Trip to Angola, the great surprise of the continent
Este próximo abril 2023 realizaremos un viaje a Angola de la mano de nuestra experta guía Lablanche, con la cual exploraremos el sur tribal del país, la capital Luanda y el enclave de Cabinda.
The years that plunged Angola into the chaos of war are long gone. On this trip to Angola you will discover that Angola is a serious country, comfortable to visit, with decent infrastructure and a friendly population. Modernity is making its way into Luanda, Lubango and Cabinda, but not far from these cities, an ancestral and tribal world lives on.
On this trip to Angola we will combine the tribal south, visiting some of its traditional villages, with the colonial heritage that is beautifully preserved in cities such as Namibe or Chibia. We will also enjoy the untamed landscapes of the Iona National Park, where its dune seas meet the waters of the Atlantic. In the enclave of Cabinda, we will attend a traditional Tchizo mask ceremony, perhaps one of the few still used in Angola. In Luanda we will visit Santiago beach, a spectacular ship graveyard and its lively fishing port.
Tribal South Angola
On this trip to Angola we will spend several days visiting different tribes in the south of the country. We will focus on 4 different tribes: Muilas, Himbas, Hakaona and Cubal. With each of them we will spend one night in a traditional village. We will also have the opportunity to meet other different ethnic groups in the regional markets such as the Tua or Dimba.
This is not a photographic (tribal) trip. Angola trip explanation
At Kumakonda we are not in favour of hiding the realities of the places we visit. Visiting certain ethnic groups in Africa has become a sometimes unwieldy and often unpleasant affair when you take out your cameras and want to take pictures. We ourselves have had that feeling in some tribal sites in southern Angola this past August 2022. In just a few years, the different tribes in the south of Angola have seen the opportunity to earn additional income from tourist visits, especially from photographers. This seems to us totally legitimate. That said, this trip to Angola, not focused on photography or at least on tribal portraits, does not include the different fees or payments for photography that most tribal people (especially Himbas, Muilas and Tuas) will request from travellers. The traveller should be aware that in some tribes you will have to pay for each person you want to photograph for a limited time.
We know it is not easy, and perhaps we ourselves are the first not to apply ourselves to the story on many occasions, but we invite the traveller to do without a camera in the tribal south of Angola, apart from the essentials. We are convinced that you will enjoy the experience much more.
Iona National Park
Iona Park has 160 km of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, from Tombua to Foz de Cunene. It is a spectacular stretch of dunes and desert that ends abruptly at the Atlantic in many cases. This marine area is in the process of becoming Angola's first coastal protected area.
The wetlands at the mouth of the Cunene River, the beaches of Iona and the lagoons of Baia dos Tigres are important breeding grounds for shorebirds and large colonies of Cape fur seals. In addition, this region has the largest known concentration of green turtles on the west coast of Africa, which also nest along the beaches and on Ilha dos Tigres. April is perhaps the end of the animal-sighting season, so you may see some, but you'll certainly be amazed by the desert landscapes by the sea.
Camping in the dunes
Trip to Angola to discover its colonial heritage
In Luanda, Chibia, Tombua and especially Namibe you will discover a rich colonial architectural heritage. It is a delight to stroll through the streets of Namibe, chatting with the locals and sipping a good beer from time to time in some of the taverns. In Namibe we will stay in a nice colonial house converted into a basic guesthouse.
Cabinda, the oil enclave
We will continue our journey to Angola flying to Cabinda, the only region of Angola that is not linked to the rest of the country. In Cabinda we will attend a traditional mask ceremony of the Bakama secret society. We will continue to spend the day strolling through the quiet city centre.
Luanda ship cemetery, the landscape of the apocalypse
About 25 km north of Luanda is a large bay where the skeletons of huge iron ghost ships loom on the horizon above the water or stranded on the sand.
Some say that the ships were towed there after the companies that owned them went bankrupt; others say that the ships were abandoned off Luanda in 1975 and that, over time, ocean currents broke the moorings and washed them up on these beaches. Other "ears" also claim that these ships were carrying weapons and were stranded there on purpose by the crews, who abandoned them after transferring the cargo ashore in the dark of the night. ....