Here’s another destination to add to your ever-growing African travel list: Angola. The country has never been high on vacationers’ wish lists. A revolutionary war to oust Portuguese colonizers ended in 1975, only for a civil war to break out. It lasted for decades. The fighting finally stopped in 2002, and political stabilization slowly followed. Now people are finally starting to explore the rapidly expanding capital city of Luanda, the recently revitalized Kissama National Park, and the beautiful beaches along the Atlantic coast.
You started in Luanda, a city whose wealth comes from petroleum and mineral reserves. Now you’re heading south. Stop at the Benfica market to browse local artwork, wooden handcrafts, and T-shirts to prove you reached Angola. Visit the National Museum of Slavery to see the chapel where slaves were baptized before being shipped to the Americas. See the beautiful view from the cliffs at the Viewpoint of the Moon—erosion really makes it look like a lunar landscape. Drive over the country’s longest river on the Kwanza River Bridge. Eat mussels, tilapia, or lobster for lunch in Barra do Kwanza. Then relax on Sangano’s golden-sand beach.
Your final destination today is Cabo Ledo. This beach town is known for its stunning location near the cliffs, gorgeous beach, and great surfing waves. The Carpe Diem Resort is surrounded by acacias. A peacock greets you near the entrance. Thatched umbrellas, colorful hammocks, comfy beanbag chairs, and wooden swings litter the beach. Kizomba music floats from the beach bar. More seafood is cooking in the open-air restaurant. And your wooden bungalow has a perfect view of the bright blue ocean. After the craziness of Luanda, this is a place where you can relax.
Relax is exactly what you do for the next few days. Alternate between the cozy spots on the beach and the white-cushioned loungers by the pool. Drink N’Gola Cerveja Superior and get to the know the guys at the beach bar. Watch sea turtles return to the water after laying their eggs in the sand. Surf at one of the longest break point waves in the world. Walk along the seemingly endless beach. And go fishing for crevalle jacks.
Soon, you’ll be off to Kissama National Park, where zebras, wildebeests, ostriches, and giraffes roam an area the size of Italy. But first, you eat your catch for dinner, as the sky starts to fill with stars, and toast to one of Africa’s rising stars.