Having driven for almost two weeks straight, mainly bushcamping without showers or much rest, it was time to put on the breaks as we reached Angola. At the border, the bridge between DRC and Angola was being repaired so there was also nothing else to do than to relax and spend the night between the two countries. The immigration officer showed us where we could camp and was helpful changing money and going beer shopping for us- a lit more friendly than the border officers of the previous countries you could say!
Well into Angola we set up camp at a beach north of Luanda where we could do some laundry and cook meals on a bonfire. It was also quite an amazing place to see sunsets and charge our human batteries as we had the beach all to ourselves.
Driving into the Angolan capital was a totally different experience though. Everywhere we looked there were tall sky scrapers, something we almost hadn’t seen the last six months traveling through West Africa, just like bus stops, city parks, pavement, Western junk street food etc. When walking along the city Corniché I felt more that I was in Singapore or Doha than somewhere in Africa. The city was just so much more organized than what we had gotten used to and quite comfortable to stroll around in for a day. We also went up to the city fortress which today served as a war museum. It was also an excellent viewpoint where we could see the city’s most famous landmarks; the Star Wars looking tower that was erected in memory of men lost in the war for liberation and the more older looking national Bank and Parliament building. Unfortunately official buildings was not allowed to be photographed and so was the poorer areas of the town as well. One police officer came up to Maria and demanded to look through and delete some of the pictures she had on her phone. Another approached Travis and told him to take off his ear studs as those were only for women. Some places it seemed like they were just as strict with littering as well, as some of the streets were just spotless. All in all it was quite an experience unlike any other we have had on our West Africa Trip.
When driving down most of Angola’s 1600km coastline we stopped at beaches far from towns, people and trash