From The Horse’s Mouth – Angola

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