Angola in the earlier days was a Portuguese colony and has substantial natural resources, most of it being petroleum and diamonds. It is on the Atlantic coast of south western Africa.
Small but oil-rich Northern Province Cabinda is alienated from the other parts of the country by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congo River. Angola has a very narrow stretch of coastal plain, which is also the most populated area. It is elevated as a high plateau inside with rain forests in the north and dry savannah in the south.
Angola can be said to be a large, developing country in South Africa. It gained independence from Portugal in 1975, but sadly was overwhelmed with civil war which lasted for more than twenty five years. There are some states where the roads are free of land mines but it is still possible to find land mines here. Tourism is not very rampant and the facilities for tourists especially outside the capital city of Luanda may be very basic. It is possible to find a number of hotels in many of the provincial capitals, but there are very few which provide good and clean services.
It was a Portuguese colony for a long time and as it is Angola was the source for hundreds of slaves which were sent to Brazil and also other places across the Atlantic. They fought a number of guerilla wars to finally gain independence. But with the breaking out of civil war, it has not been possible for the country to develop and prosper the way it should have.
The war devastated the country's political and social institutions and in place filled it with land mines. Angola can be said to be one of the world's poorest countries, and has a life expectancy of just 40 years and is also among the lowest in Africa.
Fighting and war damaged wiped out most of the roads and bridges in the country. You just cannot count on any service for motorists outside the urban areas. Because of a number of land mines in some areas road travel can be very risky. The authority has tried to clearly mark such area and the people who are traveling and are new to the country should keep this warning in mind.
You may find different kinds of road conditions especially out of the capital city, it could be something like paved surfaces to just impossible to travel on dirt roads, and this can be more seen in the less important roads. It may just not be possible to move on the secondary roads during monsoon. There are some overloaded and out of action kind of vehicles, which can be hazardous for motorists.
It is important that you take road travel only during the day. The public transportation what ever is available here , including the buses and van taxis, should not be used as far as possible as they are most of the time overcrowded and also can turn out to be very unreliable.
There is no direct commercial air service to Angola from the United States. Angola is normally a cash-only economy that means you will not be able to use either travelers checks or your credit card other than in the capital city of Luanda. You have to have Angolan currency; the Kwanza is not allowed to be taken out of the country.
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