When the discussion is about oil and diamonds, the country of Angola naturally gets mentioned. With the richness of its natural resources, locals have forgotten that warfare prevented economic stability ever since the 1970s. Visitors are rather scarce in this part of Central Africa, but it cannot be denied that the place is dotted with cultural riches and untouched geographic destinations. Through the years, the country’s security has been improved, and along with it, infrastructure advancements were made. Despite the introduction to metal structures, Angola remains to be an attractive place for travelers who have a knack for adventure and solitude.
Important and Interesting Facts about Angola
- Angola’s oil and diamonds are its primary sources of income. The country has even become China’s major oil supplier.
- Unlike other currencies, Angola’s kwanza can’t be taken outside the country. Attempting to bring it out is illegal.
- Photographing government buildings, military sites, and such other structures is illegal in Angola and is penalized.
- Angola is a huge country and the climate in the north is much more tropical than in the arid south. The rainy season in the north usually lasts from November to April. The south gets scattered rains twice a year, from March to July and October to November.
- Angola’s high growth rate is driven by its oil sector, which has taken advantage of high international oil prices.
- The capital city of Luanda is now the most expensive city in the world—by far. Forget Tokyo, Moscow, or even your good friends up in Equatorial Guinea—Luanda wins. Also known as the ” Paris of Africa” – This title is apparently due to the city’s sophisticated culture and atmosphere
- Angola has a very young population – Interestingly, nearly 70% of the population in Angola is under the age of 24
- Life expectancy for both men and women is 54.59 years.
- Angola has the highest death rate (mortality) in the world – For every 1000 people, there are 23.4 deaths a year (2011 statistics)
- Iona National Park – Angola’s largest national park bordering the Atlantic ocean with gorgeous desert dunes, plenty of bird life and slowly recovering its larger mammals after some serious poaching during the war.
- One of Africa’s most beautiful natural wonders, the Ruacana Falls, is located in Angola.
Cool Funny and Fun Facts about Angola
- Miss Universe 2011 is Angolan – Leila Luliana da Costa Vieira Lopes, known simply as “Leila Lopes” holds the title of Miss Universe
- Angola is the birthplace of the dreadlocks hair style
- Shortage of men – After 27 years of civil war, there’s a shortage of men in the country. So it’s not unusual for a man to have several “non-official” wives
- The Bungy Jumping Craziness will fall down a 20 feet drop and will go crazy and wild. That is why it is called Bungy Jumping Craziness.
- Vernay’s Climbing Mouse. This species is known only from the type locality, Chitau, east-central Angola at around 1,500 m asl.
- The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the finback whale, razorback, or common rorqual It is the second largest animalafter the blue whale, one of the endangered species found in Angola.
- Bushman Poison, a poisonous succulent endemic to the mostly dry regions of northern Namibia and southern Angola
- Boophone disticha, a poisonous tropic and sub-tropic flowering plant endemic to Angola.
- You can easily get to Angola by bus from Namibia. Getting there by land from Zambia and the DRCcan be tricky.
- Angola also is the home for the giant sable antelope. It can’t be found anywhere else and was thought to be extinct until they discovered it a few years ago.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Angola
- Tipping is not standard practice in Angola. If you do leave tips, it should not be more than 10% of your bill – and it does not have to be in cash! (Cigarettes, for instance, are acceptable.)
- Slave trade was practiced in the early history of Angola, with such tribes as the Imbangala and the Mbundu as slave traders, and with ports built in Luanda and Benguela.
- Portuguese put an end to slave trade in 1836, years after Brazil, with which Angola traded slaves, gained independence from Portugal.
- Semba, one of the most common Angolan musical styles, influenced several other types of music, including the samba of Brazil.
- Angolans normally shake hands when greeting each other – but when introduced to an older person or to someone with a higher position, Angolans typically bow their heads
- Angola went through long civil war that took thousands of people’s life and lasted from 1975 to 2002.
- Angola celebrates both religious and secular festivals with great zeal. The Carnival, Christmas, Easter, the Luanda Island Festival in honor of the water God Kianda are important religious festivals of Angola.
- Angolans are lovers of music and every year in September the Sumbe Music Festival is held in Sumbe which is well known internationally.
- Angola’s national tree is the majestic imbondeiro– There is one tree that is special to Angolan, it’s called “imbondeiro”. There was a popular belief that God planted this tree, also known as “Boabob” upside down. The unusual looking imbondeiro tree can be found growing all over the country and on local artwork.