Angola sits on the west coast of Africa, resting against the Atlantic Ocean and sharing borders with Zambia, Namibia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With its unique mix of tropical scenery, deserts, rich history, and contemporary developments, Angola is a fascinating country to explore.
Luanda, Angola’s largest urban hub, is itself an exciting destination. From sites of historical significance and museums to relaxing beaches and thriving markets, this is a city with something for everyone.
The city has a somewhat checkered history, including a lengthy civil war that concluded in 2002. Now, however, Luanda is in the midst of being reborn as a modern and exciting mecca for residents and tourists alike. When you’ve finished discovering the city itself, chill out at a beachside bar or enjoy some local cuisine, much of which features flavours inspired by the city’s Portuguese roots.
With so much to offer guests, it’s no wonder some of the best cruise lines, including Oceania Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Princess Cruises, regularly stop at the port in Luanda.
Your cruise will dock in Luanda Harbour, located within Luanda Bay. The port is situated next to Baixa de Luanda, the lower part of the city, which features old colonial buildings.
Amenities at the port itself are limited. However, there are many facilities within walking distance.
Facilities nearby include:
Restaurants and cafés
Bank and ATMs
How To Get Around
Many of the attractions in Luanda can be easily reached on foot. To explore further, or for less mobile visitors, minibus taxis are the most common and popular mode of transport. Guided tours are often available as well.
Travel times from the port:
It is a 19 minute journey to Iron Palace
It is a 36 minute journey to Saint Michael Fortress and the Museum of the Armed Forces
It is a 1 hour and 6 minute journey to the National Anthropology Museum.
It is a 5 minute journey to Iron Palace
It is a 6 minute journey to Saint Michael Fortress and the Museum of the Armed Forces
It is a 16 minute journey to the National Anthropology Museum.
Currency – The currency in Luanda is the New Angolan Kwanza (KZ), which is divided into 100 cêntimos. Notes come in 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 Kwanzas. Coins come in 10 and 50 cêntimos and 1, 2 and 5 Kwanza denominations.
Time Zone – Luanda follows West African Time (WAT), which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – Luanda enjoys a moderate tropical climate, which keeps it comfortably warm year round. Pleasantly low humidity makes summers in Luanda more bearable than you might expect based on its location. February is the hottest month in Luanda, with temperatures averaging 27.5 degrees Celsius. July is the coolest month, with temperatures averaging 21 degrees Celsius.
Saint Michael Fortress and the Museum of the Armed Forces – Within this historical fort, which was constructed in 1576, you will find the Museum of the Armed Forces. The history of Angola is depicted by detailed ceramic tiles and the fort’s courtyard is home to several impressive statues. The fort’s hilltop location also gives you a fantastic view of both the bay and the city.
National Anthropological Museum – To gain a richer understanding of Angola’s history and culture, a visit to the quaint National Anthropological Museum is well worth your time. The helpful staff and interesting artifacts here will give you a great insight into the city and its people.
Iron Palace – This architecturally fascinating building is believed to have been created by Gustave Eiffel, the same man responsible for iconic constructions including the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. However, this cannot be verified. In fact, the palace’s origins are generally unknown, making this building something of a mystery. Years of neglect and the Angolan Civil War have both taken their toll on the Iron Palace, but it still remains an intriguing site to behold.
Natural History Museum – Nature lovers won’t want to skip this attraction. This museum hosts information and displays relating to many of the animals found in the area. From whale bones and rhino skeletons to stuffed fish and birds, there’s no shortage of interesting creatures to learn about here.
Mussulo Island – Take a scenic boat ride to Mussulo Island, where you can enjoy a relaxing beach setting complete with laidback restaurants and bars. ‘Ilah do Mussolo’ is the perfect escape for cruise goers who have had enough city exploring and just want to sit back with a cold drink or two for a few hours.