The remarkable truth about living in Luanda

Living in Luanda, Angola, is as rewarding as it is challenging.

Jorge and I have lived in Luanda for roughly two years. Jorge had a job opportunity to work in Luanda. In 2011 he used to go to Luanda just for 2 or 3 months, but In 2013 he came permanently to Luanda for three years.

I came to Luanda after a year (tired of being apart from him) and started working in a physiotherapy clinic. Moving to a new city is never easy, but moving to Luanda has even more peculiarities.

Planning to go to Angola? Have a look at our 50 things you need to know before traveling to Angola

We live in the city center, near my clinic. Sometimes life in Luanda isn’t easy; there aren’t the facilities of western Europe, sometimes we don’t have water or electricity, the traffic is nerve-wracking, and there are few entertainment opportunities. Plus, it is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

traffic jams, one of the main problemas of Living in Luanda
Living in Angola

But there are many good things: the fruit here is delicious; I never tasted such a good pineapple, mangoes, and papayas; the passion fruits are as massive as the avocados. The fish and seafood are excellent, as well as some traditional dishes like “Muamba de galinha,” “mufete,” and beans in palm oil. Check here all about traditional Angolan Food!

living in Luanda
How is it to live in Luanda, Angola

The weather is excellent; you can wear a t-shirt and shorts all day, every day (unlike in Portugal or almost every other place). There is no winter here, just “Cacimbo,” it’s warm and grey weather, there isn’t sunshine but neither it rains for three months.

Angola is a former Portuguese colony, so the official language is Portuguese. It became independent in 1975 but suffered a civil war for 27 years. The main income comes from oil extraction, so many ex-pats in Luanda from all over the world work for the oil and parallel industries.

Many Portuguese work in other sectors like construction, restaurants, and other services.

I work in the health sector in a private clinic as a physiotherapist; it is rewarding working here, but there are a lot of challenges with the most simple things, e.g., having access to the most simple products, relying on your working colleagues, and absenteeism of the patients.

Things about Living in Angola
Living and working in Angola

There are a lot of social and political problems in Angola. Still, I wish and am hopeful that they will start correcting major issues like education, healthcare, and overall infrastructure in the future.

Luanda per se isn’t a charming city to visit, except for particular things like the “marginal” and the island (which isn’t an island but is a peninsula). Yet, it still has some of the most famous landmarks in Angola.

Some provinces are more visually appealing, like Benguela, Malange, or Lubango. Living in Angola is a great opportunity to visit the Angolan provinces, which offer some impressive natural wonders.

Plus, there are a lot of beautiful beaches like “Cabo Ledo,” “Mussulo” and ” Sangano.” The water is warm and calm, and the sand is white. Have a look at the best travel destinations in Angola.

In the end, I’m pleased that we got the opportunity to live in Luanda and enjoy the experience of being an ex-pat. And we do learn a lot in Angola.

We will continue to share our ideas with you about our adventures of living in Luanda, and elsewhere.

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5 thoughts on “The remarkable truth about living in Luanda”

  1. Hi Jorge, it great to hear such a story from you an outsider. Am encouraged. As a physiotherapist, am looking forward to coming home. Please how is the situation with ministry towards healthcare and physiotherapy services?

    • Hi Kennedy. I´m Cláudia Jorge’s wife. I worked there for nearly 2 years and there is a demand of physiotherapist. So you will find a lot of offers. I haven´t been working there since May 2016 so i don´t know how are the working conditions, but when i was leaving transferring money to other country’s was very difficult. We wish you all the luck and success.

  2. Bom blog, apenas um reparo calculo que tanto o Jorge como a Claúdia sejam Portugueses, se assim for não se percebe o porque deste blog não estar escrito na Lingua Portuguesa.
    Em todo o resto está de facto “porreiro” para o tema em si.

  3. Nice blog.

    My favourite saying, Luanda is NOT Angola and Angola is NOT Luanda ! 🙂

    At least you got to Cabo Ledo, Benguela, Kissama and Malange as well maybe ? Nice to add pics of and about the real beauty that is Angola.

    M Cumps Paul

    • Hello Paul,

      Thank you, we are glad you liked it.
      Yes, Luanda is not Angola And Angola is not Luanda (unless you are doing business).
      We will be posting soon about our road trip from Luanda to Benguela.


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