Central Angola Travel Guide

Plan your visit to Central Angola with our comprehensive travel guide. Learn about the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more.

Central Angola is a region in the heart of Angola and offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the cultural and natural aspects of the country. From stunning national parks and hiking trails to fascinating museums and delicious local cuisine, Central Angola has something for every type of traveler. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and practical information to help you plan your trip to Central Angola.

Introduction to Central Angola

Central Angola is a vast region that encompasses several provinces, including Bié, Kwanza Sul, and Huambo. The region is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural landscapes. Visitors to Central Angola can explore colonial-era architecture, get a glimpse of traditional Angolan culture, and witness Africa’s incredible wildlife.

List of Places to Visit in Central Angola

Here are some of the top attractions to visit in Central Angola:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Museum of Anthropology in Huambo city features exhibits and artifacts that showcase the region’s rich history and ethnography.
  • Kissama National Park is located near the coast and is home to diverse wildlife as well as a cultural village showcasing traditional Angolan life.
  • Kuito City offers visitors the chance to explore several colonial-era buildings, including the Santa Isabel Fort and the Sao Joao Baptista Church.

Natural Attractions of Central Angola: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Bicauri National park offers visitors the opportunity to explore an expansive swathe of grassland savannah, with stunning views of wildlife, including hyenas, zebras, leopards, lions, and more.
  • Bié Plateau is a picturesque plateau located in Bie Province, with rare cycads and spectacular waterfalls.
  • Cangandala National Park is home to several species of giant sable antelope and offers fantastic game viewing.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Central Angola

Central Angola offers some of the best hiking and biking trails in Angola, including the Catumbela Coastal Route and the Chela Mountain Trail in Huambo province. With stunning views of rivers, mountains, and valleys, these trails offer an excellent way to explore the region’s natural landscapes and gain fitness in the process.

Best Things to Do in Central Angola: Activities and Tours

If you’re interested in cultural experiences, visit the traditional Angolan village in Kissama National Park for an immersive experience into Angolan culture. You can also snorkel or take a boat ride to explore the Atlantic coastline. For outdoor activities, explore the National Parks on guided tours or cycling and hiking expeditions.

Week-Long Itinerary for Central Angola

Here is a sample itinerary for exploring Central Angola in seven days:

Day Activity
1 Arrive in Huambo and visit the Museum of Anthropology
2 Explore colonial era buildings in Kuito City
3 Hike the Chela Mountain Trail or take a cycling expedition in Bie Province
4 Visit Cangandala National Park for game viewing
5 Take a boat ride or go snorkeling along the Atlantic Coast
6 Explore the Bié Plateau
7 Visit the traditional Angolan village in Kissama National Park before departing

Food and Drink Scene of Central Angola

Central Angola’s cuisine is influenced by Portuguese and African flavors, with plenty of fresh seafood and grilled meats available in most restaurants. Here are some must-try dishes:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Moamba de galinha, a chicken and palm-nut stew with vegetables and spices
  • Matapa, a dish made from ground peanuts and cassava leaves
  • Calulu, a dish with meat or fish cooked in a sauce of onions, tomatoes, and okra

Local Beverages

  • Palm Wine, a sweet, milky alcoholic drink made from the sap of palm trees
  • Mussulo Beer, a popular beer brand in Angola, with a refreshing taste

Where to Stay in Central Angola: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Central Angola offers a wide variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Here are some popular options:

  • Hotel Ekuikui I and II in Huambo city is a luxury hotel with spacious rooms and an outdoor pool.
  • Pensao Inamikumba in Kuito city offers budget-friendly accommodation with clean rooms and friendly staff for backpackers.
  • Vila Alice and Lobito in Bie province offers more accommodation, with sea views and a modern look and feel in Lobito city.

What to Buy in Central Angola: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Angola is renowned for its rich culture and unique artistry. Here are some must-buy souvenirs:

  • Wood carvings that feature traditional Angolan life, including musical instruments, wildlife, and household items
  • Fabrics and textiles like the colorful capulana, cloth bags, and bags with local motifs and paintings
  • Mbayas, traditional beaded collars made by the Ovimbundu people, worn as accessories or as part of traditional dress

Local Culture and Customs of Central Angola

Angolan culture is diverse and unique, with a mix of traditional African and Portuguese influences.

Best Time to Visit Central Angola

The best time to visit Central Angola is during the dry season between May and October, where the weather is mild, and wildlife viewing is optimal. The landscapes are more green and lush in December and January, making it perfect for hiking and sightseeing.

Do’s and Don’ts of Central Angola


  • Respect the culture and customs of the locals you meet.
  • Get vaccinated before arrival, and take malaria prophylaxis if required.
  • Carry protective gear for hiking or outdoor activities.


  • Do not photograph any person or their property without their consent.
  • Do not drink tap water or brush your teeth with it.
  • Do not carry or use drugs; penalties can be severe.

Safety and Health

Safety in Central Angola

Central Angola is generally safe to visit, but crime rates are higher in major cities. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night.

Health in Central Angola

Before arriving, get vaccinated against Yellow fever, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus. Malaria is a concern, and prevention measures should be taken. Medical services of international standards are scarce and not readily available.

Getting to Central Angola: Transportation Options and Logistics

Central Angola can be accessed via air or road. Here are some options:

Airports Near Central Angola

  • Huambo Airport
  • Catumbela Airport

Bus Stations Near Central Angola

  • Etrada De Ferro De Benguela, Lobito
  • Estação de Rodoviária Provincial Kwanza Sul, Sumbe

Other Options

There are regular passenger trains to Huambo from Lobito.

How to Get Around in Central Angola

Taxis are the most common mode of transportation in Central Angola. Most of the taxis are unmarked, so be sure to negotiate the fare before starting the journey. Public transportation is limited, and roads are not always in good condition.

Where to Go Next from Central Angola: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Central Angola offers a gateway to other beautiful parts of Angola. Some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Benguela City is a coastal town known for its beautiful beaches and colonial architecture.
  • Namibe Province offers visitors stunning desert landscapes and stunning rock formations, including the Tundavala Gap.
  • Lubango City is known for its beautiful architecture, markets, and nearby Tundavala Gap for hiking.


Central Angola is a hidden gem and a perfect destination for travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience. With its unique culture and stunning natural landscapes, Central Angola offers a fantastic mix of adventure, history, and magnificent scenery. Use this guide to plan your next trip!