Beyond the Ilha de Cabo (Angola’s mini-Dubai), a blend of sights and culture await first-timers visiting the country. If you are a tourist, that makes it an even better move because you have unlimited things to feed your eyes on, experience, and, surely, get some photographic memories of.
We brings you 10 amazingly beautiful and captivating places from Luanda, Angola’s capital, that will make your trip worth the moments.
Lovers of old Portuguese architecture will enjoy visiting Cidade Alta, considered one of the most beautiful quarters in the capital. Walk around the streets adorned with elegant buildings, and soak in the colonial architecture.
Note, however, that taking photos in the area is forbidden, given the proximity of the presidential residence and the heavy military security. Visit the local church and museum to find out more about the capital’s history.
At one time, Ruacana Falls was a guaranteed wonder, though all that changed, thanks to Angola’s Calueque Dam, 20km upstream, and NamPower’s Ruacana power plant. On the rare occasion when there’s a surfeit of water, Ruacana returns to its former glory. In wetter years, it’s no exaggeration to say it rivals Victoria Falls – if you hear that it’s flowing, you certainly won’t regret a trip to see it (and it may be the closest you ever get to Angola).
Fortress of Sao Miguel
The Fortress of “S. Miguel” is established in the old mountain of S. Paulo, near the bridge of Luanda Island.
It is the first defensive edifice that was built in Angola by Paulo Dias de Novais, the first Governor of Angola in Luanda in 1575. It is a huge area, walled and fortified.
This Fortress, which has been kept intact in its totality, today serves as a Historical Monument that is actually the Central Museum of the country’s Army.
National Museum of Slavery
The Angolan National Museum of Slavery (or Museu Nacional da Escravatura in Portuguese) was founded by the National Institute of Cultural Patrimony in 1997.
Its main aim is to depict the history of slavery in Angola. The museum is situated in a chapel which once belonged to Álvaro de Carvalho Matoso, one of the largest Portuguese slave-traders in the eighteenth century.
It is also next door to Capela da Casa Grande, a seventeenth-century structure, which was once used for baptizing enslaved Africans before they were shipped to the Americas. The museum has a large collection of items that were utilized in the slave trade, as well as, items relating to African culture, pre- and post-transatlantic slave trade and a vast photography collection.
Situated 15.5 miles outside the city of Luanda, the museum forms an extraordinary landmark along the “Slave’s Route.”
The Iron Palace
Angola’s Palácio de Ferro (Iron Palace) is made almost entirely of iron.
Its true origin is not quite certain but it was built some time in the late 1800s. The metal two-storey edifice is thought to have shown up on the Skeleton Coast after the ship carrying its pre-built parts drifted off course and was claimed by Portuguese authorities. While there is no official record, it is believed that the building had been designed and built in Paris by the same man who created the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel.
Cathedral of the Holy Saviour
The Cathedral of the Holy Saviour is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Luanda, Angola and was built in 1628.
It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Luanda. In 1716, the headquarters of the Diocese of Angola and Congo was transferred from São Salvador of Congo to Luanda, which eventually led the church of Dos Remedios to become a cathedral.
Quiçama National Park
Quiçama, or Kissama National Park, is on the west coast of Angola, in Southern Africa.
The park consists of coastal savannah with baobab trees, grasslands and mangroves. North is the Cuanza River.
Museu da Moeda
Located on the outskirts of Luanda, the Museu da Moeda, with some underground infrastructures, occupies a gross building area of 95,000 square meters.
The outdoor landscape fills the Kianda Towers, which are four 12-story office towers, a commercial gallery and a garden.
Ilha de Luanda
The Ilha do Cabo, a large sandspit off Luanda’s coast packed with bars, restaurants, and beaches, is where expats and the wealthy go to unwind.
It consists of a low sandy strip formed by sedimentation. In administrative terms, the peninsula belongs to the municipality of Ingombota in the Luanda Province.
Museu Nacional de História Natural de Angola
The Museu Nacional de História Natural de Angola is located in Largo do Kinaxixe, in the city of Luanda, Angola.
It was established in 1938 as the Museu de Angola and was originally housed in the Fortress of São Miguel, initially with departments of Ethnography, History, Zoology, Botany, Geology, Economics and Art.