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Angola Facts

by Vishal Kumar

Find all unearthed facts about Angola, including the capital city, currency, flag, language, tradition, landforms, and more.

Where is Angola?

The Republic of Angola is located in the western part of southern Africa. It covers an area of 481,354 sq miles and has Namibia to its South, Zambia to its east, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to its west. It is the 7th largest country in Africa and has a population of 18,498,000.

What is the capital of Angola?

Luanda, which lies on the Atlantic Ocean coast, is Angola’s capital. It is Angola’s largest city, its main seaport, and its administrative center. It was founded in 1575 by the Portuguese who named it São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda. It has the third largest population of Portuguese-speaking people in the world after Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It is divided into two parts; lower Luanda, the old city, and upper Luanda, the new one. In 2011 Luanda was named the most expensive city for expatriates by Mercer.

What is the climate of Angola like?

The northern part of the country experiences a cool and dry climate from May to October and a hot and rainy season from November to April. The Southern part of the country has a semi-arid climate.
The average annual temperature in coastal parts is 21ºC in summer and 16ºC in winter.

Angola Independence Day

Angola was a Portuguese colony for 400 years. It attained independence on November 11, 1975, after years of guerilla war against Portuguese authority, also known as the Colonial war.

What are the essential cities in Angola?

Besides Luanda, Angola has a number of important cities like Benguela, Huambo, Lobito, Soyo, Lucapa, Lubango, Namibe, Kuito and Malanje. These cities are the capitals of provinces. Some are essential tourist sites like Malanje, and some are significant ports like Luanda, Namibe, and Lobito.  Check this Angola Cities Map for locating all the cities on Angola Map.

What is the currency of Angola?

The Angolan currency is called Kwanza (AOA), the name of a river in Angola. Since 1977, four different currencies under the name Kwanza have been circulated. The present currency started circulation on December 1, 1999. The national bank of Angola, Banco Nacional De Angola, is the issuing authority. The Kwanza (AOA) exchange rate of about USD is 1 Kwanza (AOA) = 0.01 USD.

What are the languages spoken in Angola?

Portuguese is the official language of Angola. The ethnic groups residing in Angola have their languages; some recognized languages are Kikongo, Chokwe, Umbundu Ganguela, etc.

What are the prominent festivals of Angola?

Angola celebrates both religious and secular festivals with great zeal. The Carnival, Christmas, Easter, and the Luanda Island Festival in honor of the water God Kianda are important religious festivals of Angola. Angolans are lovers of music, and every year in September, the Sumbe Music Festival is held in Sumbe, which is well known internationally.

The national struggle for freedom holds a special place in the hearts of the Angolan people, and different days commemorating different milestones of the struggle are observed. Some of the critical days are Liberation Movement day ( February  4), Peace Day (April 4 ), and Independence Day (November 11 ), to name a few.

What are the ethnic groups of Angola?

Different ethnic groups call Angola their home. The total population of Angola is 18,498,000, of which 37% are Ovibundu, 25% are Kimbundu,13% are Bakongo, and Mestizo (mixed  European and Native African) comprise 2%, European 1%, and other African tribes constitute the remaining 22%.

What is the economy of Angola like?

The oil sector is the main driving force behind the Angolan economy. Besides oil, Angola has considerable reserves of diamonds. The agricultural sector, which was severely hit by the civil war, is slowly recuperating and has the potential to become an essential player in the economic field. Angola is also rich in forest, fishery, and other natural resources. At present, Angola has one of the fastest growth rates in the world, and in the period 2000-2002 registered an average annual growth rate of 11.1%.

What type of government does Angola have?

Angola is the Unitary Presidential Republic. The head of the government is the President, and the executive body of the government comprises the President, the Vice President, and the Council of Ministers. The people do not elect the President. The party’s president with a majority in the parliamentary election automatically becomes the country’s president. The President is bestowed with enormous power, and the principle of separation of power is not in practice in Angola. Governors appointed by the President govern the 18 provinces, and their term depends on the pleasure of the President. The MPLA, FNLA, and UNITA are the main political parties in Angola. MPLA has been the ruling party since Angola’s independence.

