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Map of Angola, Luanda Capital
Angola is situated in the western part of Southern Africa and has the following geographic data:
• Latitude – North – 04°22'G / South - 18°02'.
• Longitude – East – 24°05'E.G / West – 11°41'.
• Area: 1.246.700 square kilometres.
• Extension of the Atlantic Ocean: 1.650 kilometres.
• Land Border : 4.837 kilometres.
• Neighbouring countries to North: Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo
• Neighbouring countries to East: Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Zambia
• Neighbouring countries to South: Republic of Namibia.
• West: Atlantic Ocean.
Angola is comprised of 18 provinces:
About 65 percent of the territory is situated between 1000 and 1600 metres of altitude.
The official currency is the Kwanza. The Official Language is Portuguese, besides various local languages of which the most widely spoken are: Kikongo, Kimbundo, Tchokwe, Umbundo, Mbunda, Kwanyama, Nhaneca, Fiote and Nganguela.
Angola has two stations: the rainy station, which is hotter, between September and May and the “cacimbo” or dry station, which is less hot from May to September.
The country has a very peculiar geographic setting, as it lies in the inter-tropical and sub-tropical zone of the Southern hemisphere, near the sea and for the particularities of its relief, it comprises two distinct climatic regions:
• The Coastal Region – with annual relative humidity of 30 percent and average temperatures higher than 23°C;
• The Inland Region, sub-divided in Northern Zone, and heavy rains and high temperatures, Zone of Altitude that covers the central planaltic regigons, with a dry station, of low temperatures and the Southwest semi-arid Zone, as a result of the proximity of the Namibe desert, an extension of the Kalahari desert, subject to large masses of continental tropical air.
The country’s average temperatures are: 27°C maximum and 17°C minimum.
This climatic diversity corresponds to a tourist potential represented by a very rich natural asset of diversified flora and fauna, propitiating the practice of all sorts of leisure activity, hobbies and adventure.
Angola presents five types of natural zones: the dense rain-forest like that of Maiombe (Cabinda), that holds the world’s rarest timber; the savannas, normally associated with the jungles, as it is the case of the provinces of Lunda-Norte and Lunda-Sul; the dry savannas, with trees and shrubs in Luanda, Baixa de Kassanje, in the province of Malanje and also some areas in the Lundas.
There are also steppe zones along a strip that ranges from south of Sumbe, in Kwanza-Sul, and finally the desert that covers a narrow coastal strip in the far southern part of the country, where we can find, in the Namibe desert, a world unique and endemic vegetal species that characterises this country, the “Welwitchia Mirabilis”.
There are in Angola innumerous species spread around various regions. In the Maiombe forest, in Cabinda, there are gorillas, chimpanzees and parrots. In the most humid natural zones of the north, centre and east, we can find the “golungo”, the sable giant antelope, an endemic species in the world, threatened with extinction, the “seixa” and the elephant. In the drier regions, herds of springbok, gemsbok or oryx, gnus, impalas, leopards, buffalos, elephants, zebras and giraffs can be spotted. Animals can be found in almost all of the territory which includes hyenas, red antelope, lion, leopard and hippopotamus.
The marine fauna includes a large variety of fish and shelfish which are also found in rivers that are also the home to crocodiles or alligators.
Angola’s main river is the Kwanza, after which the national currency is name. Of its 1500 kilometres of length, only 240 are navigable. Then comes the Kubango (975 kilometres), Cunene (800) and, finally, on the list of the country’s four rivers, the Zaire (150), which is navigable over all its stream.
The Angolan rivers provide opportunities for businesses of tourist interest of mixed commerce-tourism type and even eco-tourism.
Angola is a potentially rich country in mineral resources. Its subsoil is estimated to hold 35 of the 45 most relevant minerals in the world trade, with stress to oil, natural gas, diamond, phosphate, bituminous substances, iron, copper, magnesium, gold and ornamental rocks.
With the approval of the Angola Tourism Master Plan for the 2011-2020 period, on 12 October 2011, by the Cabinet Council Standing Commission, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism enters a new cycle of actions, focusing on the implementation of a strategy that is wanted firm, differentiated and capable of affirming the values, historic-cultural assets and natural wealth that comprises the Angola’s tourist potential.
