You’ll should join an organised tour to travel to Angola. These are always select few trips, lasting around 10 days, and typically only departing yearly, starting and finishing inside the capital Luanda. Tours rarely spend more money than half a day or possibly even longer here - plenty of time to see a few sights - before traveling in the southwest of Angola for any cultural tour that concentrates on meeting ethnic groups and studying their traditional lifestyles.
Reaching this remote region involves an indoor flight from Luanda to Lubango. From here, a 4x4 will transport you over rough roads and quite often trackless wilderness; expect some long and bumpy journeys.
Chibia is really a centre to the Muila people, recognized for their incredible body decorations, plus the Mukumba tribal market is usually a great spot to meet them. The Muila (also Mumuila or Mumuhuila) are semi nomadic and retain their animistic religion. The women are famous for his or her thick nontombimud-coated dreadlocks along with their mud necklaces, manufactured in various styles, each corresponding to your life stage.
Angola’s oil and mineral wealth has seen its capital city expand rapidly to a number exceeding 2.5 million people, but there are many good museums and impressive old colonial buildings, such as the Sao Miguel fortress, built from the Portuguese in 1576. From Luanda, it’s a quick drive to Santiago Beach, among Africa’s biggest ship cemeteries where rusting hulks litter the sand.
Colonial heritage mixes with vibrant local culture in Lubango. It’s the main city in southern Angola, soaking in a large valley, overlooked by way of a statue of Christ and also the Chela Hills, plus the chief jumping off point for quest for this region and it is traditional tribespeople. Lubango posseses an elegant colonial centre dominated through the Art Deco style Cathedral of St Joseph, plus a relaxed feel.
This quiet fishing town within the Atlantic coast would be the capital with the remote Namibe Province. It was founded from the Portuguese in 1840, which is still the location of fading colonial relics. Most interesting of these will be the cemetery, containing both Portuguese tombs plus a curiously colourful number of ornamental tombs, decorated in ‘Namibe style’, which can be a fusion of Portuguese and African symbolism.
Oncocua is a former Portuguese settlement within the middle of a ‘cultural island’, where three different ethnic groups live: the Himba, the Mucawana and also the Mutua. It’s a complete day’s drive south of Lubango, passing villages belonging the Mugambue people. This is among the most traditional places in southern Angola, and visitors rare, even if you can expect a warm welcome.
The prehistoric rock art here includes paintings of animals, plants and men, possibly going back 20,000 years. Drive here from Namibe across desert landscapes and find out bizarre welwitschia plants that may live for 1,000 years. Enroute, remain in Virei, a centre with the Mucubal people, whose women wear wicker-framed headdresses, iron anklets as well as an oyonduthi string around their breasts, which serves like a bra.