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Angola

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Summary

  • Exercise a high degree of caution in Angola because of the risk of civil unrest and criminal violence. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor the media and other sources about possible new security risks.
  • Reconsider your need to travel to the provinces of Cabinda, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul due to the high risk of civil unrest and violence. Violence against foreigners has occurred in these areas. See Safety and security.
  • Avoid large public gatherings and street demonstrations as they may turn violent. Be alert, monitor local media and follow instructions given by local authorities. See Safety and security.
  • There is a risk of kidnapping in and around Luanda. Victims, usually foreigners, are often abducted from their vehicles by criminals seeking a ransom. See Safety and security.
  • Outbreaks of malaria, polio, zika and yellow fever occur in Angola. See Health
  • Landmines are a risk throughout Angola outside major cities. See Local travel.
  • Australia has a Consulate in Angola, headed by an Honorary Consul, which provides limited consular assistance. The Australian High Commission in South Africa provides full consular assistance to Australians in Angola.

Entry and exit

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Australian Government cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination's entry or exit requirements.

As visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice, contact the nearest Angolan Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information.

Visas

You need a visa to visit Angola. Contact an Angolan Embassy or Consulate well ahead of travel to organise an appropriate visa. Tourist visa on arrival is not available without online visa pre-approval which can be applied for on Angola's Serviço de Migração.

In Angola, it can take at least ten weeks to renew a visa. During this time, the Angolan immigration authorities will keep your passport and you won't be able to travel. Plan your travel and visa renewals carefully to avoid complications.

Penalties for visa offences include fines, detention and deportation.

Other formalities

Angola is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as common for yellow fever and there have been recent outbreaks. A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for entry into Angola.

As the quarantine requirements for yellow fever vaccination differ between countries, check the yellow fever entry requirements for all countries you intend to enter or transit by contacting their foreign missions in Australia. Some airlines may require passengers to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate before being allowed to board flights out of the country.

Read about yellow fever, including Australian re-entry requirements on the Department of Health website.

Transiting South Africa

If you're travelling to or from Angola through South Africa (including transiting), read the Entry and exit section of our travel advice for South Africa. South Africa has specific requirements for children travelling to the country. South Africa has Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate requirements and does not accept provisional travel documents (i.e. one page travel documents).

Passport

Check the expiry date of your Australian passport before your travel. Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months from when you plan to leave that country.

Carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Be aware of attempts to get access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for advice.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.

Money

If you're carrying more than US$10,000, declare it on entry into Angola. Travellers are only allowed to take up to US$10,000 out of Angola. Different regulations apply to residents.

More information: Embassy of Angola

Safety and security

Crime

The crime rate is high. Criminal activity is often accompanied by violence. Petty crime (such as pickpocketing and snatch and grab robberies), armed banditry and carjackings are common. Attacks can occur at any time, but there is a much higher risk of violent criminal activity at night.

There is a risk of kidnapping in and around Luanda. Victims, usually foreigners, are often abducted from their vehicles by criminals seeking a ransom. Be alert for attempts to stop your vehicle and vary your routes and schedules of travel. Armed criminals also target vehicles which are stationary, or in slow moving traffic, for smash and grab robberies.

  • Take particular care in crowded places such as markets.
  • Avoid walking between bars and restaurants on the Ilha (an island near Luanda).
  • Avoid walking in Luanda at night.
  • Be alert for attempts to stop your vehicle. Use varied routes and schedules of travel.
  • When driving, ensure that doors are locked, windows are up and valuables are kept out of sight.

HIV/AIDS is common in Angola. If you become a victim of violent crime, especially rape, seek immediate medical assistance.

Don't expect the same level of service from Angolan police as you would in Australia.

Civil unrest/political tension

Civil unrest occurs and can become violent, particularly in Cabinda, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul. Avoid protests and large gatherings as they could turn violent.

Militant groups claiming independence are active in Cabinda province. Clashes with security forces can occur. Armed gangs have attacked foreigners outside Cabinda city, and have warned that attacks involving robbery, rape and murder will continue.

Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces are diamond mining areas with the potential for civil unrest and associated crime. There have been reports of violence against foreigners in these provinces.

  • Avoid large public gatherings and street demonstrations as they may turn violent.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Angola due to the risk of civil unrest and criminal violence.

Cabinda, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul Provinces:Reconsider your need to travel to the provinces of Cabinda, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul due to the high risk of civil unrest and violence. There have been reports of violent incidents against foreigners.

Militant groups claiming independence are active in the Cabinda province. Clashes with security forces can occur. Armed gangs have attacked foreigners outside Cabinda city, and have warned that attacks involving robbery, rape and murder will continue.

 

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.

More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

Local travel

Carry your identity documents at all times. Photocopies need to be notarised by an Angolan Notary Public to be considered valid. Police and military checkpoints are common. Failure to produce valid identification documents can result in a large fine.

Travel outside Luanda can be difficult and dangerous. Infrastructure remains heavily damaged following Angola's 27-year civil war. Landmines and unexploded ordnance are a danger outside major cities, in the interior of the country and in areas bordering Zambia.

  • Only travel outside Luanda with people or organisations experienced in local conditions.
  • Keep to main roads because of the danger of landmines.

The Government of Angola restricts foreigners' entry into Cabinda, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul. You need official permission and documentation to travel to all parts of Cabinda, to Lunda Norte (except Lucapa and Dundo) and to Lunda Sul (except Saurimo). If you fail to meet these requirements, authorities may detain you or place restrictions on your movements. Official permission and documentation is normally provided by the Angolan partner sponsoring the visit to Angola. It can also be obtained from the main police stations in Lucapa, Dundo or Saurimo.

