I was in Angola between the 19 of May 2019 and the 04 July 2019. The information and prices were correct at the time of writing
For daily distances and a brief description of each day follow this link
All prices are in Angolan kwanza except when the charge was in USD.
When I was there the oficial exchange rate was as follows:
1 GBP = 416.01 AOA
1 USD = 326.60 AOA
1 EUR = 364.72 AOA
The street rates are much better though and when I was there it was 470 AOA to 1 USD, but it changes all the time. A couple of useful websites to find out daily oficial and street rates are:
You can apply for an e visa. The process is quite involved and what you get is a pre approval to enter the country through a limited number of border crossings. Check the SME website to find out whether the border you’re intending to use accepts pre approval.
Please note the pre approval is only valid for one month so don’t apply too early as once you get the approval you need to wait until it expires before being able to apply again.
Once you have the pre approval you pay and get a one month visa at the border. I paid 120 USD. This visa can be extended for another month at SME offices in main cities.
The format of the documents is crucial. I would advice you to do a test run with a false passport number to check that you are submitting the documents in the correct format. If you use your rea number and it doesn’t work, the system won’t let you make a new submission again as there will be an open request in it.
You will know the format is correct bacause once you get to the end and press submit, you will be redirected to a page with a download button in its bottom left. Press there and you will be able to download the pre approval letter.
If it works on the test run you can proceed with your real passport number
I didn’t have a ticket so I wrote a letter explaining the situation.
To apply go to Visa portal click on apply visa, select the border you are crossing through and follow the instructions carefully
There are many online tools but I used the following to get the documents to the correct format:
Express photoshop app – to get the correct pixels
Reduced photo size app – to get the right kb
Online Convert Free – to convert to JPG to jpeg
DPI converter – to get the correct dpi
Extending your visa
I extended my visa in the SME office of Benguela. You need to take with you:
Photocopy of passport
Photocopy of visa page an entry stamp
Certificate of accommodation (your Guesthouse should give you it)
I got my extension in 24 hours
Getting in the country
As you cross into the country through the Santa Clara border they will direct you to a small booth in the middle of the road.
When I crossed they called a special agent that came with the stamps. Be prepared to wait.
The network was very slow so it took them a while to find my file. When they did they printed the stamp and collected the money but as it was a Sunday the Santa Clara bank was closed so they couldn’t give me a receipt (It seems that ordinarily the bank people need to come from Santa Clara to collect the money) However the officer WhatsApp me the receipts on Monday.
At no point they asked for the documentation I had submitted online.
I used cash during my stay in Angola.
Street money changers will find you at the roundabout after the border I Santa Clara.
In Luanda look out for the women sitting outside banks on plastic chairs selling Unitel credit.
Just be aware that changing money in the black market is illegal.
See above for good sources of street exchange rate.
Angolan SIM card
I got Unitel and paid 300 AOA for the SIM, 4000 AOA for 2 Gb for one month and 500 AOA for some talk time.
The Unitel office in Ondjiva is located at GPS – 17.068476,15.728809
Coverage was adequate/good along my route except in some sections towards Soyo where Movicel apparently is better.
Food and drink
Other than in towns where there are supermarkets, the shops in the villages have limited stock.
You will find bread in most biggish villages and in some markets with fruit and vegetable stalls. Bread price seems to be fixed.
Soft drinks cost somewhere between 200 and 300. And 1.5 lt bottles of water between 200 and 350. Interestingly beer is sometimes cheaper.
Food in restaurants is good and portions big. A good portion in a market stall could set you back around 700 to 1000 and in a restaurant around 2500.
On the Road
I stayed on the main tarred roads and found them to be generally OK. There were roadworks but they let me stay on the main road.
I found other traffic reasonable and buses and lorries gave plenty of room when overtaking.
Please note what follows is the personal experience of one individual and it does not intend to provide any authoritative account with regards to safety in the coutry or account to recommendation to travel there. We are all different, our attitude to risk and our perception of safety is different too.
Always check your government’s travel advice for Angola before making your decision.
As a solo older female I never felt unsafe during my time in Angola even in remote places. I found people to be really warm, welcoming and friendly. Everyone responds to your greetings with a big smile and refreshingly no one ever asked me for money or anything.
Near Ondjiva – Omopanda Catholic Mission – Camped by the Church. Water available but it needs to be treated. Peaceful place with friendly priests and nuns. The run a school and hostel for poor children.
