"LUANDA" Top 5 Page for this destination Luanda by scarm
Luanda Travel Guide: 139 reviews and 259 photos
First of all, this Luanda page is a little different from the others that are out there. There is already sufficient information about the restaurants and bars on the island, and information about the hotels, so I thought I would put some information here that is not already out there. My favorite beer to drink in Luanda, by the way, is "Super Bock", which is imported, but very good, especially when it is served "bem gelada"!!
Now, About Those People
Passive and tranquil, surprizingly friendly and joyful in spite of so many difficulties and such hardship during so many years of war.
Nobody goes to Luanda on holiday. First of all, it is very expensive to get there, from almost anywhere, and second of all, the city offers very little to the tourist.
People who go to Luanda generally go for one of three reasons:
1.) They are working for an international oil company or international company that performs services for the international oil sector.
2.) They are working in the area of importation of goods, which are badly needed, as Angola in general has no industrial or commercial production, and all goods must be imported (they do make soft drinks, known as gasosas, and beer, but not much more). These people that bring container loads of everything imaginable into the country are of the get-rich-quick types, similar to what were called "carpetbaggers", who invaded the defeated southern states after the Civil War in the USA.
3.) Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's), such as Feed the People, United Nations, etc. etc., of which there are a lot, but it seems that the general perception is that the emergency is over, and many of these care-givinig types are leaving in search of countries that need more help than Angola.
It is interesting to see the "tree huggers" and the oil and industrial people together at the same social functions, as it would seem that they would not have a lot in common, except the color of their skin.
Luanda is a city of about 4 million people, they say, although nobody really has any idea how many there are. Most of these people - about 95 percent - live in the slums, or mosseques, (which in Brazil would be called favelas).
In these areas, people build their little huts out of cinder blocks they make themselves out of cement, sand, and water, or they buy the blocks from any of the hundreds of backyard block factories, and they put a corregated tin roof on top, held down by stones, bricks, or discarded tires. Most houses have no electricity and no running water, and therefore no bathroom facilities.
Most people do have a simple stove that uses bottled propane gas, which they purchase in the street. About $25 worth of gas can last up to six months, if used conservatively. The women generally carry water on their heads, that they buy from a neighbor fortunate enough to have a domestic water tap. A five gallon jug of water costs about 20 cents, but this is not purified water. They often drink it anyway.
Water is used much like it was used in the old west in the USA. The cleanest water is used for cooking, the dirtiest water is used for washing the floors. Cleaner water is used for washing the clothes, and somewhat cleaner water is used for the final rinse of washed clothes. Watching these people conserving and grading the cleanliness of the water for different purposes makes one think about the water we use with one flush . . .
Why don't these people have sewers? Why does sewage run through the streets regularly? Why don't the people have access to clean water? Why are there garbage piles covered with flies everywhere? Why is Malaria rampant and a way of life? Why are giant potholes left un-repaired for months on end?
The country produces 2 million barrels of oil every day. At current oil proces, this adds up to $120 million per day, or $44 billion per year!! This does not even count the diamonds!!! Surely, after the international oil companies producing in Angola (Chevron, Total, and Exxon Mobil) pay their employees and take their profit, there would be enough money left over to make some infrastructure improvements.
There has been a lot of discussion about what happens to the oil revenues, but you might do a search on google, and look up the words "world bank" or "imf" and "Angola", to get an idea of what the well-known and well-documented problem is!! The Luandans are very aware of what the problem is.
- Pros:Passive, Positive Thinking, Funloving People
- Cons:Difficulties everywhere
- In a nutshell:Not for Tourists
A point of interest on that all important road trip to the beaches south of Luanda. This is probably about 35 kilometers... more travel advice
Drive 75 km down the coast, south past Luanda Sul and Benfica, past the Kwanza river and onward toward an unspoiled,... more travel advice
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