Angola is a hidden world that is only recently opening up for tourism. It has fascinating tribal groups whose traditions and lifestyle have barely changed in centuries. A visit to tribal areas of Angola is a privilege. Below are images from my first visit to Angola
My next photography tour to Angola is planned for June 2020. Tour will be geared towards meeting tribal groups, photographing them and learning about their culture. Contact us to find out more about this exciting tour. See itinerary and costs below.
10 different tribal groups
Plain Mumuila, Handa, Mountain Mumuila, Khoisan, Mugambue, Muhumbi, Mudimba, Muhakaona, Mutua, Himba, Mucuval, Nguendelengo
Day 1: LUANDA – LUBANGO
Arrive in the morning in Luanda. Transfer to a restaurant to take breakfast. After breakfast begin exploring the key sights of the city, with interesting old colonial buildings, such as Nosa Senhora de Nazaré baroque church, Anthropology Museum, Ferro Palace (19th Century) and Fortaleza de Sao Miguel (Portuguese fortress). At 1630h transfer to the airport for TAAG domestic flight to Lubango at 19h00. 1h30 flight. Meet guide and transfer to Soba Do Quimbo Lodge. BB
Day 2: LUBANGO – MUMUILA TRIBAL MARKETS – LUBANGO (2h)
Breakfast. Drive for 1h to a Mumuila market. Meet the King of Muila Plain tribe and his family (heavily decorated wives). Photo session. Walk to nearby market to see how Muila and Handa tribal women arrive. Plain Mumuila and Handa have similar culture but speak different languages and while Plain Mumuila decorate with a lot of beaded collars, Handa tend to use white and sometimes green beads. Farewell from Plain Mumuila region and drive to Chibia. Lunch in Chibia colonial town. Afternoon focused in Mountain Mumuilas, are like the Plain Mumuilas but living in rugged ecosystem and with slight different dressing style. Reach a Mountain Mumuila market and meet first Mountain Mumuila women. Spend the night in a Mountain Mumuila village. Tents. FB
Day 3: LUBANGO – MUGAMBUE – KHOISAN – XANGONGO (3h)
Breakfast. Day to learn about the human migrations in this part of Southern Angola. First human settlers where the Khoisan people, coming from what is today Cape Town. They lived in peace and isolation, hunting and gathering until the arrival of Bantu speaking groups such as the Mugambue in the 12th Century. This people brought metal tools and weapons, domesticated cattle and agriculture…the whole ecosystem was affected by these deep economic and social changes. The Mugambue forced the Khoisan into deeper bush where they live to this day. We will meet Serrao, Mugambue traditional leader to know about local culture, walk around the village and meet the older women, keepers of the old ways. We will also meet the Khoisan that live near the Mugambue and learn aspects of their daily life. After the visit, we will continue to Xangongo, on the shores of Cunene River. Night in Xangongo Hotel. FB
Day 4: XANGONGO – HUMBE – ONTITCHAU (2h)
Breakfast and drive to a Muhumbi tribal village to meet 2-3 initiated girls with the traditional ‘elephant’ and ‘crest’ hairdos. After the photo session, continue to Otchinchau, where the tarmac road ends. Our objective is the Mudimba tribe, a Herero speaking pastoralist group. Women with small children tend to have beautiful afro-style hairdos. Reach small community and spend the night with them. Dances in the evening around the fire. Overnight camping. FB
Day 5: ONTITCHAU – ONCOCUA (3h)
Breakfast and drive to remote Oncocua town to meet Angola’s most remote nomadic tribes; Himbas, Muhakaonas and Mutuas. Reach the town, present documents to the local authorities and drive to a tribal village to spend the night with the tribe. Overnight camping. FB
Day 6: ONCOCUA
Breakfast and full day of tribal immersion. The area is inhabited by four traditional Bantu tribes. Three cattle herders: Mudimba, Muhakaona, and Himba and one small group of hunter gatherers, the Mutua that imitate the dressing style of the Himba. There is a complex cast system in this remote region of Angola. The guide will explain this system that has disappeared in most parts of Africa. Drive to remote tribal settlements, meet the people, learn about their culture and photo sessions. Overnight camping. FB
