Angola Traveler Information - Travel Advice
Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance within our Angola Traveler Information guide.
At AARDY we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Angola Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Angola.
Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.
PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months from date of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: 2 blank pages
VACCINATIONS: Yellow fever
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Yes
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: Declare amounts over $10,000
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: 50,000 kwanzas + $10,000 (See currency regulations below)
Embassies and Consulates
Rua Presidente Houari Boumedienne #32
+ (244) 222-64-1000
+ (244) 946-44-0977
+ (244) 946-44-0982
+ (244) 946-44-0983
+ (244) 946-44-0987
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:
+ (244) 222-64-1000
+ (244) 923-64-0154
See our Fact Sheet on Angola for information on U.S. - Angola relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
Requirements for Entry:
- Visa or Visa Pre-Approval Confirmation
- World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination. Vaccination at the airport is available for a fee.
Obtain your visa or visa pre-approval before traveling. Visas on arrival are not available without online pre-approval and payment through an Angolan embassy or consulate prior to travel. For the most current information, visit the Embassy of Angola’s website or the Angolan Migration Service’s site for visas and visa pre-approval and inquire at the nearest Angolan Embassy or Consulate. Allow several weeks for visa processing or visa pre-approval. If you are traveling with minor children to Angola via South Africa, be aware that additional documentation is required.
Foreign workers in Angola must arrive with a work visa and must keep the visa current. Doing otherwise risks fines and arrest.
Arrange reliable and secure ground transportation from the airport in advance.
Immigration and customs officials at the airport have detained foreigners without cause and demanded gratuities before allowing them to enter or depart Angola. If harassed at a port of entry, ask to speak with the U.S. Embassy or Airport Supervisor.
**Currency Regulations: **Any amount over $10,000 must be declared upon entry. Non-residents can leave with the equivalent of $5,000 in foreign currency and residents with $1,000. Non-residents and residents may also take out 50,000 kwanzas ($300). Expect to be searched at the airport and any amount over those limits to be confiscated.
**HIV/AIDS restrictions: **The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Angola.
Safety and Security
Landmines are a risk throughout the country outside major cities.
Cabinda City: Murders, kidnappings, and sexual assaults targeting foreigners have occurred in years past. While a heavy security presence now remains in the region, militant groups have indicated their intention to continue to conduct attacks on foreigners and occasionally attack police and Angolan Armed Forces convoys and outposts.
Lunda North and South: These diamond-producing provinces have the potential for civil unrest and crime. There have been reports of violent incidents against foreigners who require official permission and documentation from the government of Angola to travel there. Failure to meet these requirements may result in detention.
- Refrain from travel to Cabinda, Lunda Norte, and Lunda Sul.
- Maintain caution at large gatherings and areas frequented by foreigners, including stadiums, markets, hotels, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and places of worship.
- Monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages.
**Crime: **Armed assailants have killed some victims of muggings, robberies, and car-jackings which occur frequently in all areas of the country. Two Portuguese citizens were murdered in Viana in 2016 and kidnappers held several foreigners near Luanda. Armed assailants stormed a bakery stealing money, and an armed group raided a police station releasing prisoners and shooting two officers. Vehicle thefts, purse snatching, and theft from vehicles occur in areas frequented by foreigners.
- Avoid walking alone, especially after dark, and displaying cash and valuable personal property.
- Vary your routes and travel times and let someone know your daily routine.
- Dress conservatively.
- Drive with doors and windows locked.
- Keep valuables out of sight and do not use cell phones or laptops while stopped in traffic; criminals often brandishing guns use smash and grab tactics to steal valuables.
- Travel with a certified copy of your U.S. passport and Angolan visa to prevent the originals from being taken. Keep original documents in a secure location.
**Victims of Crime: **The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Angola for police is 113; for firefighters: 115, and for ambulance services: 112. Emergency numbers listed may not have an English-speaking operator available.
Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
Due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
**Domestic Violence: **U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
**Tourism: **The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is not widely available in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. You may be taken in for questioning by the police if unable to produce an acceptable form of identification or passport. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs result in long prison sentences and heavy fines. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Photography: It is illegal to take pictures or use binoculars, maps, or GPS near government buildings, military installations, and key infrastructure. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated, and risk detention and arrest. Do not take photos of people without their permission.
Libel Laws/Slander: Disrespecting government officials is illegal and can lead to expulsion from the country. Angolan authorities confiscated the U.S. passports of a family for several weeks after they complained to immigration officials about the time it took to process their visas and passports at the airport.
