- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
Civil war has been the norm in Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975. A 1994 peace accord between the government and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) provided for the integration of former UNITA insurgents into the government and armed forces. A national unity government was installed in April of 1997, but serious fighting resumed in late 1998, rendering hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost in fighting over the past quarter century. The death of insurgent leader Jonas SAVIMBI in 2002 and a subsequent cease-fire with UNITA may bode well for the country.
Source: CIA World Factbook
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout Central Africa and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites . All travelers to Central Africa, including infants, children, and former residents of Central Africa, may be at risk for malaria. All travelers should take one of the following drugs (listed alphabetically): atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine (in special circumstances).
A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
An outbreak of sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) has been reported in southern Sudan.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in this region. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in Central African countries.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at least 46 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- Meningococcal (meningitis), if you plan to visit Central African Republic, Chad, and Sudan, from December through June.
- Yellow fever, if you plan to travel anywhere outside cities.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 1112 years who did not receive the series as infants.
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an absolute 1-micron or less filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. Absolute 1-micron filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
- Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
- Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
- DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
SAFETY AND SECURITY: The security situation in Angola has improved markedly since the end of the civil war; however, Americans should still exercise caution. Although the war has ended, the possibility of banditry and extensive use of land mines during the war make ground travel throughout Angola problematic. Frequent checkpoints and poor infrastructure contribute to unsafe travel on roads outside of the city. Police and military are unpredictable, and their authority should not be challenged. Travel in many parts of Luanda is relatively safe by day, but car doors should be locked, windows rolled up, and packages stored out of sight. Visitors are strongly advised to avoid unnecessary travel after dark, and no travel should be undertaken on roads outside of cities after nightfall.
Although the civil war between the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Government of Angola has ended, the ongoing low-level insurgency group, Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), active in Cabinda province has a history of threatening foreign nationals with kidnapping. Throughout Angola, taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest, including government buildings, may result in problems with authorities and should therefore be avoided.
CRIME INFORMATION: Violent crime occurs regularly throughout Angola. While most of the violent crime occurs between Angolans, foreigners have occasionally been attacked as well. Street crime is common in all areas of Luanda, at all hours. Because of armed robberies and car-jackings, travelers are cautioned against airport arrivals after dark. Before arrival, ensure that you have arranged for reliable transportation from the airport. Use only the regulated taxi service at the airport and in Luanda; unregulated taxis are unsafe, a high crime risk, and should not be used.
Motorists should stop at all police checkpoints if so ordered. Police officers, often while still in uniform, have been known to participate in shakedowns, muggings, and carjackings.
There have been police operations against illegal aliens and private companies resulting in the deportation of foreign nationals and the loss of personal and company property. In rare cases, foreigners have been forced to sign statements renouncing property claims in Angola before being deported. Independent entrepreneurs in Angola should carry all relevant immigration and business documents at all times.
Travelers should be alert to a number of scams perpetrated by Luanda airport personnel. Immigration and customs officials sometimes detain foreigners without cause, demanding gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. Airport health officials sometimes threaten arriving passengers with "vaccinations" with unsterilized instruments if gratuities are not paid. Forced entry into travelers’ checked baggage is common; travelers are advised to take precautions against this possibility. Travelers should also be sure to have checked luggage receipts ready to display upon exiting the airport.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
semiarid in south and along coast to Luanda; north has cool, dry season (May to October) and hot, rainy season (November to April)
Source: CIA World Factbook
Angola's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Please note: Not all electrical sockets in these countries provide grounding. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa, which must be obtained in advance, and an International Certificate of Vaccination, are required. Persons arriving without visas are subject to possible arrest and/or exclusion. Travelers may also encounter delays if they do not have at least one completely blank page available in their passports for entry and exit stamps. Travelers whose international immunization cards do not show inoculations against yellow fever within the past ten years may be subject to involuntary vaccinations and/or heavy fines. Visitors remaining in Angola beyond their authorized visa duration are subject to fines and possible arrest. Current information on entry requirements may be obtained from the Embassy of Angola at 2108 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. (202) 785-1156, fax (202) 822-9049.
In an effort to combat international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child’s travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The time zone for Angola is 1 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Angola would be 6:00 pm
The unit of currency in Angola is the kwanza (AOA).
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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