"Angolan enclave" Cabinda by Ramonq

Cabinda Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos

Cabinda is the northernmost province of Angola. Its capital city is also named Cabinda. The province is unique because it is separated from the rest of Angola, an enclave bordered by the two Congos. The city of Cabinda exudes a small town atmosphere. There is the usual church, common in Angolan cities, a cultural centre, and even a compound full of bars serving Angolan and Congolese beers. As in any small town, Cabindans are much more relaxed than their Luandan counterparts and life is simple. The road traffic is less hectic therefore there is less stress here.

Cabinda is a very important province for Angola as it produces a large proportion of the countrys wealth, oil! The oil rigs are visible from the shores of Cabinda and some of them are lit up with flames giving an eerie effect at night. Most of the expatriate oil workers are housed in highly secured compounds isolated from the population. The locals mainly live in the nearby suburbs of Cabinda, some in makeshift shanty homes and others in grand mansions.

The town itself is not rushed. Car movements are efficiently controllled by traffic lights which is a rarity in Luanda. The roads in Cabinda are wider and cleaner. It's quite pleasant in Cabinda, but the heat and humidity can be overbearing. If you can afford one, hire a car, because in Cabinda, you will be covered in sweat after a few minutes of walking. But Cabinda does not lend itself as a tourist destination. Foreign oil workers mainly stay within their compound, providing the locals with very little tourism income. This is more of a laid back oil rig city.

But Cabinda does have its charms because of the small town feeling. This is definitely a flipflop and shorts country. The bars at Feira de Cabinda offer a nice respite from the heat and you will be able to relax with an ice cold Congolese beers. It gets even interesting in the evening when friendly women somehow appear from nowhere. You may be able to see an expat or two but the bars are mainly patronised by Angolans and these are the places to meet them socially.

The Chiloango, named after the river in the province, is the cultural centre where local theatrical and musical shows are presented. It also has a huge basketball stadium where locals and visitors play the national game sports. A football stadium is also being built in Cabinda for the Africa Cup.

The Congolese connection is strong in Cabinda. Many of the Cabindans have roots across the border, the Republic of Congo in the north and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the east. Their presence have given Cabinda a unique culture from the rest of Angola. More colourful central African dresses are worn here and the music has less Portuguese/Brazilian influence that you hear in the mainland. The beat and the rhythm are decidedly more Congolese.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:laid back
  • Cons:little to do
  • In a nutshell:Oil country
  • Intro Updated Aug 6, 2010
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Cabinda Travel Guide

Ramonq

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