Road travel

Road accidents are common due to poorly maintained roads and dangerous driving practices. Street vendors, scooters and pedestrians on the roads pose additional safety risks. You're four times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Angola than in Australia.

Fuel shortages may occur. Plan road travel accordingly.

More information: Road travel

Public transport

Public transport systems are overcrowded, poorly maintained and unsafe.

Wildlife

Respect local wildlife laws and maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. Only use reputable and professional tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.

Swimming in lakes and rivers can be unsafe because of the possibility of attacks by wildlife and the risk of catching water-borne diseases.

Air travel

Airports in regional centres in Angola have very limited facilities and runways are generally in poor condition, especially in the wet season (October to May). Flight delays occur frequently.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Angola.

More information: Air travel

Laws

You're subject to the local laws of Angola, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

If you're detained or arrested, the authorities in Angola may not automatically notify the Australian Government. As soon as possible, request police or prison officials to notify the Australian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, trafficking and use of drugs, including 'soft drugs', include mandatory prison sentences.

More information: Drugs

Other laws

There are severe penalties for the illegal possession of uncut diamonds.

The use of cameras, binoculars, global positioning systems or maps near government buildings or infrastructure of any description is prohibited and may lead to detention or questioning by local police.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Angola in January 2019.

More information: LGBTI travellers

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law 

Information for dual nationals

Angola recognises dual nationality, but Australian citizens holding Angolan citizenship will be regarded as Angolan citizens by the Angolan authorities. This may limit the ability of Australian officials to provide consular services to Australians who have retained their Angolan citizenship, particularly if they are detained or arrested. Travel on your Australian passport at all times.

Australian/Angolan dual nationals may be subject to compulsory military/civil service obligations when in Angola. Seek advice from the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Angola well in advance of travel.

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

Remember to extend your insurance if you extend your trip.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

Medication

Take prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, your dosage and that it is for personal use only.

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor. You could be arrested or have your medicine confiscated if you bring in restricted medication or do not have correct documentation. This includes countries where you are only transiting and do not leave the airport, as well as your final destination.

Before you leave Australia:

  • check whether your medication is legal in each country you are travelling to, and the requirements for taking that medication into the country
  • get medical documents authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before you depart (if required).

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Polio

Outbreaks of poliomyelitis (polio) have occurred in Angola. Make sure you complete a primary course of polio vaccinations and a booster dose prior to travel to Angola. If you're unsure of your polio vaccination status, check with your doctor or travel clinic, at least eight weeks before you depart.

HIV/AIDS

The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is high. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.

Mosquito-borne illnesses

Malaria is a high risk in all parts of Angola throughout the year. Outbreaks of dengue fever and other endemic mosquito-borne illnesses are common.

There is sporadic transmission of Zika virus in Angola. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. The Australian Department of Health advises pregnant women to discuss any travel plans with their doctor and consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas. Further advice for both females and males is available from the Department of Health.

Angola is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as common for yellow fever and there have been recent outbreaks. Yellow fever is potentially fatal but is preventable by vaccination.

Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis and African sleeping sickness) also occur.

Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof
  • take measures to avoid insect bites, including always using insect repellent and wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing
  • get vaccinated against yellow fever before you travel to Angola
  • consult your doctor about taking medication against malaria.

More information:

Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including typhoid, cholera, leishmaniasis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, haemorrhagic fever and rabies) are common with serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.

  • Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Avoid ice cubes.
  • Avoid uncooked and undercooked food.
  • Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as bilharzia (schistosomiasis).

Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.

Medical facilities

The standard of medical facilities in Angola is very poor. There are several clinics run by expatriate organisations in Luanda but otherwise health care is extremely basic. There is a shortage of trained specialists, safe blood supplies and pharmaceuticals.

Medical treatment is expensive, and clinics normally expect cash payment before commencing treatment. If you become seriously ill or injured, you would need to be evacuated to South Africa or another destination with appropriate facilities. Medical evacuation could be very expensive.  

Natural disasters

Flash flooding may occur during the rainy season from October to May. Flooding may result in damage to infrastructure and cause delays when travelling. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer, or airline.

Emergency phone numbers

  • Firefighting and rescue services: 115
  • Medical emergencies: 112
  • Criminal issues, contact police:  113. Obtain a police report when reporting a crime.

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australia has a Consulate in Angola, headed by an Honorary Consul. The Consulate provides limited consular assistance by appointment only. Contact details are:

Australian Consulate, Angola

Rua Major Kanhyangulo 101-2ºdto (Opposite UN offices)
Luanda, Angola

Postal address:
Caixa Postal 6269
Luanda, Angola

Mobile: (+244) 923 214 101 or (+244) 934 991 535

Email: australia.consulate.angola@gmail.com

You can get full consular assistance from the Australian High Commission in South Africa.

Australian High Commission, Pretoria

292 Orient Street
Arcadia
Pretoria, South Africa
Telephone (+27 12) 423 6000
Facsimile (+27 12) 342 8442
Email: consular.pretoria@dfat.gov.au
Website: southafrica.highcommission.gov.au
Facebook:
Australian High Commission in South Africa
Twitter: @AuHCSouthAfrica

Check the Australian High Commission website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the High Commission or the Consulate you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Additional resources