Near Mongua – Omilunga Catholic Mission – 4km out of the road. The friendly nuns gave me a room. I treated he water.
Xangongo – Xangongo Catholic Mission – Lovely nuns, they gave me a room. I treated the water. Electricity.
Cahama – Catholic Mission – I camped – Really friendly Mexican priests. I treated the water
Chibemba – Chibemba Guesthouse – by the police control – 3500 clean double room. Electricity only after 6pm. I treated the water. Food good value 1000.
Chibia – Chibia Guesthouse – Comfortable Guesthouse 6000. En suite double room – The shower didn’t really work but possible to have a bucket shower. They have cheaper rooms. Reasonably priced restaurant
Lubango – Os Chales – 11000 for a single room but negotiated down to 10000- really comfortable. It’s the Guesthouse where NGO workers stay in Lubango. Bfast (buffet) included. Very fast WIFI, I was able to upload photos to Dropbox pretty fast.
Viemba – Local School – They let me stay in their meeting room. No shops in the village so bring what you need.
Quilengues – Casa das Madres but there is the Casa dos Padres across the road. Nice simple room. Really welcoming
Chongoroi – Guesthouse Clean. Double room with ensuite bucket shower 3000. Cheap drinks in the bar 125 beer and coke. There are some cheap eateries with tasty food a couple of Km down the road in la plaza
Catanga – Guesthouse – Not particularly clean when I was there but the room big enough for the tent. Cool baranda to see the world go by 2500 for double room with shared bucket shower toilets.
Benguela – Nancy School of English and Guesthouse – 6000 for a double room or 8000 for a bungalow with en suite. AC – Really comfortable and welcoming.
Lobito – Alfa bar – Free camping. Access to toilets but no shower. No WIFI. Really friendly people. Food at the restaurant is nice and reasonably place. They told me there is dancing at weekends until 2am.
Canjala – Catholic Church – Camped in the veranda of the priests’ House. Socket working at night. Access to toilet
Sumbe – Pousada do Wembele Free camping – Shower – power point. They ask you eat at the restaurant. Delicious fish
Binga Waterfall – Free camping. Reasonable priced food at restaurant. Women’s toilet was big enough to have a wash
Porto Amboim – Hotel Hotel Miramar – 9000 for a single room en suite (loads of hot water) with AC and bfast. Spotless. OK WIFI in the restaurant. Reasonably priced food
Longa -camped at Police Checkpoint – Really friendly. I was able to have a bucket shower
Cabo Ledo – Carpe Diem – Wonderful hospitality. They let me stay for free.
Luanda – stayed with friends
Barra de Dande – Hotel Pasagarda Resort Double rooms with AC 12000 Inc bfast. Singl occupancy 10000. Clean and very comfortable. Hot water. No WIFI. There is the possibility to camp about one km after the bridge and there is another Guesthouse just next door to it.
EN100 -Camped at the Petrol Station – Nice friendly people. It has a shop and 24 hour security. There are villages at km marker 76 and 78 and settlements an isolated houses along the way
Musserra – Camped inside the Police Station – Friendly officers. Water for washing but not drinking. No electricity. Bakery and shop in the village.
Praia Kissamba- Camped at Resort Luvuvamu – It was closed but the security people let me camp and opened a toilet for me. Running water in the taps and toilet and a water tap with non drinking water. Electricity in the evenings. Power points. Bring everything you need. The beach was amazing.
Quinzau – Police Station They let me put the tent in one room with an en suite. Electricity and power points. Drinking water tap a few metres away.
Soyo – Hotel AMT Fantastic room and amazing food. No idea about price got hosted by friends
Soyo – Hotel Bravo – Got taken there by SME officer. Asked for 8500 for small room bargained down to 7000. No value for money. AC but cold shower and the water kept going off and had to ask reception to connect it. Bfast no included. I wouldn’t use it again.
Cabinda – Camped at the Catholic Mission – Got told to ask for father Futi but he wasn’t there. People really friendly. They seemed to be used to overlanders turning up. Access to shower, toilets and water tap. Electricity so I asked to charge my phone and they were very helpful. Supermarket with cooked food less than 100 mt away. They close the big entrance door at 21:00 so secure at night. WIFI in the posh hotel opposite the supermarket.
Landana – Catholic Mission They let me have a room with bathroom and gave me dinner. Plug in the room. Bucket shower. Really friendly Father Eugene