The best things to do in Angola – 5 awesome places you’ve probably never heard of! A guide to help you plan the perfect trip to Angola.
Angola’s a country that you don’t really hear much about on the travel scene. With next to no information available, planning a trip to this little travelled country can be difficult. Angola’s probably best known for the horrific civil war which savaged the country for almost 2 decades between 1975-2002. Branded as dangerous country, for years travel to Angola was considered unsafe.
But times are changing and the country has slowly been rebuilding. If you dig deep, you’ll be amazed at what Angola has to offer. And if you fancy getting a little off track, Africa’s seventh largest country should definitely be on your radar.
Here’s 5 amazing things to see and do in Angola that you’ve probably never heard of:
1. Tundavala Gap: Fenda da Tundavala
Tundavala Gap is one of the most spectacular viewpoints we have ever seen. Locally known as Fenda da Tundavala, this viewpoint sits on the edge of a massive escarpment. Voted as one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of Angola’, the whole area is absolutely breathtaking. Located right on the border of the Namibe and Huíla provinces, it’s an easy 18km drive north-west of Lubango.
On a clear day, panoramic views stretch as far as the eye can see from atop of the 2200m lookout. Our favourite view is between the famous ‘gap’; a natural window in the escarpment, beautifully framing the spectacular plains 1km below. But there’s many more stunning vantage points to explore. During the wetter times of the year, you’ll literally be standing above the clouds.
2. Kalandula Falls: Quedas de Kalandula
Feeding off the Lucala River in the Malanje Province, are the spectacular Kalandula Falls. At 105m high and 400m wide, the falls have also been voted as one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of Angola’. The sheer size of Kalandula falls makes the 350km drive west of Luanda worth the effort!
There are two main viewpoints, one on the opposite side of the falls and one looking along the falls. You can also hike to the base or clamber over the rocks and pools above the falls to find secret spots. And there’s plenty of vantage points looking over the lush scenery on the horizon. Visit between October-April to see he falls at their fullest. This was one of our favourite places in Angola, with only a few locals around to share it with!
3. Black Rocks at Pungo Andongo: Pedras Negras de Pungo Andongo
Also found in the Malanje Province are the mysterious Black Rocks at Pungo Andongo. Literally sitting out in the middle of nowhere, these massive rocks tower over the surrounding flat landscape. These almost otherworldly looking geological rock formations are arguably best viewed from a distance. If approaching from Kalandula Falls/Cacuso in the north, be sure to take in the views on the drive down.
As you get closer to the Black Rocks, their sheer size becomes apparent. Once at Pungo Andongo, it’s easy to explore this surreal area by foot. You can hike to several different viewpoints overlooking the Black Rocks and the surrounding lush scenery beyond. It’s a unique and strange place, but an incredibly captivating area in Angola.
4. Viewpoint of the Moon: Miradouro da Lua
The Miradouro da Lua, commonly known as the ‘viewpoint of the moon’, is aptly named for its lunar-like landscape. Located 40kms south of Luanda, it’s a quick and easy drive and a must-see if you’re in the countries capital. It’s easily accessible location makes this one of the more frequented of the countries must-see attractions.
Centuries of erosion have shaped this near 1km stretch of cliff into this moonlike appearance found today. With its tri-coloured layers and uniquely shaped pinnacles and gullies, the landscape certainly seems otherworldly. On a clear evening, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. Who knew you could visit the moon from Angola?
5. The secret sandy beaches of the Zaire Province
With the Atlantic Ocean running the length of the country, it’s not surprising that Angola is blessed with some beautiful beaches. The best known and most popular are those around the bigger cities of Luanda and Lobito. But head further north and you’ll find some stunning secret beaches which can’t be missed.
The Zaire provinces northerly stretch of coastline in the north west of the country is home to deserted pristine beaches. Just south of N’Zeto, tucked in off the EN100 road, is one such example. This deserted beach is one of the nicest beaches we have seen in all of Africa. And the white sand seemed to stretch forever! Watching the sunset and waking as the sun rose, glistening along the shoreline was just magic.
Angola really is a breathtaking country full of amazing things to see and do. It’s the perfect place to get a little off track and escape the tourist trail. We visited Angola as part of an Oasis Overland Adventure in 2018 and couldn’t believe how stunning the country was. With increasing accessibility and the introduction of the 2018 e-visa, visiting Angola is slowly becoming easier. With that in mind, we recommend visiting this beautiful country sooner rather than later!
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