"Cabana Boy's Luanda Page" Top 5 Page for this destination Luanda by Cabana_Boy

Luanda Travel Guide: 138 reviews and 257 photos

Angola...it was perhaps the most mysterious location on my 2003 travel schedule that gave me trepidation... I had looked forward to this trip for more than a year with anticipation and apprehension.

After more than 25 years of civil war, how would I find the country and its the people??? Would I be able to sense tension in the air or have the Angolans put the internal strive behind them? And how would they view me...an outsider from the bastion of capitalism!!! After all, anti-Americanism is very popular the world over these days...

Like a child who is flying for the first time, there are all sorts of thoughts that pass through the young mind as an airplane is landing at a new destination. After several take-offs, landings and as the child grows older the excitement subsides, but I think touching down in Africa is different. That excitement of the unknown (be it good or bad) is always there because you never really know what to expect. At least the excitement has returned for me and the thoughts above were just a few that were going through my head as my Air Namibia flight from Windhoek started its decent.

The pilot did a corkscrew descent circling over the city twice in a bid to lose altitude on his approach to Luanda International Airport. This gave me plenty of time to view the city below. From containerships and oil tankers in the bay to shantytowns and new industrial parks under construction at the edge of the city to its center with shiny office buildings, I had the perfect view of Luanda, the city whose nickname before the Angolan civil war was "the Rio de Janeiro of Africa."

The city seemed to be running right up to the edge of the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean only to jump off into the blue sea!!! I could see thoughtfully planned out streets and outdoor markets busy with Sunday shoppers while children played ball games on neighborhood courts. There was a lot of activity, this was Angola, this was Luanda...I had finally arrived!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Cons:Marburg and other nasty things...
  • Last visit to Luanda: Jun 2003
  • Intro Updated Dec 27, 2006
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Reviews (13)

Comments (13)

  • Oct 4, 2010 at 2:25 AM

    Pub Royal is a must visit place. A real eye opener, especially on Fridays & Saturdays. Theres no such thing as an ugly old guy in there. Money talks.

  • Ramonq's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2007 at 6:59 AM

    Do you still live in Luanda? I live here too! Beer at Zanzibar or Miami?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2007 at 10:42 AM

    Great tips on an exotic destination that has always held a fascination for me! I loved your 'diplomat' scam for an easy entry into the country! Nice to see they are on the road to recovery after the wars.

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2006 at 11:50 PM

    Hello Mark! Happy Birthday from Finland! I am enchanted by your Luanda page! I just love the way you describe it. you have made me want to go there and one day I will. Cheers, Sini

  • thelittlevoice's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2005 at 5:16 AM

    Nice page. Hopefully I'll get there one day.

  • faq's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2004 at 2:19 PM

    I'ts funny to read about Luanda, now, more than 10 year since I have been there. I was reading you and lots of images about my arrivals at Luanda pass through my mind. :) I'll try to write something about my several stays at Luanda.

  • antistar's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2004 at 5:31 PM

    Great stuff, and written with such enthusiasm. I love to read about these out of the way places, especially when you make it sound so much fun!

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2004 at 6:04 AM

    some angolan students have successffully brainwashed me about their country. i hope to go one day soon

  • creativechuckie's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2004 at 9:11 PM

    Great information. Would like to see more photos.

  • CliffClaven's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2004 at 2:44 AM

    Envious - but doesn't seem like a place to take the kids!

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