Angola, a country in southern Africa, is located along the south Atlantic between Namibia and the Congo (Democr. Republic). Angola shares an inland border with Zambia. The population of around 18.5 million is heavily centered in the Greater Luanda area, dominated by the capital city of Luanda and its four million people. Summers in this part of the world occur from November to April, and are hot and rainy. Winters are mildly pleasant and dry. The country has a diverse landscape, from the rainforests in Northern Angola to the mountainous central highlands that give way to the Benguela beaches and then a spectacular finale in Namibe, where the desert, ocean, and savannah all meet in one place. Get a car for hire in Angola and you can follow the coast and visit these destinations and all the beaches and national parks along the way.
As the capital city, Luanda offers a variety of attractions and activities. Get a car for rent in Angola and start with Independence Square and the Agostinho Neto monument. Another monument to the country's first president can be found at Praia do Bispo, behind the Presidential Palace. The Slavery Museum and the Armed Forces Museum are worth a visit. The Church of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, from 1665, is a striking example of historic architecture. The best beaches can be found on Mussulo Island and at the mouth of the Kwanza River, known locally as the Barra do Kwanza.
Benguela is a seven hour drive south of Luanda. But it is certainly worth the effort when you find yourself in Benguela Bay, lined end to end with spectacular beaches. Moreno Beach is a white sand beach that begins downtown and continues a long way beyond. San Antonio Bay, south of the city, extends for almost two miles. The Baía Azul, or Blue Bay Beach, is aptly named with blue waters offshore. Caotinha Beach is small and isolated, accessible only if you go around Caota Hill. About six miles from the city, you will find the rocky Caota Beach, with clear waters perfect for scuba diving. If you get time off from the beaches, do some sightseeing. Do not miss the 1748 Church of Our Lady of Populo and the Ethnographic Museum of Lobito.
Namibe is where it all comes together. The northern Namibian desert presses in from the south, while the Atlantic coast offers up more superb beaches. The inland Savannah plains push in from the southeast. Visitors in Namibe get to see all this, from the sandy Amelia Beach to Arco's Oasis around the sand dunes in the Namibe Desert and the rhinos and zebras in Iona National Park. Again, if you have time, there are two fortresses and some nice churches, including the Praia Amelia Chapel.
If you followed the coastal route south of the capital, you may have already have bumped into Kissama National Park, 45 miles outside Luanda, and the Iona National Park in Namibe. But this is just a tiny part of what you can see inland. Book your car rental in Angola right now and figure out how you can take detours to Malange and Huambo to squeeze in big game safaris in the inland national parks alongside your coastal road trip.
11 April 2020
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12 April 2020
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