In general, you shouldn't travel within Angola without the assistance of qualified personnel. However, if you follow some basic rules, traveling in Angola isn't dangerous. First of all, traveling after dark and alone is never a good idea. If possible, join with several cars of the same make and model because of the possible need for spare parts. Carry a satellite telephone in the case of a breakdown or other emergency. Be aware, that while Iridium (http://www.iridium.com) satellite phones have global coverage, Thuraya satellite phones have coverage in most of Angola, but may not have coverage in the southern parts of the country check the Angola Thuraya coverage (http://www.satellitephonefaq.com/thuraya/network/angola/ map for details).
For the city of Luanda, other rules apply. Stay in your car with the doors locked while you're outside reach of security personnel, which you will find at all hotels and restaurants.
Avoid using your camera in front of police dressed in blue uniforms. Photography will result, at best, in a very heavy fine, but could also have more dire consequences. Throughout Angola, taking photographs of sites and installations of military or security interest, including government buildings, may result in arrest or fines and should be avoided.
Travelers should also be advised that the Angolan currency the Kwanza may not be taken out of the country, and travelers are subject to confiscation of local currency at the airport.
NEVER step beyond the red and white HALO Trust posts. These denote mine fields. In fact, beware of anything surrounded by any kind of red stones or similar markers.
Travelers should only drink mineral water or, in an emergency, boiled water, because water in Angola is untreated and therefore, tap water is not safe. Because malaria is endemic to this country, travelers should also avoid mosquito bites by using with insect repellent and repellent-impregnated bed nets. Furthermore, there is a risk of being bitten by the tse tse fly while in Angola, which causes sleeping sickness; consult a doctor immediately if you start having insomnia.
AIDS and HIV is prevalent among adults in Angola at 4.0% or 1 in 25. Avoid having unprotected sex.
Almost all nationalities must get a visa prior to arrival. It is not possible to obtain a visa upon arrival. Your passport must be valid for another six months minimum and contain two blank pages. Travellers need an international vaccination certificate for entry as well indicating yellow fever inoculation within the last ten years according to the Angolan government, but at least on the Namibian/Angolan border, this is not an issue. You also need a letter of invitation from a private individual, organization or company stating that they will take responsibility for your stay. Namibians don't need a visa for Angola. When obtaining a visa from countries to the north, you will often only be issued a five day transit visa for Angola. If travelling by road, this will only give you enough time to get to Luanda where it takes up to four days to get another five day transit visa. If you're coming into Angola from DR Congo, you may well need an Angolan visa before entering DR Congo.
A very low percentage of the local population can communicate in English. Traveling in Angola, therefore, requires a minimum of knowledge of the Portuguese language. Also, due to the fact that lots of people migrate from neighbouring countries to Angola, it is sometimes possible to use French and Afrikaans for Namibian / South African people.
There is little literature on Angola available at all, and most of the available literature is in Portuguese or in some cases French.Bay of Tigers: An Odyssey through War-torn Angola by Pedro Rosa Mendes was translated from the Portuguese and published by Harcourt in 2003. Mendes traveled across the country by train in 1997 while the war was still going on in Angola, it's a very fascinating look at the people and the nature of life there during the war.
Try also John Frederick Walker's "A Certain Curve OF Horn", documenting the history of the magnificent and sub species of Antelope unique to Angola - "Palanca Negra Gigante" Hippotragus nÃger variani.
Another excellent read is Ryszard KapuÅciÅski's compelling journalistic narrative Another Day of Life in which he reports on the chaotic period leading up to Angola's independence from Portugal in 1975. As one of the only journalists in Angola during this very dangerous period, his perspective is rare and full of insight.
Here are a few words and phrases in Portuguese:
Hello=OlaHow are you?-como esta?fine and you?- bem e tu?Goodbye-AdeusSee you Later-Ate logoGood morning-Bom diaGood afternoon-Boa TardeGood evening-Boa TardeGood Night-Boa noite