Travel Postard: 48 hours in Luanda, Angola

Fri Apr 9, 2010 9:40am EDT
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By Henrique Almeida

LUANDA (Reuters Life!) - There is one thing you should know about Luanda: hardly any tourists come here. Getting a visa can take many months and finding a hotel room, if you can afford it, is equally challenging.

Branded the world's most expensive city in 2009, according to a study by consulting firm ECA International, Luanda -- the capital of Angola on Africa's southwest coast -- is an eye opener in more ways than one.

Sift through the ruins of Portuguese colonialism, explore African outdoor markets, chill out at expansive beaches or visit virgin wildlife parks that are being restocked after an almost three-decade long civil war ended in 2002.

Before you come, though, make sure you get a yellow fever shot, your visa is in order and bring a wad of dollars in your pocket since credit cards are rarely accepted.

Your travel agent should arrange for a driver to pick you up at the airport. There are very few taxis in Luanda except for the jam-packed minibus vans daily commuters use to travel from the slums to the city center.

Got 48 hours to explore Luanda? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors make the most of Angola's capital city.


6 p.m. - Sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset with a nice cold Cuca beer at Bahia, a restaurant and bar facing the bay of Luanda. Local artists sometimes perform at the upstairs bar. Great view and atmosphere.   Continued...

<p>Angolan youths play against the backdrop of the capital Luanda January 20, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings</p>