**Arrest Notification: **If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
**Employment: **Angolan companies often have trouble transferring funds to foreign bank accounts, which can delay payments to foreign employees.
Phone Service: Cellular phones are the norm, as landlines are non-existent. It is possible to purchase a SIM card locally and use a U.S.-compatible cell phone. The major cellular providers are Angola Telecom and Unitel.
**Currency: **The kwanza (AOA) is the official currency though U.S. dollars are accepted. Bills should be new and unblemished. ATMs dispense kwanzas only but frequently malfunction or run out of cash. Credit cards are accepted in a limited number of hotels and restaurants.
- Residents of Angola must declare upon arrival amounts over the equivalent of $10,000. Non-residents must declare amounts over the equivalent of $5,000. Amounts over these limits may be seized.
- Limits may change - verify with the Angolan Embassy or the National Bank.
- Show your original declaration form to the airport customs officials to export currency over the authorized limit.
- Obtain prior authorization from the National Bank to export currency over $15,000 that is acquired while in Angola.
- Destruction of Kwanza notes is illegal.
**Faith-Based Travelers: **See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report– see country reports
- Human Rights Report– see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
**LGBTI Travelers: **There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Angola, although it is not socially acceptable. Same-sex couples have been harassed.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Major hotels have ramps. Persons with disabilities face limited access to transportation, public buildings, hotels, and communication accommodations. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack elevators.
Women Travelers:Statistics on prosecutions for violence against women are not available. Most rape cases are not prosecuted. Domestic violence counseling centers, shelters, and various treatment centers and free legal assistance are available to abused women.
See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical facilities and services, including emergency care, are limited outside of Luanda and do not meet U.S. standards. In the capital some private clinics offer international standard medical care and 24 hour emergency services including ambulances. Local pharmacies provide a limited supply of medications.
**We do not pay medical bills. **Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
**Medical Insurance: **Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Bring preventative and over-the-counter medicines. Check with the Embassy of Angola to verify your medications are legal before you travel.
Consult the CDC website for Angola prior to travel.
The following diseases are prevalent:
**Vaccinations: **Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Major roads between Luanda and the provincial capitals are improving, but some road conditions remain poor while the infrastructure for pedestrians is lacking. Drunk-driving is also a problem. Other hazards include potholes, lack of or attention to traffic signals, erratic driving habits, excessive speed, pedestrians, and roaming animals. During the rainy season, November-April, roads and bridges, already in poor condition, can become impassable and landmines may become displaced and surface outside known mine fields.
When driving outside of Luanda on other than primary roads between major cities, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is useful. Secondary roads are often unpaved and nearly impassable. Major routes though are paved in most areas and feature gas stations and other roadside services.
Traffic Laws: You will need an international driving permit or Angolan license to drive. You may use a U.S. license for one month.
Checkpoints: Both inside and around Luanda, police set up spontaneous roadblocks to check for vehicle documentation. They may also solicit bribes or request immediate payment of "fines" for alleged minor infractions. Police and military officials are sometimes undisciplined and their authority should not be challenged.
- Make sure all vehicle documentation is available for inspection.
- Resist paying bribes. Politely ask for a ticket or for the officer’s name and badge number if no violation is alleged. Ask to contact the Embassy if you are not let go.
- Remain inside your vehicle with doors locked and open the window slightly to communicate.
- Carry color photocopies of your passport and other identity documents to give to security or police officials.
- Report any incident to the U.S. Embassy in Luanda.
**Accidents: **In the event of an automobile accident, remain at the scene until the police arrive.
If a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly.
Landmines: Use caution in remote areas or off main roads outside of Luanda. Landmines are most common in the southern provinces. The provinces of Benguela, Bie, Cubango, Cuando, Huambo, and Huila, have a higher number of landmines than other areas of the country.
**Public Transportation: **Avoid all use of public transportation known as “candongueiros” or “taxistas,” (multi-passenger vans) and hire private transport from a reliable source. Any form of public transportation is unregulated, unreliable, and generally unsafe. The U.S. Embassy has determined Allo Taxi, Morvic, Transcoop SA, Divisao, and Universal are acceptable.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Angola, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Angola’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
**Maritime Travel: **Mariners planning travel to Angola should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website select “broadcast warnings”.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
International Parental Child Abduction
Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Angola. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.”
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