Day 7: ONCOCUA – CAHAMA – LUBANGO (6h)
Breakfast and farewell from Oncocua. Drive to Cahama. Lunch in a local restaurant and continue to Lubango. Arrive and transfer to Soba Do Quimbo Lodge. HB (lunch)
Day 8: LUBANGO – CARACULO – VIREI (3h)
Early breakfast and drive into Mucuval territory. This tribe was the last one to be conquered by Portuguese colonial forces and is still a rebel group that avoids public schooling and Western medicine. They are semi nomadic and still hunt antelopes in the semi-arid savannah. We will find a Mucuval settlement and spend the night with them. Tents. FB
Day 9: VIREI – NAMIBE (4h)
Breakfast in the tribal camp. Last photographic activities and sharing time with the Mucuval people. One of their visual characteristics is the set of straw strings that press the female breasts against the chest. It is a sign of motherhood and femininity. Women also decorate their heads with beautiful colours cloths bought in Virei market. We will continue to Virei for lunch and visit the Mucuval Animistic cemetery. After lunch we will drive to Namibe for the night. Infotour. HB (lunch)
Day 10: NAMIBE – GARGANTA – LUBANGO – LUANDA (3h)
Breakfast and drive to Garganta to meet our last Angolan tribe, the Nguendelengo. An ethnic minority, numbering just 300 individuals living in this rugged forested hills. Geisha style hairdos can still be seen in some women. Photo session and continuation for Lubango through Serra da Leba sinuous road. Lunch in Bibala colonial town. Reach Lubango and visit Tunda Vala panoramic views. Dinner and evening flight to Luanda. Accommodation in: Hotel Ilha Mar or similar. HB (lunch)
Day 11: LUANDA – FLIGHT HOME
Breakfast. Drive to Miradouro da Lua (Clift). From there we go to Slave Museum and artisan fair. Lunch in Ilha and afternoon visit to Santiago Beach’s ship cemetery. Continue to airport for evening flight back home. BB
END OF OUR SERVICES
Costs: Euros 3500.00 per person
Deposit of Euros 1000.00 or equivalent in US$ or Pounds (£) Sterling at the time of booking
Remaining amount payable 8 weeks before departure.
What is included:
Airport transfers – We include arrival and departure transfers regardless of whether you book flights yourself, or we book them for you. If you are booking them yourself, then please let us know the details so that we can arrange the transfers. Please note though that if you arrive earlier than Day 1 of the tour, and leave after the final day, we may need to make an additional charge for an airport transfer.
Accommodation – Accommodation as listed in the dossier. The nature of the destinations that we operate may sometimes mean that we need to change hotels, but we will always endeavour to keep the same standards. Please be aware that as we operate in many countries where tourism is in its infancy, hotel standards may not be the same as you are used to elsewhere.
Meals – As listed within the itinerary / dossier (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner). These will vary from day to day – in some areas it makes sense to include all meals while in others there is a good choice of restaurants and we feel people might like to ‘do their own thing’ now and again.
What is not included:
Visas – An approved pre-visa must be obtained before travel. We offer you the possibility of arranging this pre-visa (it takes time and an slight error might block your pre-visa) we will advise on what to send us for this pre-visa. Cost of arranging a pre-visa is Euros 100.00.
International flights to Luanda – Many of our travellers arrive from different destinations and so we do not include international flights in the cost of our tours.
-There are long distances between cities and towns, and often roads or tracks are in bad conditions.
-Clients will bring their own sleeping bag for camping days
OPTIONAL DONATIONS FOR LOCAL POPULATION:
Glass or plastic color beads for decoration + string