Angola, located in the southwest of the Black Continent, is a piece of Africa in which African traditions and Portuguese influences meet, but in which Western values can also be encountered. Otherwise, however, an encounter with Angola is especially interesting in terms of landscape and recommended to all those who like to explore nature extensively on vacation. The country offers a lot in this regard: a considerable occurrence of wild animals such as elephants, hippos, rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, cheetahs, crocodiles and others as well as tropical rainforest, the somewhat over 100 m high Kalandula waterfalls on the Lucala river, the highlands of Bie, savannahs, a strip of desert in the southwest and last but not least coast on the Atlantic Ocean. On the coast of Angola you will also find beautiful bathing opportunities – especially on the popular beaches of Santiago, Palmeirinhas, Ilha do Cabo or on the island of Massula with its beaches of fine sand. The island can be reached after only a short boat ride from Luanda… which makes a beach visit a good idea after a tour of discovery in the capital. However, after a day in Luanda – after forays through various museums, through the attractive arts and crafts market in Funtogo, a visit to the old São Miguel fortress and marveling at historical buildings – a visit to one of the restaurants is recommended, including the Angolan or Portuguese one Kitchen to taste. After that, it is finally recommended to go to the city’s theater and music scene.
Kalandula waterfall – a special natural phenomenon
The Kalandula Falls in the Malanje Province of Angola lie on the course of the Lucala River, a tributary of the Cuanza. Calandula, the eponymous place is nearby. The height of the falls is 105 meters and their width pours over about 400 meters.
About five hours from the capital Luanda, the Kalandula Falls are one of the most famous natural phenomena in the country. There are hardly any tourist crowds, however, as the falls have not yet become very well known outside of Angola. The Kalandula Falls are the second largest waterfalls in Africa, after the Victoria Falls. Besides the Ruacana Falls, they are the highest waterfalls in Angola.
The waterfalls worth seeing were called “Duque do Bragança waterfalls” by the Portuguese settlers after the Portuguese King D. Pedro V, who was also Duke of Braganza at the same time. The waterfall got its current name in 1975 after Angola’s independence.
In the 1940s, a boarding house was built near the falls. The inn was in operation until the 1970s. However, it was abandoned after Angola’s independence in 1975 and at the beginning of the Angolan civil war. In 2009 an investor bought the building in order to renovate it in the future and use it again as a hotel. Anyone visiting Angola should definitely not miss this special natural spectacle. The masses of water falling in a semicircle over a rock face more than 100 meters high are simply an unforgettable experience.
The village of Naulila is located in the province of Cunene in southwest Angola. The battle for Naulila between Portuguese and German troops took place there during the First World War. This incident was preceded by the German attack on the Angolan town of Cuangar. Today the Naulila Memorial commemorates the battle for Naulila in 1914. The official war memorial is in the community of Outjo in the Republic of Namibia. The memorial commemorates the fallen German soldiers of the protection force in German South West Africa. The memorial was presented to the public in June 1933 and recognized as a national monument on June 4, 1971.
The fight for Naulila – a piece of German colonial history
On October 19, 1914, shortly after the beginning of the First World War, Hans Schultze-Jena, the district captain of the Angolan community Outjo and two German soldiers at the Portuguese “Fort Naulila” were murdered by a Portuguese unit during negotiations regarding a non-aggression pact.
In response, Major Victor Franke was relocated to Naulila with a protective force of around 500 men, which they attacked from December 1914. Major Franke was injured during the battle, so that Captain Georg Trainer took command. The Portuguese were far superior, but Naulila was captured by the German troops. 31 Schutztruppler and around 150 Portuguese were killed during the attack. The von Frankes regiment was later renamed the “Naulila Regiment”. Today the Naulila Memorial in Namibia commemorates this event. It is also astonishing that the two countries, Portugal and Germany, were not yet at war with each other at the time of the battle. Numerous writings by German officers later reported in Germany about their personal view of these events in Angola.
Christ statue from Lubango
The Christ statue of Lubango or Cristo Rei, as it is called in Portuguese, is located in the city of Lubango in the Angolan province of Huila. The city of Lubango has about 1,000,000 inhabitants and is located on the Huíla Plateau, a plateau at over 1,800 meters. Along with Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon, Lubango is one of the cities that has a statue of Christ. The Christ statue of Lubango is a Catholic monument, from which one has a wonderful view of the whole city of Lubango in the south of Angola. The statue is inspired by the famous statue of Christ in Brazil and was built in 1957. The monument, which is about 30 meters high, was built from white marble and limestone. The Portuguese engineer Frazão Sardinha designed the statue in the 1950s and since the 18th century.
The statue of Christ can be seen from almost every street when visiting the city of Lubango, as it already shines white towards tourists. The statue looks down on the city from over 2100 meters on a concrete base. The 30 meter high monument is surrounded by a wall with incisions. There is a masonry altar area within the walls. For visitors to Lubango, the place is well suited to get a first overview of the city. In addition, you can take beautiful photos around the Christ statue and enjoy the magnificent view.