Angola

Angola Airlines (TAAG) is the flag carrier of Angola. The airline is based in Luanda. It operates domestic services within Angola, as well as medium-haul services in Africa and long-haul services to Brazil, Cuba and Portugal. TAAG is an acronym for Transportes Aéreos Angolanos. The company is wholly owned by the Angolan government, and is the sole owner of Angola Air Charter.

Angola is a country in southern Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city. The exclave province of Cabinda has borders with the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Portuguese were present in some—mostly coastal—points of the territory of what is now Angola, from the 16th to the 19th century, interacting in diverse ways with the peoples that lived there. In the 19th century they slowly and hesitantly began to establish themselves in the interior. Angola as a Portuguese colony encompassing the present territory was not established before the end of the 19th century, and "effective occupation", as required by the Berlin Conference (1884) was achieved only by the 1920s.

Independence was achieved in 1975, after a protracted liberation war. After independence, Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002. The country has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy has on average grown at a two-digit pace since the 1990s, especially since the end of the civil war.

 

Despite advancements in infrastructure and a dramatically improved security situation, travel in Angola remains the preserve of adventurers, diehards or those on flexible budgets. Angola is halfway along the road to political and economic atonement and it would be a shame to miss out on its dramatic rebirth.

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President of Angola, Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos

President AngolaJosé Eduardo dos Santos is an Angolan politician and the current President of Angola, having come to power in 1979. As President, José Eduardo dos Santos is also the commander in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and president of the MPLA (People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola), the party that has been ruling Angola since it gained independence in 1975.[read more...]

 

 

Cities in Angola

Luanda

A congested but vibrant city, the skyline of Angola's capital city is a striking mix of colonial Portuguese architecture, modern glass skyscrapers and crumbling 1960s tower blocks. Some five million people - 70% of the city's population - live in the vast shanty towns which stretch for miles in every direction. Situated on the Atlantic, its own bay has an attractive promenade which is soon to undergo a $127m makeover. The sandy strip known as the Ilha (island) is popular for its beach bars and high-end restaurants. Luanda's stadium is about 17km from the city-centre in a neighbourhood known as Camama. With capacity for 50,000 spectators, the opening ceremony and final will be held here.

 

Benguela

Once a major slave-trading port linking Africa to Brazil, in the 20th Century Benguela became the terminus for the Benguela railway. In its heyday the railway stretched 1,370km from the nearby port town Lobito to Luau on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. A five-hour drive south from the capital Luanda, Benguela is a popular weekend getaway and boasts stunning beaches, tree-lined streets and good restaurants. The stadium, which has a stunning sea view from the west end, is situated alongside the Benguela-Lobito expressway in a former banana plantation and is about a 15-minute drive from central Benguela. It is the second largest ground with a capacity of 35,000 and will host a semi-final.

 

Lubango

At 1,761m above sea level and further inland than the other venues, Lubango has a cooler climate and there is a relaxed feel about the town. It is famous for its Cristo Rei statue - a copy of the giant white statues of Jesus Christ in Brazil and Portugal. Nearby too is the stunning Tundavala gorge, a dramatic volcanic fissure where you can climb to 2,600km for stellar views of waterfalls and the dramatic Serra da Leba pass - a narrow road zig-zagging through the hills. Once a popular tourist destination, Lubango has the Nossa Senhora do Monte tourist complex, named after the hillside church of the same name, which includes a landscaped park, a boating lake, tennis and basketball courts, a casino and accommodation lodges. The stadium will have seating for 20,000 people and is about 5km from the city centre with a new road being built.

 

Cabinda

The oil-rich exclave - home to a large base of the energy firm, Chevron - was chosen to host an Africa Cup of Nations stadium in a bid to boost local investment and infrastructure. Cabinda is physically separated from the rest of the country by a strip of the DR Congo and has a northern border with the Republic of Congo. For some years the nationalist movement Flec (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda) has been trying to claim independence from the Angolan government. A peace deal was signed in 2006 but a low-level insurgency continues and there are allegations of rights abuses against Flec members held in prison there. The Angolan Armed Forces maintains a large presence in Cabinda and this will be stepped up to ensure security during the tournament. The stadium will hold 20,000 people and is 15km north of Cabinda city. The province is reached only by air from within Angola and the games there are unlikely to attract large visiting crowds.