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Get along in Angola

Natal, RN
Level Contributor
54 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
Get along in Angola

Staying in Luanda presently and willing to assist anybody.

Baku
1 post
1. Re: Get along in Angola

My husband and I will be moving there after having been here in Baku Azerbaijan. Everything I am reading is so negative and scary. Is there anything positive there? Any info would be appreciated..Thanks

Natal, RN
Level Contributor
54 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
2. Re: Get along in Angola

Hi,

It's a bit difficult to reply to you on those terms, because it really depends on your spirit how to face Luanda's reality.

I have seen people going back after 3 days because they could not handle it, and I've seen people quite enthusiastic with tropical africa life, and staying permanently.

Anyway Luanda was destroyed by 30 years of war, during which most Angolan people moved towards Luanda, which concentrates about 50% of Angola population, and as you can imagine, concentrated in degradated neighborhoos in the sorroundings of the city. The city is very dirty, with open air sewages and a lot of dust in the air at all times. Traffic is cahotic, many people are afraid to drive, with congestions that hold you for 1 hour to drive 1 or 2 km.

Cost of leaving is extremely high, hotel room, when available, is about USD300/night, good quality restaurants from USD50 to USD100/meal.

As for physical threats, not mentioning the ocasional snatching of your mobile through car window, is quite safe, and not so many problems reported.

Usually, expats gather in regular places, such as those good quality restaurants, there a are a good choice, several quite nice beach bars, or going away to nearby beaches for the weekend.There are woderfull spots.There is not much else to do for leisure so people tend to go to each other's homes.

Cuntryside is beautifull and many places to visit, which have nothing to do with Luanda.

Anyway, reconstruction is moving very fast, and you see daily improvments.

Regarding work you have to be very, very patient. Things move very, very slow. And I mean people as well as services. You may be hours without electricity, or internet, or mobile phone connections, etc. at which times, be prepared to just relax and read the newspaper.

Needing any further help let me know.

One last recommendation, when arriving in Luanda airport, be prepared to wait 1 hour in line, without air conditionning and full of mosquitoes. Be sure to use reppelent spray.

Pedro

South Africa
2 posts
3. Re: Get along in Angola

Hi Pedro

I'm working for a company in South Africa that does GPS mapping and mobile GPS applications. I need to do a GPS survey of all the major roads in Angola - this means actually driving the roads with a 4x4 and various GPS equipment onboard.

I have already covered South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and bits of Zimbabwe and Zambia. The countries have been covered by roundtrips departing from Pretoria using our own vehicles. As Angola (and Luanda) is quite a distance from Pretoria I am considering the option of flying to Luanda, renting a 4x4, and starting the journey/survey from there.

I have been searching the web (with not much success) for information on Angola - 4x4 rental companies, accommodation and food along the way, etc. The trip is scheduled for the end of March 2008. Any information along these lines will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Pietman du Toit

pgjdutoit@gmail.com

Málaga
3 posts
4. Re: Get along in Angola

Hi Pedro

I'm going to Luanda in september, I'm planning to stay there for 6 months working for an international organization.

I know it's a really expensive city, but I'd also want to know any estimated amount of money to be needed per month, I mean for lodging, fooding and some pocket money. I guess it depends so much on whay life style do you have (as everywhere), but still I'd need to make a budget. I don't really use to go to expensive restaurants and all this kind of things, so it would be more like cheapest things and buying in cheap supermarkets as long as possible...

Any information you can give me, about money or any other thing, would be really useful.

Thanks a lot,

Leticia

Natal, RN
Level Contributor
54 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
5. Re: Get along in Angola

Hi Leticia,

Welcome to Luanda.

Lodging. Usually company should provide. If not, hotel room charge from USD220 to USD350/night but very difficult to book as allways overbooked. Alternatively there his apartment renting, which in Luanda will cost from USD3.000 to 6.000/month, paying 1 year in advance, and risking many problems with water and electricity supply, just to mention a few.

Food. If you are food safety conscious the choice of restaurants is limited, and a meal will cost from USD25 to 50. Best alternative is supermarket. There are quite a few with competitive prices.

Night life is quite lively in Luanda, with a few nice bars and disco's, charging about USD20.

On weekends, on controlled city beaches, a relax chair will cost USD20.

Other issue you must consider is transportation. There is no public transport or taxi service availabe, so usually company issues a car and driver for worker. If that is not the case, then be prepared to be a little limited in your movments, or depend on friends.

If I can be of any further help just let me know.

Pedro

Málaga
3 posts
6. Re: Get along in Angola

Thanks Pedro!!

normally I'll be lodged in a family which it's cheapest option I think. Problem is, I won't be in a private company but in an organization, so they cannot pay my lodging nor anything like a car...

I'll stay there for long, so I won't be eating in restaurants everyday, just exceptionally. do you have an idea of how much can make a supermarket-fooding-month?

I have also some questions about safety. Can we really walk around on our own? What about nights? I've seen different opinions about it, what do you think? I thought there was a taxi service, even if it's not always too safe...

What about banks? Is it better to open a bank account, to receive money from yours abroad??

How long have you been for in Luanda? Are you still there?

Hope these are not too many questions :-) Any information would be useful!!

Regards,

leticia

Natal, RN
Level Contributor
54 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
7. Re: Get along in Angola

Hi Leticia,

Difficult questions :)

It will depend a lot on where you will be living and working.If you let me know the locations I may be of more help.

Walking. Generally you may walk in city center but very few expatriates do, due to dust, dirt, sidewalk conditions, etc.

Taxi. Only transport available are the small blue and white vans, allways crowded with local people, and with very precarious safety conditions.

Safety. Apart from the ocasionaly mobile phone snatching, which happens in every city, if you don´t go into some specific areas, there is no real safety problems.

You say you will stay for long. What about visa? Is the organization providing you with some special visa? because if not, you cannot stay more then 3 months.As for money you must use mostly cash, Kwanza or USD. If you bring USD bills please note that older bills with "small head" of president are not accepted, only with "big head". Credit cards are accepted in very few places. As for bank account you must have a working visa in order to open bank account.

I myself was born here and returned on a permanent basis about 4 years ago and will be her when you arrive should you need any help :)

If you want send me your e-mail or msn by message.

Regards,

Pedro

Luanda
3 posts
8. Re: Get along in Angola

Hello, I just arrived in Luanda to join my husband who is working here. Have been here already for one month and we have an absolutely miserable housekeeper. Do you have any recommendations on where we can find some reliable with good cleaning skills to assist us? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Lauren

Natal, RN
Level Contributor
54 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
9. Re: Get along in Angola

Hi Lauren,

Let me know which area you are living in.

Rgds,

Pedro

Luanda
3 posts
10. Re: Get along in Angola

Thanks for the quick response. We´re on Rua Sagrada Esperança. We currently have a woman who comes to the house to clean, but she is very unreliable and recently began stealing things from the house and front office. I´m 5 months pregnant and would like to begin to use and train someone new, before the little one arrives...