The perspectives of the sector envisage the creation one million direct and indirect jobs, with revenues of about four billion US Dollars, significant increase of the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product and 4.6 million local and foreign tourists, which are very important indicators for the attainment of the goals and expected results.
There are in Angola various religions organised into churches or similar forms. There are no reliable data on the number of believers, but most of Angolans profess a Christian-inspired religion. About half of the population is associated with the Catholic Church, while another part with one of the protestant churches introduced during the colonial period: the Baptist, the Methodist and the Congregational, besides more reduced communities of reformed Protestant and Lutheran. In addition, there are the Adventist, the Neo-Apostolic and a large number of Pentecostal churches.
Finally, there are two churches of syncretic type, the Kimbanguistas, with origin in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Tocoistas, that was formed in Angola in 1949, both with communities around the whole territory. While significant, the number of people without a religion is difficult to establish. The followers of traditional African religions form a small minority, of residual character but, among the Christians, there are often creeds and costumes that are derived from those religions. The moslem community is of one to two percent, mostly immigrants from other countries (especially from West Africa).
One of Angola’s main values is no doubt its culture in all its manifestations. The Angolan music, both traditional (semba, rebita), and so-called modern (kizomba, kuduro, zouk) have been able to tread their path, with some international projection.
There are a few traditional musical instruments worth mentioning, which are part of the Angolan cultural and traditional rich, like the “batuque”, the “kissange” and the “marimba”. In one of his poems, the first Angolan president, António Agostinho Neto, would say: “To our marimba and kissange, to our Carnival, we shall return".
The extremely rhythmic traditional dances take a relevant place, leaving no one indifferent.
The Carnival is no doubt one of the cultural expressions worth watching , harmoniously combining music and dance, like the “samba”, “varina”, “cabetula”, “kazucuta” and “cabecinha”.
In terms of handicrafts, Angola has a lot to offer.
Wood craft is probably the most expressive but there are other materials that are exploited with considerable skill like clay, “mateba” (palm tree leave fibre), bronze, ivory and horns.
According to 2013 estimates, Angola has a population of 20 million inhabitants, distributed mainly over the coastal and the central highlands of the country. The country’s first population and housing census after independence is set to be conducted in 2014.
Angola’s population is mostly of bantu origin. Among them, stress goes to the ovimbundus, the kimbundus and the bakongos.
But there are other ethnic minority groups like the Koysan (in southwestern Angola).
The official language is Portuguese and there are about 42 languages, being Kimbundu, Umbundu, Kicongo, Tchokwe the most widely spoken.
Driving Side – right.
Bank Hours – 8:00 am to h 3:00 pm (there are branches that open on Saturdays).
Official Language – Portuguese.
National Currency – Kwanza.
Electricity – 220/240V 50Hz.
Time Zone – GMT/UTC +1
Phone Code – +244
Unit of Measurement – Metric
|Head of State||President José Eduardo dos Santos|
|National Day||11th November 1975|
|Population||20 million (2013 estimate)|
|Natural Resources||Diamond, oil, fish, wild animals, agriculture, sea and marine resources.|
Obs.: All data refer to the year 2000, except for those otherwise indicated.
|New Year||1st January|
|Beginning of National Liberation Struggle||4th February|
|International Women’s Day||8th March|
|Carnival||Between February and March|
|Peace and National Reconciliation Day||4th April|
|Holy Friday||Between 22nd March and 25th April|
|International Workers Day||1st May|
|National Hero’s Day||17th September|
|All Souls Day||2nd November|
|National Independence Day||11th Novembe|
|NATIONAL CELEBRATION DATES|
|Colonial Repression Martyrs Day||4th January|
|Angolan Women Day||2nd March|
National Armed Liberation Expansion Day
|Angola Youth Day||14th April|
|International Children Day||1st June|
|African Children Day||16th June|
|Africa’s Day||25th May|
|Human Rights Day||10th December|