When you think of great beaches you probably don’t think of Angola. We have never seen an Angolan beach in those internet contests… Well, that’s not entirely surprising, Angola is probably one of the least touristy countries in the world, and it’s for sure very difficult to get in. But that’s a whole other issue. The truth is that besides the ones living (or lived) in Angola, no one would remember to put an Angolan beach in a contest, because no one knows them.
So which are the best beaches in Angola and what do they have to offer?
Beaches of the Island of Luanda or “a ilha”
The island of Luanda (or Cape Island) is a 7 km long tongue of land right in front of the bay of Luanda. This means a 7 km long beach just 2 minutes from the city center! How many capital cities in the world can say they have this? I can’t think of any. The island is full of bars, restaurants and discos, some of them are all in one. Some of these bars/restaurants have an almost private beach for themselves. All these beaches have warm water, some waves to have fun. Unfortunately, these aren’t the cleanest beaches around. The proximity to the city also has its downsides. Our favorite beaches with resort are the Coconuts and Caribe. Unfortunately, Caribe is sometimes too crowded, but it is very cool for people watching. Coconuts usually have fewer people but on Sundays, you can have a Brunch at a beach bar. It doesn’t get better than that 🙂 If you prefer not having a resort next to you and far fewer people, our favorite option is the one next to Tamariz.
So, you were convinced that Luanda is lucky for having the Island of Luanda… Well, It is, but wait until I tell you about Mussulo! Mussulo is a few km south to Luanda city center and is a 30km long tongue of land/sand. The water is even warmer than in rest of Angola and without waves, so it creates a (huge) lagoon-like environment in the sea. To go there you should get a boat from the mainland. It is possible to use an SUV, but there’s no road and really far away. In Mussulo you will find a few resorts, many private houses (some ridiculously luxurious) with almost private beaches, but also some secular beaches with little to no people. It’s just next to Luanda’s chaos, but you have a completely different and chilled vibe there. Just perfect to relax under the sun and forget about the daily life problems for a few hours or weekend. It is, of course, beautiful with a long beach, warm seawater, palm trees…
Sangano and Cabo Ledo
Almost 100 km south to Luanda and without any city closer, you have the beaches of Sangano and Cabo Ledo. Both beaches are in a bay, have perfect yellow sand and beautiful blue seawater. While most people prefer Cabo Ledo, I actually like Sangano more, the trees on the beach give it a very cool look and provide a nice shade. The summer sun in Angola is way too hot for me 🙂 These beaches are usually full of expats on Saturdays and Sundays because it’s used as a weekend retreat. It is possible to spend the night there. The biggest downside is the horrible traffic you get on the end of the day returning to Luanda.
Porto Amboim is halfway from Luanda to Benguela. We have never spent a whole day by the beach here, only made a stopover to have lunch on our way to Lobito/Benguela. It looked like a fantastic place to get away from Luanda. The beach itself is far from crowded, had warm water and soft yellow sand.
Restinga in Lobito
If you think Luanda is lucky to have Cape Island, you probably never heard of Restinga… Restinga is just like the island of Luanda… only better. Restinga is a slightly smaller 5 km long and has little traffic (which is sometimes a problem in the Island), the sand and water are a bit cleaner than in the Capital city and, as always in Angola, warm. As expected you get the usual restaurants and bars but less than in Luanda, of course.
Baia Azul in Benguela
South to Benguela and slightly off the main road but easy to find there’s beach of Baía Azul (“Blue Bay”). When we got there we thought right away this was the best beach in Angola. It’s a 3km long bay with soft and clean sand. Named “blue bay” you have guessed that the water has very strong blue tones, but it’s also very clear and warm. This is considered the main beach of Benguela and it’s perfect to lay down and relax, play in the sand, dive in, and even for water sports.
Baía Farta, South to Benguela
Baía Farta is a fishing village/town and its name means something like the bay of plenty, and it’s easy to figure out why 🙂 Finding the beach was weirdly difficult. we had to drove around a few times and ask twice. To actually get to the beach we go to the end of the road and then go to around the buildings on a dirt road that looks that goes nowhere. It just looked that we entering in someone’s yard and once we get in we find a huge strand of sand going directly to the sea. It had literately no one on the beach and only a small fisherman boat. To get near the sea you have to walk about 200/300 meters in the sold whitish sand. As you approach the water you realize how beautiful is the scenery and the privilege of enjoying it yourself. After 300 meters of walking under the sun, in the sand, it feels heavenly to dive in the blue/turquoise and crystal clear. If you ever go near Benguela, this is a must!
These are the best beaches in Angola we have been to, feel free to add the ones that we missed, especially the ones out of Luanda 🙂 Maybe we will be able to visit and add them to the post.