Memories of Angola: a trip to the south

Angola is a country that brings us lots of good memories, especially for me (Nacho) as I lived there an incredible journey full of adventures. Three years have passed since I left and I can tell you that a little bit of myself was left there hooked to the people I had the chance to meet.

But enough of being melancholics! These days we remember the great trip we did during the 2011/2012 Christmas break when Sara came to visit me and to spend a very different type of holiday, the scenario was amazing: the Southern provinces of Huila and Namibe and the company couldn’t be better.

From Luanda we flew to Lubango, the capital city of Huila, where you can perceive the Portuguese colonial style in some neighborhoods. From the city, you can easily take a taxi to visit the local Cristo Rei, a 30-metre statue in the top of a hill “ruling” the city and inspired by the Crist the Redemer of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Likewise, you can visit one of the most dramatic places we have ever seen, the Fenda de Tundavala is a rocky abyss of around 1200 metres high and tales say that it was used to through those punished to death (they were forced to walk to the edge blindfolded until they fell).

From Lubango we rented a 4X4 to continue our journey around Huila and Namibe provinces. We visited Hungueria waterfalls where we could camp in a plane and “enjoy” the intense noises of the night and the baboons. From there a horrible way (it took 4 hours to make 46km) we arrived at Virei where we first encountered the Mucubai tribe. After some misleading indications, we found the rock paintings of Tchitundo-Hulu that are dated more than 4000 years and are considered as one of the first and most antique paintings on Earth.

Tchitundo Hulu

That was a very especial night camping at the Mocedades desert (the northernmost of Namibia desert) and sharing a fire, drinks and “conversation” with some Mucubais that were even more surprised than us with the situation. It is the most extreme cultural experience we have ever had so far. We also had lessons by the Mucubais women as how to light a fire (I don’t think I have what it takes to be a man in the tribe).

Our last stop in our trip was at Facenda 3N a private natural reserve just at the border of the Bicuar National Par. We spent New Year Eve and enjoyed the majestic wild life of the reserve.

Without a doubt this is one of the most unforgettable trips and as the great Agostinho Neto said: “havemos de voltar” (we shall return).

All the pictures from Angola in the Gallery

 

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15 comments

    • Thanks! You need the approval of the governor of Virei, you can go the office as soon as you get to the village (it’s costumary but you won’t get a paper or anything) after that we got completely lost until we found Kihimu the mucubai man who helped us to get to the paintings. There is no signal or anything or at least there wasn’t any in 2011

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  1. Angola is one of these countries I literally know nothing about 🙂 I had no idea for example that it was so green and mountainous! It must’ve been great to discover a country that is still unspoilt and that night camping seemed fantastic!

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    • Night canping was great, but it was also scary hearing the baboons alnight! definitely the best was dining and having breakfast with the tribe. The country has from jungle in the north to serious desert in the south. It is wonderful

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  2. Angola is really one of those countries that so often goes unfairly ignored. Clearly however, it has more than enough to attract the more adventurous backpacker with plenty of wildlife and culture to rival its more often-visited neighbors. Can’t say I would deal well with the Fenda de Tundavala, even the photos are sparking my vertigo. Looked like a really superb trip.

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    • We went on the trip with people afraid of heights, and they really struggled with the sight. To be fair, other neighbouring countries didn’t go through almost 30 years of civil war and their first democratic elections weren’t in 2008, that is a plus on the neighbours side 😉

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  3. Years ago I had the pleasure of teaching an ambassador of Angola’s nephew. He was an absolutely fantastic guy and I think of him often. It’s so nice to read some more about his country. Thank you for sharing!

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    • We are really happy to hear all those connections, I am glad you have a positive view (even if you haven’t been there but through people) of a country that has been going through so much. Glad you liked it 😉

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  4. These photos are super beautiful! I will definitely have to add these place to my list of things to see- they all look so incredible! I’ve genuinely never thought much about Angola as a travel destination, but I’ll have to do way more research 🙂

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  5. […] acabamos de estar), a Malaui (que se ha quedado con un pedacito de nuestro corazón) y a Angola (donde todo empezó). ¿Cuál ha sido la mejor comida que hayas descubierto mientras viajabas? […]

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  6. […] Bali (although we’ve just been there), to Malawi (as it has a piece of our hearts) and to Angola (where all this started). Best food you’ve discovered whilst traveling? We looooove eating, […]

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