Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Angola is not usually thought of as a mountainous land, yet more than half the country is on a vast plateau between 1,000 - 2,000 metres (3280 - 6550 feet) in altitude.

The most mountainous parts of Angola are mainly situated in a zone 100 - 200 km (60 - 120 miles) from the Atlantic coast. Many of the countries biggest cities are well over a thousand metres (3280 feet) above sea level:  Huambo (1710 m or 5610 ft), Lubango (1178 m or 3860 ft).  The highest point in Angola is the Morro do Moco which reaches a height of 2620 m or 8595 ft and is located to the northwest of Huambo.

For our assignment, we will be located in Lubango which is close to the two most famous landmarks in Angola.  An impressive, man-made switchback road was constructed on the face of the Serra da Bandeira mountains at Leba. During colonial rule in the 1960s, the Portuguese engineer chose the shortest route to climb the mountain to connect Lubango with the coastal city of Namibe.  The road incorporates numerous hairpin bends in the road using methods employed in the Swiss Alps.

The other marvel is Tundavala (2252 m or 7390 ft), a massive gorge on the main escarpment which gives a breathtaking view down to the desert and coastal plain well over 1,000 m or 3200 ft below. (Adapted with info from the Sonangol magazine Universo, December 2009)

1 comment:

Ralph said...

We were just up there in Jan this year, and were blown away by Angola. Definately left some our heart there. Tandavala is insane, and all the parts we saw were really really amazing. Ralph