Angola

Electricity

Officially 220V 50Hz. Outlets are the European standard CEE-7/7 "Schukostecker" or "Schuko" or the compatible, but non-grounded, CEE-7/16 "Europlug" types. Generally speaking, US and Canadian travellers should pack an adapter for these outlets if they plan to use North American electrical equipment in Angola.

Also, be aware of the power related problems in Angola. If you plan to rent a house, you for sure should rent a house with a generator. Power outages are quite frequent.

Understand

The people of Angola are stoics. They have a deep understanding of patience, and avoid blaming the difficulties the country faces on the fact that there was war. In fact, Angolans behave as if there was no war, although it is deeply rooted in every Angolan. Music is the heart and soul of every Angolan, and can be heard everywhere with anything used as an excuse to party. Angola has a wide range of music, mainly Kuduro, Kizomba, Semba, and Tarrachinha, the latter being more sensual than all the others. All n all, it is safe to say that Angolans are fun loving people with a thirst for more of what life has to give.

Climate

Like the rest of tropical Africa, Angola experiences distinct, alternating rainy and dry seasons.

The coastal strip is tempered by the cool Benguela Current, resulting in a climate similar to coastal Peru or Baja California. It is semiarid in the South and along the coast to Luanda. There is a short rainy season lasting from February to April. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild. The northern part has a cool, dry season May to October and a hot, rainy season November to April. In the interior, above 3,300 ft 1,006 m, the temperature and rainfall decrease. The interior highlands have a mild climate with a rainy season from November through April followed by a cool dry season from May to October.

The heaviest rainfall occurs in April, and is accompanied by violent storms. The far north and Cabinda enjoy rain throughout much of the year.

History

Angola was a Portuguese overseas territory from the 16th century to 1975. The Portuguese were nearly all exiled convicts who became slave traders and later participants in the "forced labour" trade. After independence, Angola was the scene of an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002. The country is the second-largest petroleum and diamond producer in sub-Saharan Africa, however, these riches are in the hands of the "big people": Angola's politicians, miners, oilmen and the associated multinational corporations. Angola's life expectancy and infant mortality rates are both among the worst ranked in the world. In August 2006, a peace treaty was signed with a faction of the FLEC, a separatist guerrilla group from the Cabinda exclave in the North, which is still active. About 65% of Angola's oil comes from that region.