Angola is a Southern African country renowned for its oil reserves, its desert, diamonds and amazing landscapes. The giant sable antelope, an endangered species, lives in the Angolan forests. Much of Angola’s nature remains unaltered by humans since the war of independence (Angola was a Portuguese colony) and the Civil War slowed the evolution of the country. Due to its history, Angolan culture is an interesting mix of European civilization and Bantu cultural heritage.
Angolans are famous for being highly superstitious. Impoverished due to colonialism and war (although it experiences a fast recovery), many diseases haunt the country’s population. To better paint a picture, 1 child in 5 won’t make it to his or her 5th birthday. This has caused a number of superstitions. Angolans take very seriously accusations of witchcraft. If a child is sick, there might be a need for an official house blessing. Otherwise, the family will get sick too. Family, community, tribe – these are keywords for any Angolan. If one is accused of witchcraft, the entire family will be isolated. It’s not uncommon to exclude that person from the family. Also, if you see a dead snake on your way, you will die. While these superstitions might sound fun, so many of them are related to death because famine, HIV, malaria and postnatal death are common, so don’t joke about it.
Don’t fall though under the impression Angolans are uncivilized and savage. They are actually very formal and respectful. They usually greet each other with a handshake, but if a senior member is present or a superior, they show their utter most respect by gently bowing. People don’t always think about death and sickness. Friends hang out with each other and love dancing. Semba (its ‘descendant’ is samba) is an Angolan upbeat and romantic music style. The youngsters enjoy playing basketball. When coming here, you might like the fact you don’t have to tip. If you want to, you can leave something small, cigarettes or candies, as a sign of appreciation.
As for travelling around, you have a