Thursday, September 30, 2010

One of Angola's Natural Wonders.

Angola is home to some relatively unknown treasures of this world. As spectacular as any other world-wonder, the Black Rocks of Pungo Andongo rise up majestically over the African savanne landscape. Known locally as the Pedras Negras de Pungo Andongo, these rocks are one of the main tourist sites of the Malanje province. They are steeped in history and intrigue, since no one really knows how the colossal rocks, some up to 200 metres high, came to be here as their geological formation is out of keeping with the surrounding savannah.

Legend has it that in the sixteenth century, Pungo Andongo was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Ndongo ruled by King Ngola Kiluanji and Queen Ginga Mbandi. Rock carvings found there are said to represent footprints of the fleeing queen who was disturbed by soldiers as she bathed in a stream at the foot of the stones.

In later years, the Portuguese established a military fort among the rocks which was notorious in Portugal. Its name was used to scare naughty children, their parents telling them they 'would end up in Pungo Andongo" if they misbehaved. In the 1920's political prisoners were held at the fort and during Angola's civil war the rocks were a key battleground between opposing forces. (Sonangol Universo Magazine, Sept 2010)

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