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5 Natural Attractions you can’t miss in Angola

5 Natural Attractions you can’t miss in Angola

Although it is still a little sought-after destination, Angola has more than enough natural attractions to win over nature-loving travelers from all over the world. It is, so to speak, an unexplored pearl. From the desert landscapes of the Iona National Park to the majestic Calandula Falls, passing through places of unparalleled beauty such as the Black Rocks of Pungo Andongo or the Tundavala Rift, there is no shortage of natural attractions in the largest Portuguese-speaking country on the African continent. These are some of those places.

Calandula Falls

About five hours’ drive from the capital Luanda, the Calandulas Falls are one of the places where the power of nature is most felt in the whole country. A majestic waterfall (one of the largest on the African continent) on the Lucala River, itself the most important tributary of the Kwanza River. You can enjoy the falls from the viewpoint on the right bank, walk along the rocks at the top of the cascade and even descend to the level of the river and feel small in front of such a large volume of water. But the most spectacular views are from the left bank of the river, from a viewpoint two hundred meters from the site of an expensive hotel. It is located in the verdant province of Malanje and is a must-visit place, so to speak.

Black Rocks of Pungo Andongo

Still in Malanje, the so-called Black Stones of Pungo Andongo are a set of monolithic rock formations, millions of years old, which punctuate the green landscape. One of those places that is especially beautiful if appreciated from a higher vantage point, so it is essential to climb one of the gigantic rocks to understand – and enjoy – the majesty of the scenery. It is certainly one of the most beautiful places in the whole country.

Valley of Spirits

Further south, the Vale dos Espíritos gorge, also known as the Curoca Hills, is one of the main tourist attractions in Namibe province. It is certainly one of the most beautiful places that travelers will have the opportunity to see during their itinerary. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a Utah nature park, in the United States of America, such is the immensity of the landscape, the reddish hue of the sand, the imposing rock formations rising from the ground. I have no doubt that few Angolan landscapes will be as overwhelming as the Vale dos Espíritos canyon.

Iona National Park / Namibe Desert

Extending over 15,000 square kilometers, the Iona National Park is under the administration of African Parks, a South African non-governmental organization focused on environmental conservation, and is home to endless tourist attractions. First of all, there are the large dunes that end abruptly by the sea, creating a unique and ever-changing landscape, especially on the way to the iconic Bay of Tigers. Then there’s the habitat of the welwitschia mirabilis – the “desert octopus” – a plant endemic to the south of the country. The park’s coastline is sometimes called the Skeleton Coast due to the large number of shipwrecks and whale and seal skeletons found on its beaches.

Soba Beach

It may seem strange to put a beach on this list of natural attractions, but the truth is that Angola has spectacular beaches that are little explored. In the case of Praia do Soba, it’s a sandy beach set against steep cliffs, reminiscent of Portugal’s Costa Vicentina, on the top of which a truly inspiring hotel project has been built. It’s a natural landscape with human hands, of course, but it’s really worth spending a few days in and disconnecting from the modern world.

By Filipe Morato Gomes / Alma de Viajante

Note: Triskelion Expeditions has a travel program with a leader in Angola. Check it out! more information.

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