In addition to the capital Luanda, Angola's main destinations for visitors lie along the coast, such as the small colonial-built town of Namibe. However, with the reconstruction of roads and rail links like the Benguela railway, it's becoming easier to travel into the interior of the country and search out places off the beaten track. After the devastating impact of the long civil war in Angola, tourists are a welcome sight to locals, because they signal a return to normality.
Home to 5 million people, Luanda is Africa’s fourth largest city (after Cairo, Lagos and Kinshasa). Built on a harbour, the capital has sandy beaches, where the wealthy belong to beach and sports clubs. However, there are also vast slum areas – see Food & Daily Life. With its international airport, Luanda acts as the base for tourists to explore the country. The capital has sites of cultural interest, such as museums, historic Portuguese-built churches (dating from the 1600s) and Fort São Miguel, built at the turn of the 17th century for the slave trade. Luanda is also renowned for its music clubs and nightlife.
Find out more about Namibia’s unique conservation areas and the history behind some of its towns and cities.
Find out about some key places in Zambia, such as Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Explore DR Congo
Click the map points and find out more about some of the country's key towns, rivers and wildlife areas, many of which have National Park status.
Find some of the key cities, sites of interest and national parks on this map of Zimbabwe.
The small coastal town of Namibe was relatively untouched by the war. It’s colonial buildings, fortresses and churches remain sites of interest. The Church of Sao Tiago, perhaps the most famous, was built during the 19th century, in a style which copies the older 16th century churches. Namibe has pleasant beaches, though these are too cold for sunbathing in winter. However, naturalists and conservation experts visit at this time to study the region’s whale and dolphin populations – see Geography & Wildlife.
Find out about some of Botswana’s key attractions, such as the Okavango Delta and other places of interest, such as the capital city, Gaborone.