Lubango is one of the most beautiful regions in Angola and probably Africa…We have been to many countries, most of them are very touristic, and they don’t have the impressive views of Lubango. It is a place that makes you wonder about what other fantastic and remote places can exist in Angola.
The capital of Huila was named after an old “Soba” (chief) of the region, but during the Portuguese rule, it changed to “Sá da Bandeira”. The first settlers were Portuguese from the island of Madeira, and there are still traces of Portuguese architectural in some buildings. The city surroundings are green, mountainous and very scenic!
The temperature is milder than in Luanda; it’s a more pleasant temperature 🙂 but at night it can be chilly. The region is very rich in agriculture and livestock, so you can find good meat and even places that sell local cheese.
Within Angola, Lubango is the ideal place to rest some days, enjoy the view, eat fantastic food and be adventurous. We stayed there for a few days and loved every hour of it.
How to go to Lubango
Lubango has an airport that receives daily flights from Luanda and from Windhoek, Namibia. We went by plane from Luanda, which took 1h30 to get there. From the airport, the hotel provided for the transfer.
Going by car is also an option but be aware that it isn’t easy to drive in Angola. The roads are full of potholes, and to put it simply: they are dangerous and full of traffic accidents. If you prefer, there are buses from Luanda to Benguela and then to Lubango, but it is a tiring voyage, and it takes a lot of time to reach your destination.
The best way to travel around the city and go to the attractions is by car. So if you can, rent a car or you will be very limited.
Where to stay in Lubango?
One of the most spectacular parts of the trip was staying in Pululukwa. It is a resort and park that has lakes, trails, fruit and vegetable farm, and even animals. For nature lovers, it is a splendid place to have long, pleasant walks.
It is the best resort we ever been! Inside or outside of Angola! It is a bit expensive, but it is a magical place and well worth every penny we spent.
Things to do in Lubango
Serra da Leba
Serra da Leba is a mountain range with 2650 meters of altitude, 50 km from Lubango. The most stunning part of the mountain is the mountain pass road. It was built during the Portuguese administration and connected two important cities, Lubango and Namibe.
The pass has 56 curves, one of the curves is called the “curve of the Cubans” because of the frequent accidents that took place. It was built by a team of engineers led by the Portuguese Maria Alice Leba, thus the name of the road. We think the images speak for themselves.
Don’t forget to go to the viewing point of Serra da Leba, where you can see the whole picture of the mountain and take photos. After passing the police check-point, turn left on the first street you see, it is before descending the pass. On your way back, keep your distance of trucks and buses, they need space to do the maneuvers.
Fenda da Tundavala (Tundavala Gap)
Fenda da Tundavala, or Gap of Tundavala, is an enormous abyss in the mountain of Serra da Leba located 18 km from Lubango. The mountain plateau has 2200 mt of altitude and suddenly falls 1000 mt, creating an abyss between the mountains. It looks like somebody cut a slice of the mountain. This natural abyss promotes stunning views. It is one of the seven wonders of Angola.
On your way to Tundavala, you come across some rock formations with different forms on top of each other. They are quite peculiar rocks.
Cristo Rei (Christ the King)
The most famous Christ the King statue know is the Brazilian one in Rio de Janeiro, but it isn’t the only. Apparently, this is a Portuguese thing; we have a “Cristo-Rei” in Almada, Lisbon, and so does Angola, a former Portuguese colony, in Lubango. The statue is 30 meters high and is situated on top of the hill overlooking the city of Lubango.
On top of the hill, you also have a fantastic viewpoint of the city of Lubango and its surroundings. Next to the statue, you can find the giant letters saying LUBANGO in the Hollywood style:).
Moçamedes (yes, the city’s name is Moçamedes again) is a coastal city in Namibe. It is 185 km from Lubango, so it is relatively close when thinking within African standards.
The Namibe province is an extension of the Namib desert from Namibia. On the way to Namibe province, you will have to pass Serra da Leba. The road to Moçamedes is almost new, so the trip is pleasant. On the way, you will be able to enjoy the semi-desert landscape with some natives selling charcoal and fruit on the way.
Moçamedes has the 3rd largest port of Angola. We didn’t like the city as many buildings were vandalized and closed. The only part that was in better shape was the seaside. We actually saw dolphins swimming in the sea, which was very nice! Unfortunately, we didn’t have a 4WD, so we couldn’t go actually into the desert to see the Welwitschias.
Pululukwa means to rest in Umbundo. As the name says, it is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the scenery and nature. We loved staying there, and we recommend trying to stay there for at least one night. Yes, it is expensive, but it is a fantastic experience. Even if you don’t want to stay there for one night, you can visit the park and the wild animals, or even enjoy a meal in their fantastic restaurant. We still need to talk about the delicious food we ate in the Pululukwa.
The resort is divided into different regions, representing different ethnic groups of Lubango. The 60 huts (bungalows) represent different ethnic styles. The huts are stylish; they have an African vibe, very comfortable with air conditioning.
Throughout the park, you will find wild animals. Zebras run wild through the park, you can pet them if they let you. Don’t worry, they are very pacific and docile. You will find Ostrich, crocodile (not running loose, lol), Antelopes, Angolan Chicken and different kinds of birds.
With 100 acres and remarkable treks, you have a lot to explore: wooden paths, several lakes, different resting points, and even fruit farms. On the way, you will find the different huts of the resort. Moreover, the resort is child-friendly, with a playground for kids to play in. A family or a couple can easily stay the whole day in Pululukwa just relaxing.
We need to mention the restaurant in Pululukwa because it is fabulous. One of the best meals we ate, the “Chateaubriand steak” and the avocado ice cream, is worthy of being the last meal choice. The service is very professional, and everyone is very friendly.
We wish everyone could have the opportunity to go to Lubango and fell amazed. Hopefully, we were able to inspire you to do it!