Caotinha, Benguela © jlrsousa
Situated in Central Africa, west of Zambia and north of Namibia, Angola is slowly realising its potential after decades of bloody civil war following independence from Portugal in 1975. A stunning coastline strung with beautiful sandy beaches, a mountainous interior that gives way to deep gorges and tumbling waterfalls, and a number of national parks and wildlife reserves throughout, Angola offers an array of opportunities for eco-tourism to visitors. Natural beauty aside, the country also boasts a rich traditional culture, culinary specialities and a people that are known for their hospitality and friendliness.
The picture is not entirely rosy, however, and the lack of infrastructure, the difficulties and dangers of overland transport, and poor health services are challenges travellers need to consider, particularly outside of the capital Luanda. But signs of economic recovery are evident, and the fact that Angola is rich in natural resources such as diamonds and gas, as well as being one of Africa's largest oil exporters, brings hope for development in the not too distant future.