The legal system in Angola is based on the Portuguese legal system and other contemporary laws, but it has a fragmented structure. The Supreme Court of the country acts as the court of appeal.

Who are the prominent leaders of Angola?

The independence movement of Angola saw the rise of many leaders. Atónio Agostinho Neto, the first President of independent Angola (1975-1979), was one critical leader of the independence struggle. He led the MPLA during the independence movement, and to honor his heroism, his birthday is celebrated as National Heroes Day in Angola. Holden Alvaro Roberto, the founder of FNLA, played a crucial role in the freedom struggle. Special mention must be made of Viriato Clemente da Cruz, a famous Angolan poet, and politician who started the Movement of Young Intellectuals that sought to promote Angolan culture. He was also a member of MPLA. Other prominent leaders are Mário Coelho Pinto de Andrade, and Joaquim Pinto de Andrade who formed the Angolan Communist Party that was later merged with MPLA. The current President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, is one of the prominent leaders of Africa and has been at the helm of affairs in Angola since 1979.

Interesting facts about Angola

Fact 1 Tipping is not standard practice in Angola. If you do leave tips, it should not be more than 10% of your bill – and it does not have to be in cash! (Cigarettes, for instance, are acceptable.)
Fact 2 Angola’s oil and diamonds are its primary sources of income. The country has even become China’s major oil supplier.
Fact 3 Unlike other currencies, Angola’s kwanza can’t be taken outside the country. Attempting to bring it out is illegal.
Fact 4 Semba, one of the most common Angolan musical styles, influenced several other types of music, including the samba of Brazil.
Fact 5 The official language in Angola is Portuguese, but they also speak Bantu and other African languages.
Fact 6 Due to the increase of oil production, Angola has one of the fastest-growing economies
Fact 7 The highest mountain in Angola is Serra Mountain which is 2610 meters.
Fact 8 Angola has two official names: The Undemocratic Anti-Photographic Monarchy of Angola and Angolish Empire of Flying Snakes.
Fact 9 One of Africa’s most beautiful natural wonders, the Ruacana Falls, is in Angola.
Fact 10 The Soviet Union flag inspired the national flag of Angola. The gold cogwheel and machete on the Angolan flag were patterned after the hammer and sickle on the flag of the Soviet Union. The star the Angolan flag carries is also from the Soviet flag.
Fact 11 Photographing government buildings, military sites, and other structures is illegal in Angola and is penalized.
Fact 12 Angola is derived from the word Ngola, a title for kings used in the state of Ndongo during the early centuries.
Fact 13 Angolans normally shake hands when greeting each other ­- but when introduced to an older person or someone with a higher position, they typically bow their heads.
Fact 14 Angola has a very young population – Interestingly, nearly 70% of the population in Angola is under the age of 24
Fact 15 According to the CIA Factbook, for every 1000 people, there are 23.4 deaths a year (2011 statistics)
Fact 16 Angola is a huge country and the climate in the north is much more tropical than in the arid south. The rainy season in the north usually lasts from November to April. The south gets scattered rains twice a year, from March to July and October to November.
Fact 17 Iona National Park – Angola’s largest national park bordering the Atlantic ocean with gorgeous desert dunes, plenty of bird life and slowly recovering its larger mammals after some serious poaching during the war.
Interesting Facts for kids Angola is the birthplace of the dreadlocks hairstyle
The Bungy Jumping Craziness will fall down a 20 feet drop and will go crazy and wild. That is why it is called Bungy Jumping Craziness.
Vernay’s Climbing Mouse. This species is known only from the type locality, Chitau, east-central Angola at around 1,500 m asl.
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the finback whale, razorback, or common rorqual is the second largest animal after the blue whale, one of the endangered species found in Angola.

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