Angola is a southern African nation whose varied terrain encompasses tropical Atlantic beaches, a labyrinthine system of rivers and Sub-Saharan desert that extends across the border into Namibia. The country’s colonial history is reflected in its Portuguese-influenced cuisine and its landmarks, including Fortaleza de São Miguel, built by the Portuguese in 1576 to defend the capital, Luanda.

How are birthdays celebrated?

We celebrate birthdays by getting together with friends and family for lunch or dinner. Very similar to the European way of celebration.

We say ‘Parabéns’ when wishing people on their birthday, which translates into ‘’congratulations!’’

When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?

Men shake hands while women kiss each other once on both cheeks.

What languages are spoken in your country?

Portuguese is the main language of communication. Angola does, however, have 6 local languages, and English and French are also widely spoken.

What side of the road to people drive on?

We drive on the right-hand side of the road. Watch a video of driving in Luanda during rush hour here.

How important is punctuality?

Punctuality is very important to foreigners. Locals, however, operate on African Time and may not always prioritise punctuality.

What types of music are popular?

Popular music amongst the locals in Angola include Kizomba, Kuduro, Semba, and some others. Some popular musicians are:

  • Mestre Dangue – Watch and listen here.
  • Ary – Watch and listen here.
  • Matias Damasio – Watch and listen here.


Are there any traditional dances?

Kizomba is native to Angola. It is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythms. The Kizomba dancing style is also known to be very sensual.


Kuduro is a type of music and dance developed in Angola in the 1980’s. It is described as up-tempo, energetic and danceable.


What traditional festivals are celebrated in your community?

Carnival is one of the biggest festivals that everyone gets excited for.

  • Read this article to understand the celebration around Carnival in Angola by clicking here.


What are your seasons like?

Very Mediterranean. Summer is  the rainy season and lasts from October to March. The temperature in winter never drops below 18 degrees Celsius. July is the coldest month and January the hottest.

What types of industry do you find other than oil?

Other than oil, diamonds is the county’s main economic resource. Gold, copper and wildlife are also important to Angola’s economy.

How do people spend their free time?

Luanda has great night life and lovely beaches that we definitely recommend you check out on your next visit!

What do people drink?

People in Angola enjoy drinking local beer and Portuguese wine.

What is a popular local dish?

Fish Calulu, or Calulu de Peixe, is a traditional recipe made in Angola and São Tomé e Príncipe. It is a signature fish stew which combines delicious vegetables cooked in red palm oil with okra and sweet potato leaves. This dish is typically served with funje, which is a mashed potato like substance made from cassava flour. It is unbelievably rich in different flavours and spices, and is one of the most popular dishes in Angolan cuisine for good reason.

Is Angola a safe country?

Security is usually pretty good with upswings during the end of year holiday period, but currently there has been an increase in petty crime due to the worsening economic situation.


If you would like to read more interesting blogs and articles like this, click here.


Written by Eloise Williams

Edited by Saudika Hendricks

Contributions by Inyene Udoyen



Angolan Exemption Permit Project Information

The following has been confirmed with the South African Department of Home Affairs:

  • If a foreign national is currently in possession of an Angolan cessation permit, or Angolan special permit, they may apply for the new Angolan exemption permit.
  • If a foreign national currently has no status, but had valid refugee status or an asylum seeker permit which was issued prior to 31 August 2013, they may apply for the new Angolan exemption permit, but the fact that they currently have no legal status, will be investigated.
  • If a foreign national currently has a valid or pending mainstream temporary residence visa (a normal temporary residence visa such as relative visa, work visa, study visa, etc.), they may not apply for the new Angolan exemption permit.
  • The new permits will be issued for an indefinite duration.
  • Once the main applicant is in possession of the new Angolan exemption permit, their family members may apply for mainstream temporary residence visas.


In Africa, there is an alarming third wave as the vaccine rollout is hampered. In recent light of the vaccine rollout in all parts of the world, third world countries vaccine rollout seems to be stagnant, experts fearing that it may take decades to vaccinate their respective countries.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office has reported that the third wave of Covid-19 cases is spreading faster in Africa. On Thursday, 17 June 2021, WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti warned, “With a rapid increase in the number of cases and increasing reports of severe disease, the latest wave threatens to be the worst to date in Africa,”

According to the regional office, for five consecutive weeks, Africa has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, signaling the beginning of the third wave in Africa. “As of 20 June—day 48 into the new wave—Africa had recorded around 474 000 new cases—a 21% increase compared with the first 48 days of the second wave.” As reported by WHO, the pandemic is resurging in 12 African countries and at the current rate of infections, the ongoing surge is set to surpass the previous one by early July.

18 African countries have already used over 80% of their COVAX vaccine supplies, 29 have administered over 50% of their suppliers, and eight have exhausted their vaccine supply. It is important to be aware that just over 1% of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated. Globally, 2.7 billion doses have been administered, with just under 1.5% having been administered in Africa.

Dr Moeti is urging the international community to help Africa deal with the Covid-19 vaccine supply as the surge threatens to impair not only Africa’s economy but society.



Angola’s government added a third mobile operator to the mix with the award of an operating licence to Africell, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

The move comes after President Joao Lourenco revoked a decision from April 2019 giving operating rights to domestic company Telstar Telecomunicacoes, due to concerns around its ability to meet bidding conditions.

In March, the country’s Ministry of Finance said MTN Group, Africell and Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI) had acquired tender documents, but only Africell submitted its application.

Africell’s head Ziad Dalloul in 2019 revealed the company had $300 million at its disposal to fund an entry into Angola,

The newly awarded licence brings the number of Africell markets to five, adding to its current operations in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Uganda.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].