Welcome to Angola

To find out more about this country, click on the topic tiles and features. For example, you can learn about two key celebrations - carnival time and the Nganja harvest festival. We haven't conducted a children's filming workshop here, so there aren't any videos. But there's lots of information for learning more about Angola.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

History & Politics

Rising from the ashes

Following centuries of foreign exploitation and a fight for independence, Angola descended into civil war in 1975. With peace finally declared in 2002, the country is now rebuilding itself.

Poverty & Healthcare

Tackling child mortality

After long years of war, Angola’s healthcare system is being rebuilt, but there are many challenges to face, such as reducing high rates of infant mortality which are partly due to sickle cell disease.

Food & Daily life

High-rises and slums

As with many cities in the developing world, modern high rises and office buildings tower over large slum areas in Angola’s capital, which is home to both the very rich and the very poor.

Tourism & Communications

Culture, leisure and wildlife

With its old colonial architecture, beach attractions and wildlife, Angola has much to offer visitors who have begun returning to the country.


The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.


The Brazilian influence

Each year a huge carnival takes place in Luanda and it’s the largest street party in the Angolan calendar.

Land mines

The legacy of war

Four decades of fighting in Angola left an estimated 10 million land mines buried across the country and these highly dangerous devices continue to kill and maim people every year.

People & Culture

Cultural blend

Angola’s culture today – in music, architecture, art, literature and sport - draws from African, Portuguese and Brazilian influences.


Empty beds

In Angola, many new hospitals have been constructed, but beds lie empty. One reason is that there aren’t enough trained professionals to staff the hospitals.


‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Geography & Wildlife

Bird enclaves

Angola is dominated by savannah grasslands, but areas of montane/mountain forests and rainforest remain in the north, which provide habitats for a number of rare and endangered birds.


Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Economy & Industry

Black gold

Since the war ended in 2002, Angola has enjoyed an economic boom based on the wealth it receives from its massive oil reserves.


Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.


A harvest festival

Angolan children celebrate harvest in April (Autumn time in Angola) when they roast corn on the cob over fires.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Facts & Figures

A large country

Like its neighbour Namibia, Angola is a large country (1.25 million square km, compared to Namibia’s 0.8 million square km). But unlike Namibia, where the majority of the population lives in the countryside, 58% of Angola’s people reside in urban areas. Many moved as refugees during the civil war; a quarter of the population now lives in Luanda.


A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Welcome to Angola

To find out about Angola, click on the topic tiles and features, including those on the country's main celebrations – carnival and the Nganja harvest festival. We haven't had chance to conduct a children's filming workshop, so there aren't any videos yet. But there's lots of information for learning more about Angola.


Timber wealth

As in the rest of Angola, offshore oil earns the greatest revenue for the northerly province of Cabinda, but timber is the second most important earner.

Climate & Agriculture


The Cold Benquela current off Angola’s coast brings nutrient-rich waters ideal for marine life and fishing is an important activity.


Draining down

Much of Angola is taken up by high plateau land, which is drained by many rivers. These flow to the Atlantic or into neighbouring countries, where some join with other key rivers.

Children's stories

Filming workshops

SOS Children's Villages have been running filming workshops to show children how to make their own films. This country has yet to be visited, but take a look at some videos made by children in nearby countries.


Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?


Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Education & Jobs

A turning tide

At one time, educated Angolans fled insecurity at home and sought work in Portugal; today, the tide flows in the other direction, as the oil wealth in Angola attracts many skilled Portuguese to their former African colony.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.


Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Angola map

Explore Angola

Explore the map of Angola and discover more about some of the key places and features of interest.

Angola topics Facts & Figures Poverty & Healthcare Food & Daily life Hospitals People & Culture Geography & Wildlife Climate & Agriculture Nganja Carnival Welcome to Angola Land mines Economy & Industry Timber Education & Jobs Children's stories History & Politics Rivers Angola map Tourism & Communications