Situated in Central Africa, west of Zambia and north of Namibia, Angola is slowly realising its potential as a tourist hotspot after decades of bloody civil war, which followed independence from Portugal in 1975.
A stunning coastline strung with beautiful sandy beaches, a mountainous interior that gives way to deep gorges and tumbling waterfalls and a number of national parks and wildlife reserves throughout, Angola offers hundreds of opportunities for eco-tourism to its visitors. Natural resources aside, the country also boasts a rich traditional culture, culinary specialities and people known for their hospitality and affability.
The picture is not entirely rosy, however, and the lack of infrastructure, the difficulties and dangers of overland transport, poor health services and crime are challenges travellers need to consider, particularly outside of the capital Luanda. But signs of economic recovery are evident, and the fact that Angola is rich in natural resources such as diamonds and gas, as well as being Africa's second largest oil exporter after Nigeria, brings hope of development for the not too distant future.

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General Information                                 

Local time is GMT +1.

Electrical current is 220-2230 Volts, 50Hz. Round pin attachment plugs are in use.

The official language is Portuguese. Some French and Spanish are also spoken. English is not common.

If a service charge is not included in the bill a tip of 10% is acceptable, although tipping is not officially encouraged.

Most foreign governments warn against non-essential travel to Angola due to threats to personal safety and civil unrest. However visitors careful with personal security and travelling in a group should encounter few problems. Travel after dark is not recommended. The most common risks for travellers are crime, particularly in the capital, Luanda, where muggings, car-jacking and armed hold-ups are commonplace. Many civilians are armed. Those for whom travel outside of Luanda is essential should travel only with sponsors who have made arrangements for safety and security support. Particularly dangerous are the north and south Luanda Provinces, where the police and armed forces have been active expelling illegal immigrants and unlicensed diamond prospectors. Cabinda Province is also dangerous; kidnappings and attacks on foreigners have occurred. Travellers should be cautious due to the widespread poverty, disease and shattered infrastructure and the vast amount of unexploded ordnance still present throughout the country. Due to recent violent attacks, the border posts between Angola and the DRC as well as Angola and the Republic of Congo have been closed until further notice. There have been reports of scams by airport officials in Luanda who try to extort money from visitors without a yellow fever vaccination card.

Health Certificate 
Yellow fever vaccinations are required for entry into Angola if coming from infected countries. Malaria, hepatitis A and B, rabies and polio are all prevalent in the country, which has poor medical facilities excluding those in Luanda. Therefore travellers should practise food and hygiene measures. Drinking water should be treated or bought in sealed bottles (avoid ice cubes in drinks) and care should be taken with hygiene and food, particularly street food. It is wise to take Malaria prophylaxis when travelling through Angola. In Luanda there are one or two good private clinics, but these are extremely expensive and require on-the-spot payment. Comprehensive medical insurance is therefore necessary, with provision for medical repatriation by air. The water supply is unsafe to drink, visitors should avoid eating unpeeled fruit and vegetables and the Milk in Angola is unpasteurised and should be boiled; alternatively use tinned milk reconstituted with purified water.

Do not take photographs of government buildings, or use binoculars near them as this could lead to arrest. Homosexual practices are frowned upon. Drunk passenger arriving at the airport may be refused entry and deported.

Oil is the main industry in Angola, but diamond mining is also important; the country is the world's fourth largest provider of uncut diamonds. It is essential to develop personal, face-to-face relationships with local business contacts. Knowledge of Portuguese, the official language, is an advantage as there are limited translation services and outside the oil industry few people speak English fluently; French and Spanish are also useful. Angolan business dress is usually casual; ties are not necessary for men. Office hours are Monday to Thursday 7:30am to 6:30pm with a two-hour break from 12:30pm, and closed on Friday afternoons; some offices will also be open on Saturday mornings from 8:30am.

Communications     (+244 International Code )
The international dialling code for Angola is +244. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City codes are in use. Domestic and international telecommunications services are unreliable with connections frequently lost. This also applies to the mobile network, although there is GSM 900 coverage around Luanda and other main centres provided by Unitel. There are more mobile telephones than fixed lines in Angola. There are some Internet service providers in operation and Internet access is available at most major hotels.

More Country Information from Foreign & Commonwealth Office.