Angola is in the west of Africa and is a former Portuguese colony. After many years of civil war and internal strife, it is now most definitely a country open for business – something that an increasing number of backpackers are realising. What’s more, Angola is a relatively safe place for people to visit, despite the preconceived ideas that many will have. So, for those looking for a more unusual place to visit, a gap year in Angola could be the perfect choice.
If there’s one reason why people go on a gap year in Angola it’s this: the amazing natural beauty found throughout the country. It’s a real tapestry of different sceneries, ranging from beautiful coastlines through to vast plains, replete with a variety of animals. The different national parks in the country, such as Cameia National Park and Cangandala National Park, are the best places to witness the stunning scenery and wildlife Angola can offer.
It’s not just the natural world that attracts people to Angola though. This is a country with a massive amount of different cultures and ways of life. From the sprawling city of Luanda through to the tribal villages in more remote areas, you can see ever side of Angolan life when you visit. Getting to the more remote areas can be tough, but that’s all part of the fun of travelling, isn’t it?
Working in Angola
Backpackers on a gap year in Angola won’t be able to find many – if any – chances to work, aside from the occasional chance to teach English. The vast majority of those heading to Angola will instead find some sort of volunteering opportunity, and there are absolutely loads of these. Angola is still a poor country and has a number of issues, so there are chances to work with kids, in healthcare or with animals. Most people who have volunteered in Angola state that it was an amazingly satisfying experience.
Angola is bordered by a number of other really interesting countries, all of which are great for more adventurous travellers – places such as Namibia and Zambia. Most people will take a plane out of the country though – South Africa is a popular choice – and the capital Luanda has a well-served international airport. Don’t rush to leave though, as Angola has a huge amount for backpackers to see and do!