
  • The official language of Angola is Portuguese, but more than 40 Bantu languages are spoken in the country.
  • Hedge yourself against possible risks: travel insured. The Angolan health system leaves much to be desired, and in case of an accident you will need to go to a private clinic. With a good insurance you will travel with peace of mind and you will be fully covered against possible emergencies.
  • Do not drink tap water, only bottled water and avoid ice.
  • Travel with plenty of cash because with the exception of a few hotels and restaurants, credit cards are not commonly used nor are there many reliable ATM machines.
  • Angola is quite safe but some precautions should be taken: it is recommended to avoid walking, going out at night or visiting troubled areas.

8. How to organize what to see on your trip to Angola

Register or download the Passporter App and discover all its possibilities.

  • Get inspired by other travelers’ experiences, photos and itineraries.
  • Organize your trip by the categories that suit you best: dates, number of days or type of trip (beach, mountain, restaurants…).
  • Add your friends so that they can see and modify all the plans and trip information.
  • Create your own itinerary of your destination with everything you feel like visiting each day.
  • Add the stops that most interest you, including your accommodation, restaurants, museums…
  • Book your flights, accommodations, transfers and activities through a single app.
  • Save all your documents in the app to have everything always at hand: reservations, boarding passes, important documentation…
  • Make any modifications you need and you’ll be all set for your trip
  • Share your experience with other users. Upload photos of the places you have visited on your trip to the app and inspire other travelers with your experience. In addition, you can share your own travel tips and experiences about how to plan a trip Angola.

If you have doubts about how to do it, you can check our post: How to create your travel itinerary with Passporter.

9. Frequently asked questions about a trip to Angola

What currency is used in Angola?

The official currency of Angola is the Angolan Kwanza, although they also accept US dollars.

Can you pay by credit card in Angola?

The most common is to pay with cash. You will be able to change money at hotels, the airport and exchange houses. We also recommend you check if you can withdraw money with your card at ATMs in the country.

Is the water drinkable in Angola?  

There are few drinking water points in the country, and less in rural areas, so we recommend drinking bottled water

What is the best time to travel to Angola?

There are two distinct climatic seasons in Angola, the dry and cold season from June to September, and the hot and rainy season from November to April.
The low season coincides with the rainy season, and the high season runs from June to August. If you are looking for a little more peace, we recommend going in May, September and October.

How to get around Angola?

For long distances we recommend taking local flights, the train and the bus. For shorter distances the best are mini buses, moto-taxi or cabs.

What vaccinations are required for travel to Angola?

Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory, but your vaccination center will inform you about other vaccinations that are recommended.

Is it safe to travel in Angola?

It is safe to travel along tourist routes and accompanied by local guides. Extreme caution is recommended if you are traveling on your own.

What language is spoken in Angola?

The official language is Portuguese, along with more than 40 other Bantu languages. In tourist areas they are likely to speak your language or at least Portuguese.

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